(CBS Local)– COVID-19 has put a major focus on science and vaccinations and a new Showtime documentary called “Citizen Bio” explores the world of biohacking and the scientists and researchers who are developing alternative medicines to eradicate viruses and diseases.
The film from director Trish Dolman dives into the controversies of biohacking, features conversations with four of the nation’s most well-known biohackers and sheds light on how advances in science and medicine are happening everywhere from someone’s house to a shed in someone’s backyard. While Dolman has made several films in her career, this was certainly one of the most fascinating to put together for a number of different reasons.
“As a filmmaker, I am primarily interested in making films about interesting subcultures or people who are really pushing the boundaries of society,” said Dolman, in an interview with CBS Local’s DJ Sixsmith. “I was fascinated by the people involved and the different biohackers that exist and what they’re really trying to do. Biohackers are people who use science outside of institutions, corporations or universities. There are few subsets of biohackers. Some are doing genetic editing and because of advent of CRISPR technology, you can edit DNA in your own home, a shed in your backyard or a garage.”
Dolman says there is a very open exchange of information when it comes to the biohacking world and the democratization of the science industry is one of their biggest focuses. While some double down on the controversial methods behind biohacking, Dolman thinks it’s more important to talk about how biohacking helps our culture progress.
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“When I see people doing interesting things that are pushing the boundaries, I really see those people being responsible for social change,” said Dolman. “Biohackers are able to do what they are doing because of recent technological advances. Many people can go online and learn how to do this yourself. I feel like a lot of the media has focused on the potential of what biohacking can do wrongly. What I discovered is that biohackers have an altruistic vision. What they’re doing is trying to find a treatment or a cure for a disease. Or they’re trying to come up with solutions for global warming or deforestation or plastic in the oceans. Biohacking is really a response to gaps in the system and corporatization of science.”