Day: September 7, 2020

Wonder-ful Elinor sparks new cartoon series

There really is an Elinor, it seems, and she often wonders why.
That’s key to “Elinor Wonders Why,” which has just started. (It’s 10:30 a.m. weekdays on most PBS stations, plus 3:30 and 11:30 p.m. on PBS Kids.) “We wanted the show to be fun for the kids and to engage with them,” said co-creator Daniel Whitson.
So each episode has a little girl/bunny named Elinor discover things about nature. And yes, that girl is a lot like Elinor Cham, daughter of the show’s co-creator. Read more…

Best-bets for Sept. 9: Compelling journey to science future

1) “Nova” season-opener, 8-10 p.m., PBS. Here is PBS at its best – taking an impenetrable subject and making it easy to understand – and even compelling, almost in a science-fiction way. The subject, gene-editing, is explained by animation and more. We meet Jennifer Douda, the Berkeley biochemist who linkeed with  Emmanuelle Charpentier (they’re shown here, right to left) to find ways genes can be altered … and David Sanchez, 17, stricken by sickle-cell disorder. Could this be prevented? What are the ethical traps? These are compelling questions, beautifully posed. Read more…

Gene-editing stokes sci-fi type dreams, fears

The worlds of science-fiction and science-fact seem to collide when the subject turns to CRISPR.
That’s a type of “gene-editing” (illustrated here) which could lead to something very good – blocking genetic diseases. Or to some very bad forms of human engineering.
This debate has come up before, Alta Charo told the Television Critics Assoication recently. “Each time, we (ask): ‘Are we able to withstand the temptation to do things that are really destructive to the fabric of society and yet keep the value to prevent disease and help build families.”
She’s a University of Wisconsin professor, both a lawyer and a bioethicist. And she’s one of the key people in a compelling “Nova” season-opener, from 8-10 p.m. Wednesday (Sept. 9) on PBS. Read more…