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The Gene: An Intimate History

Tracing the ‘Intimate History’ of the Gene

Meredith Francis

Executive produced by Ken Burns, The Gene: An Intimate History is a new two-part documentary that traces the history of the study of genetics and examines the ethical implications of new technologies. Plus, learn more about genes in a creative animated digital series.
Children being treated in iron lungs. Photo: U.S. Food and Drug Administration

"One of the Greatest Events in the History of Medicine": The Defeat of Polio

Daniel Hautzinger

DuPage county, outside Chicago, took part in Jonas Salk's polio vaccine trials in 1954, a successful nationwide experiment that led to the virtual end of a terrifying disease and was called "one of the greatest events in the history of medicine." 
Mae Jemison

The American Astronauts Who Made History and Set Records

Meredith Francis

More than 550 people from 36 countries have traveled to space. Beyond household names like Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, dozens of Americans became celebrated "firsts" and set records, like the farthest distance travelled from Earth, the first person enrolled in a Native American tribe to travel to space, and the most number of days spent in orbit.
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