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A Woman Goes All Count of Monte Cristo on Genetics in the Biohackers Trailer

By Beth Elderkin on at

A medical student studying under a controversial professor finds herself entangled in a world of forbidden science. A tale as old as time. But what if there’s another, more personal reason she’s embraced synthetic biology and genetic enhancements? It’s not just because she thinks biohacking is cool. She’s there to bring someone down.

Netflix has released the first trailer for Biohackers, a German sci-fi series directed by Christian Ditter (Girlboss), coming on the heels of the third and final season of Dark. It stars Luna Wedler as Mia Akerlund, a medical student studying under Professor Tanja Lorenz (Jessica Schwartz). Thanks to her roommates (and a cute colleague), Mia finds herself embroiled in the world of biohacking, which is the catch-all term for citizen or do-it-yourself biology.

But it’s not all silent discos and bioluminescent mice. Mia’s determined to figure out the truth behind Tanja’s experiments, which destroyed her family years ago and could, even now, be placing biohack technology in the wrong hands.

It’s interesting that this series takes place in Germany, as the country is known for its opposition to the practice of biohacking. The government has had a long-standing law that prohibits genetic engineering experiments outside of state-licensed facilities. In 2017, the German government got aggressive against biohackers, warning them that anyone caught doing genetic experiments outside of a lab could face a huge fine or up to three years in prison. That said, there has been some slow progress. Last year, two officers from the German Armed Forces announced their own line of biohacking supplements, which were inspired by their time studying at a California university.

According to Biohackinfo, some folks in the DIY science community are worried that the country’s general anti-biohacking stance means the series could wind up promoting the same viewpoint (like Gattaca, a movie they do not care for). That doesn’t mean basement biohacking isn’t immune to criticism. There are some legitimate issues with the practice, namely when folks do things like inject themselves with their own semen to try and cure their back pain.

The six-episode first season of Biohackers debuts on Netflix August 20.