This is a story about you. It is the history of who you are and how you came to be. It is unique to you, as it is for every one of the 100 billion modern humans who has ever drawn breath. But it is also our collective story, because in each of our genomes we carry the history of the whole of our species.
What is life? Humans have been asking this question for thousands of years. But as technology has advanced and our understanding of biology has deepened, the answer has evolved. For decades, scientists have been exploring the limits of nature by modifying and manipulating DNA, cells, and whole organisms to create new ones that could never have previously existed on their own.
"The Goldilocks book on what is life"
Why did almost all life go extinct 250 million years ago? Why on five other occasions in the geological history has the living world experienced sudden episodes of global mega-death with the majority of species being annihilated? And are humans causing the sixth great mass extinction event in Earth's history? These are among the questions Adam Rutherford explores in this three-part series on extinction. Producer: Andrew Luck-Baker.