Science Source Researcher/Photo Researchers Inc

You wouldn't think a molecule could become a piece of pop culture, but PBS is currently running another series on that J-Lo of molecules, DNA. The television version of James Watson's latest book DNA: The Secret of Life, ranges from familiar history to speculations about the future of genetic research. It began Jan. 4 and runs through Feb. 1.

Watson, in Los Angeles to promote the show, says the series' narrator is actor Jeff Goldblum, who played Watson in a BBC production of The Double Helix. Of that casting, Watson says playfully, "I'm the only non-Jewish person in American biochemistry, and they have me played Jewish instead of Irish!"

On camera, Watson is his controversial self, discussing genetic engineering at the site of a Nazi "genetics" laboratory. But he also shows a gentler side, briefly talking about his mentally ill son with a...

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