The Week Unwrapped: Gene editing, joke theft and manifesting

Olly Mann and The Week delve behind the headlines and debate what really matters.

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In this week’s episode, we discuss:

Gene editing

The UK government has announced plans to allow gene-editing to be used in agricultural crops, diverging from an EU-wide ban on any genetic modification. Proponents of the technique say that it is more like accelerated selective breeding than genetic engineering – and that it could help farmers grow more produce while using fewer pesticides. But it’s opponents are worried that it will pave the way for riskier experiments.

Comedy in court

A landmark legal case has begun between two stand-up comedians over who owns the rights to a comedy routine. One has hired Harbottle & Lewis, the lawyers best known for representing the Queen, to argue his case. So are we going to see lots of comedians taking one another to court? And how can you really establish who owns a joke anyway?


TikTok videos with the “manifestation” hashtag have been viewed a whopping ten billion times on TikTok, making it a buzzword of 2021. It’s the latest incarnation of “cosmic ordering” – the practice of asking the universe to deliver what you expect from it, whether that’s exam success or romantic fulfilment. Is it just harmless fun, or does it have a darker side to it? 


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