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Victoria discusses the uses of synthetic blood.
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Frankenstein MD is a multi-platform series based on Frankenstein, a novel by Mary Shelley.
The series is developed by Lon Harris, Brett Register, and Bernie Su
The series is produced by Pemberley Digital.
and distributed by PBS Digital Studios.

See more details at

Victoria Frankenstein - Anna Lore -
Iggy DeLacey - Steve Zaragoza -
Dr. Abraham Waldman - Kevin Rock

Executive Producer - Bernie Su -
Executive Producer - Matt Vree -
Executive Producer - Hank Green -
Co-Executive Producer - Lon Harris
Co-Executive Producer - Brett Register -
Producer - Tracy Bitterolf -
Co Producer -Tamara Krinsky -
Consulting Producer - Frederick Kim -
Director - Brett Register -
Writer - Frederick Kim -
Cinematography - Matt Ryan -
Editor - Sam Mollo -
Transmedia Editor - Christine Linnell -
Associate Producer - Ariana Nedelman
Science Advisor - Joe Hanson -
Assistant Director - Jordan Paley
Production Designer - Katie Moest -
Stylist - Jessica Snyder -
Assistant Editor - Brennan Barsell
DIT - Lisa Curtis
Propmaster - Audrey Lee
Set Decorator - Kim Brunner
Script Supervisor - Maggie Werning
Makeup - Roxanne Pike
Sound Mixer/Boom - Geoff Allison
Key Grip - Oliver Bukowsky
Gaffer - Matt Hingstman
Colorist - Brennan Barsell
Camera Assistant - Kelsey Taylor
Intro Music - Sally Chou
Intro Design - Andrew Swaner
Social Media Manager - Christina Cooper -
Graphic Designer - Becca Rodrigues -
Production Assistant - Thomas Della Bella
Production Assistant - Anthony Toledo
Channel Manager for PBS Digital Studios - Raymond Schillinger
Closed Captions - Jared M. Gair

[PBS opening theme]

Victoria: Hello again. I'm Victoria Frankenstein and this is Frankenstein, MD, the show that's overflowing with fascinating medical science facts, where all of our experiments are one hundred per cent safe and absolutely no one dies. Per- permanently. And, when they do die, we bring them back right away, with virtually no brain damage whatsoever.

[Frankenstein, MD opening theme]

Victoria: Iggy's recuperating this week from home, but I've got him standing by on webcam.

Iggy: Hi, everyone. We've got a fas-

Victoria: Last week's minor missteps have the usual administration grumps frowning over my shoulder, but forget about them because we still have an exciting demonstration for you. Just manipulating the heart is for beginners. In the footage you're about to see, we're controlling the very essence of life itself.

Now, some of you may have heard of E. coli, but mainly in a negative context, making people sick from fast food burgers or some such thing, but it's actually very useful to us. For starters, it's an amazing biotechnology platform. Over the past forty years, we've learned how to use it to synthesize all sorts of things, from vaccines to biofuels, just by altering its DNA. Today, I'm going to show you how we use gene splicing to get E. coli to create hemoglobin, the key component of blood.

Dr. Waldman: Victoria, a moment.

Victoria: Dr. Waldman. Um, Robert, maybe just hold on for a moment.

Dr. Waldman: I don't want to interrupt. This is only going to take a moment. I'm just now coming from the bioethics committee meeting.

Victoria: I'm surprised between impeding cancer research and yelling at the TV, they find time to meet.

Dr. Waldman: This is serious. Dr. Kremp has officially moved to have you expelled from the university.

Victoria: Kremp? That fossil doesn't think women have any place in advanced research.

Dr. Waldman: I understand you two have had your differences.

Victoria: When my mother was a student, he told her she should forget research and focus on starting a family.

Dr. Waldman: Well, it's- to be fair, it can be difficult for female scientists sometimes to strike a balance between- it was a different time.

Victoria: None of this is even my fault. If Iggy hadn't interfered, everything would have been fine.

Dr. Waldman: I agree. But the fact is, your subject died during your experiment.

Victoria: And I brought him back. See?

Iggy: Hey, Dr. Waldman! Ahhhh!

Dr. Waldman: Mr. DeLacey, why can't you move your arm?

Victoria: The defibrillator caused some very minor burns.

Iggy: Ugh, you should see, I got this crazy mark on my side. Watch. Check this out.

Victoria: He'll be fine.

Dr. Waldman: I think you can understand why the committee was concerned.

Victoria: And I trust they came to their senses.

Dr. Waldman: I think you're being awfully flip considering expulsion was discussed.

Victoria: I'm getting kicked out of school for saving Iggy's life?

Dr. Waldman: You know it's more complicated than that.

Victoria: I will file my appeal immediately. I will take this to the state board if I have to.

Dr. Waldman: That won't be necessary. You're not being expelled. I simply reminded them about your impeccable record and key importance to our ongoing work here in the lab. They couldn't deny the obvious.

Victoria: Of course they couldn't. Thank you, Dr. Waldman. I appreciate it.

Dr. Waldman: This was too close, Victoria. I can't protect you if something like this happens again.

Victoria: Oh, it- it won't happen again.

Dr. Waldman: Just to be on the safe side, I think I ought to monitor whatever project you're embarking upon here today.

Victoria: I think we can make that work. Where was I? Right, E. coli, hemoglobin. Thanks, Robert.

This is hemoglobin we make right here in the lab. It's almost perfectly identical to the hemoglobin in red blood cells, but all synthetically produced by genetically-modified bacteria. Our hope is we will be able to use this to perfuse the synthetic organs Dr. Waldman's attempting to grow from stem cells. Still, it's not an ideal blood substitute. We couldn't use this with a synthetic kidney, for example. It's nephrotoxic. It's the same problem we'd have if we tried to use it as a substitute for human blood. For now.

Dr. Waldman: For now? Interesting analysis.

Victoria: How so?

Dr. Waldman: Artificial blood substitutes have been tested and failed for the past fifty years.

Victoria: Progress is being made all the time.

Dr. Waldman: Glacial progress, and I see no evidence of guaranteed success.

Victoria: Yet.

Dr. Waldman: We must be open to the idea- We must accept the idea that some great theories will never bear fruit.

Victoria: We've mapped the human genome. We've grown human ears on rats and we've cloned sheep. The- the only limitations on science are the ones people put there because they're scared. Or weak.

Dr. Waldman: Artificial blood aside, you shouldn't pretend there aren't limits. I would hate to see you bang your head against indestructible walls.

Victoria: How do I know a wall is indestructible without banging my head on it?

Dr. Waldman: You are a brilliant young researcher just like your mother was, and I am confident that you're going to go on and do great work just as she was going to. That's why it's so important that you apply your skills where they're most needed, where your intelligence can do the most good.

Victoria: As opposed to what?

Dr. Waldman: Wasting your time and energy straining to do the impossible.

Victoria: Maybe I want to do the impossible.

Dr. Waldman: No one can. That's what makes it impossible. I think that's enough mentoring for today. I'm going to find a TV to yell at.

Victoria: So, yes, there are still some kinks to work out with this stuff. But, there are also potential solutions. Researchers think hemoglobin's structure could be altered to make it more stable and less toxic to the body. Or- or maybe hemoglobin could be coated with some kind of chemical to eliminate unwanted side effects. The point is, everything is impossible until someone figures out a way to do it. And when I say someone, I mean me.

[Frankenstein, MD closing theme]