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Meet the most scientifically studied people in the world. A group of 1,037 New Zealanders born in one city have been followed since their births in 1972. Members are now dispersed around the globe but 96% of the original group are still taking part – an extraordinary achievement in such a long running study.

This series follows the fascinating study and information it has provided in almost every field of medical and social development including respiratory and cardiovascular health, addictions, obesity, sexual health, cognitive neuroscience, psychiatry, genetics and criminology and most interestingly the effects of nature and nurture on health and behaviour.

It examines myths and facts surrounding long-term effects of childhood. It shows some of what happens in early life has no lasting influence, but also points at how important the early years can be in a number of areas that really do count. The series then moves on to the troubled teens. Why do some go bad and other come right?

We investigate the nature versus nurture argument. It is a genetic switch which is thrown by life events – nature loads the gun but nurture pulls the trigger. We track the hunt for the mechanism using three specific examples – violence in men, depression, & cannabis induced schizophrenia.

Finally we take a look at the effects of modern life and aging – how excessive cleanliness affects asthma & allergies, how poverty gets under the skin to cause lifelong damage, the physical effects of social isolation, and predicting mental illness and Alzheimer’s by just looking at back of people’s eyes.”