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'3-2-1 Contact Extra' explores genetics as a matter of facts


Why is it that some kids look completely different than their brothers and sisters? How are people related to plants? What can we do to protect endangered species?

Believe it or not, these questions have something in common. They can all be answered in part by those who understand genetics--the secret code that determines the makeup of living things. Find out more about genetics in "A 3-2-1 Contact Extra: Secrets of the Code," which uncovers surprising features about this fascinating area of science.

In the special, teen-age hosts Stephanie Yu and Z Wright take viewers along on a journey that explains how genetic engineering can develop stronger strains of endangered animals (the cheetah, for example). Viewers also will discover how kids are genetically related to the apes and even plants, and how an individual's genes determine his or her physical traits.

"A 3-2-1 Contact Extra: Secrets of the Code," Saturday 6:30-7 p.m. KCET. For 8- to 12-year-olds and their families.


Disney's 1968 musical fantasy Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (today noon-3 p.m. KCOP) stars Dick Van Dyke and Sally Ann Howes in a tale of a flying jalopy. For all ages.

John Hughes ("Home Alone") directed the 1984 comedy Sixteen Candles (Tuesday 8-10 p.m. KCOP), in which a beleaguered, lovesick Molly Ringwald endures her family and the school nerd on her 16th birthday--but finally meets Mr. Right. For ages 12 and up.

Waterskiing, sunbathing and surfing are just a few of the outdoor pastimes attempted by Disney characters in the animated special "A Disney Vacation" (Tuesday 8-9 p.m. the Disney Channel). For all ages.

In the 1940 film biography Young Tom Edison (Thursday 6-7:30 a.m. Showtime), Mickey Rooney captures the boyhood days of the inventor. For ages 10 and up.

Borrowed from the Mary Norton book, the 1973 TV movie "The Borrowers" (Friday 1-3 p.m. the Family Channel), about a tiny family that lives under the floorboards of a Victorian house, stars Eddie Albert. For 5- to 10-year-olds.

Yes, that is Scott Baio in Run, Don't Walk (Friday 4-5 p.m. Showtime), about a paralyzed young girl who must overcome her bitterness to help one of her peers, a disabled student (Baio). For 8- to 15-year-olds.

"Speaking of Young Black Men" (Friday 9-9:30 p.m. and Saturday 3-3:30 p.m. KCET), a repeat of an episode of By the Year 2000, profiles 10 young African-American Southern Californians who discuss various topics and current events. For ages 15 and up.

In "Lassie's Great Adventure" (Saturday 2-4 p.m. Nickelodeon), the world's most famous collie is carried off to an adventure in the Canadian wilderness via a runaway hot-air balloon. For all ages.

The New Adventures of Davy Crockett (Saturday 6-7 p.m. the Disney Channel), a rebroadcast miniseries, stars Johnny Cash as the grown-up King of the Wild Frontier, who tells rollicking tales from his childhood days. For all ages.

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