Gene therapy turns people into superheroes on TV. Can it do that in real life too?

Jessica Jones bends a metal chair like it’s putty and lifts a refrigerator with the ease of an empty box. She throws a man through a glass door, breaks a lock with her bare hands and interrupts a robbery by throwing a bottle of liquor at the intruder.

One of the few feats that she finds onerous? Lifting an enormous, full trailer off an injured woman.

Jones, the protagonist of her eponymous hit Netflix NFLX, +0.63% series, is super-strong — her abilities and those of other characters the result of (spoiler alert!) covert, cutting-edge scientific procedures performed by a rogue scientist and his shadowy organization.

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