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Playing God

   2012    Medicine
Adam Rutherford meets a new creature created by American scientists, the spider-goat. It is part goat, part spider, and its milk can be used to create artificial spider's web. It is part of a new field of research, synthetic biology, with a radical aim: to break down nature into spare parts so that we can rebuild it however we please. This technology is already being used to make bio-diesel to power cars. Other researchers are looking at how we might, one day, control human emotions by sending 'biological machines' into our brains.

Astrobiology

   2008    Science
Does life exist on other planets? Astrobiology is a visionary new science that searches for life in space by combining the disciplines of astronomy, biology and geology. How did life evolve on Earth? What will life look like on other planets? These and other pertinent questions will be answered by a diverse group of scientists. Viewers will visit the Pilbara region of West Australia where the oldest evidence of life on Earth has been discovered. Travel to the moons of Jupiter and Saturn to test a theory that life could exist in the clouds of Venus. Finally, watch as experiments are done to see if life exists on exoplanets, earth-like planets beyond our solar system.
Series: The Universe

Growing

   1994    Nature
The second episode is about how plants gain their sustenance. Sunlight is one of the essential requirements if a seed is to germinate, and Attenborough highlights the cheese plant as an example whose young shoots head for the nearest tree trunk and then climb to the top of the forest canopy, developing its leaves en route. Using sunshine, air, water and a few minerals, the leaves are, in effect, the "factories" that produce food. However, some, such as the begonia, can thrive without much light. To gain moisture, plants typically use their roots to probe underground. Trees pump water up pipes that run inside their trunks, and Attenborough observes that a sycamore can do this at the rate of 450 litres an hour — in total silence. Too much rainfall can clog up a leaf's pores, and many have specially designed 'gutters' to cope with it. However, their biggest threat is from animals, and some require extreme methods of defence, such as spines, camouflage, or poison. Some can move quickly to deter predators: the mimosa can fold its leaves instantly when touched, and the Venus flytrap eats insects by closing its leaves around its prey when triggered. Another carnivorous plant is the trumpet pitcher that snares insects when they fall into its tubular leaves. Attenborough visits Borneo to see the largest pitcher of them all, Nepenthes rajah, whose traps contain up to two litres of water and have been known to kill small rodents.
Series: The Private Life of Plants

Nature Microworlds: Galapagos

   2012    Nature
A visit to arguably the most famous archipelago on Earth, the Galapagos. It's home to a myriad of bizarre and unique creatures, endemic to these islands - but how did they get here and what is the key to these extraordinary islands that allows them to thrive? The programme reveals that this key holds not just the secret to life here, but also to how Darwin was able to leave with the ideas that would revolutionise biology.

Who Will We Be

   2015    Medicine
In ‘Who will we be?’ Dr. David Eagleman journeys into the future, and asks what’s next for the human brain, and for our species. We stand at a major turning point, one where we might take control of our own development. We face a future of uncharted possibilities in which our relationship with our own body, our relationship with the world, the very basic nature of who we are is set to be transformed. For thousands of generations, humans have lived the same life cycle over and over. We are born, we control a fragile body, we experience a limited reality, and we die. But science and technology are giving us tools to transcend that evolutionary story. Our brains don't have to remain as we have inherited them. We are capable of extending our reality, of inhabiting new bodies, and possibly shedding our physical forms altogether. And we are discovering the tools to shape our own destiny. Who we become is up to us.
Series: The Brain with David Eagleman
History of the Eagles
History of the Eagles

   2013    History
Planet Earth
Planet Earth

   2007    Nature
Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich
Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich

   2020    History
Reel Rock
Reel Rock

   2014    Culture
Sonic Highways
Sonic Highways

   2014    Art
The Private Life of Plants
The Private Life of Plants

   1994    Nature
The Universe
The Universe

   2010    Science
Out of the Cradle
Out of the Cradle

   2019    History