A group of brave individuals risk their lives to save the last of the world's mountain gorillas; in the midst of renewed civil war and a scramble for Congo's natural resources." Virunga National Park in the Congo is a place of unique natural beauty. It is the home to a plethora of wonderful animals and vegetation but as is so often the way, it has several serious problems that threaten it. It's the location of human violence, corruption and exploitation. The disasters that specifically loom are two different groups, the M23 and SOCO International. The former are a violent rebel force who engages in an ongoing civil war with the Congolese government and the latter are a British energy company who specialise in oil exploration. Both M23 and SOCO invade the park in their own ways and neither seems very interested in the laws that have been set up to protect the flora and fauna that exist there, far less the people who live there. It seems hardly surprising in the case of M23, as they are a paramilitary organisation who can hardly be expected to be concerned with such things but it is the more legitimate big business SOCO who seem more worrying if anything. We discover in fact that they have been involved in a bribery campaign, utilising M23 as enforcers. It's a very murky situation where big money walks all over an impoverished nation and disregards a natural space that they can see no value in in their pursuit of financial profit.
Dark energy - the mysterious force that is unexpectedly causing the universe's expansion to speed up. The effects of dark energy were discovered in 1998 but physicists still don't know what it is. Worse, its very existence calls into question Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity - the cornerstone of modern physics. The hunt for the identity of dark energy is on". Experiments on earth and in space generate data that might provide a clue, but there are also hopes that another Einstein might emerge - someone who can write a new theory explaining the mystery of the dark energy.
Iain Stewart investigates a new and controversial energy rush for the natural gas found deep underground. Getting it out of the ground involves hydraulic fracturing - or fracking. We travel to America to find to find out what it is, why it is a potential game changer and what we can learn from the US experience". Sometimes, this is right under the places people live in. He meets some of the people who have become rich from fracking as well as the communities worried about the risks. Director Jeff Wilkinson
Explore the latest science behind the headlines and the coolest scientific developments that impact our lives. Technology catapults to new heights in 2015, going faster and further than ever before. We have canvassed the world in search of the best and most fascinating science and tech stories of the year for 2015 YEAR IN SCI-TECH". This action-packed hour of fun and intrigue revisits the world’s first glimpse of Pluto and images of water on Mars while exploring what this all could mean for intelligent life in the universe – all while earthling’s inch closer to becoming actual space tourists. Throughout the hour, we revisit the year’s most amazing techological feats and scientific discoveries, including new and elusive animal species discovered deep under the ocean, as well as the hottest tech trends – from hover boards to driverless cars and trucks, and the newest advances in mind-blowing virtual reality.
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