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The Magic of Mushrooms

   2014    Science
Professor Richard Fortey delves into the fascinating and normally-hidden kingdom of fungi. From their spectacular birth, through their secretive underground life to their final explosive death, Richard reveals a remarkable world that few of us understand or even realise exists - yet all life on Earth depends on it. In a specially-built mushroom lab, with the help of mycologist Dr Patrick Hickey and some state-of-the-art technology, Richard brings to life the secret world of mushrooms as never seen before and reveals the spectacular abilities of fungi to break down waste and sustain new plant life, keeping our planet alive. Beyond the lab, Richard travels across Britain and beyond to show us the biggest, fastest and most deadly organisms on the planet - all of them fungi. He reveals their almost magical powers that have world-changing potential - opening up new frontiers in science, medicine and technology.

Memory Hackers

   2016    Medicine
Memory is the glue that binds our mental lives. Without it, we’d be prisoners of the present, unable to use the lessons of the past to change our future. From our first kiss to where we put our keys, memory represents who we are and how we learn and navigate the world. But how does it work? Neuroscientists using cutting-edge techniques are exploring the precise molecular mechanisms of memory". By studying a range of individuals ranging —from an 11-year-old whiz-kid who remembers every detail of his life to a woman who had memories implanted— scientists have uncovered a provocative idea. For much of human history, memory has been seen as a tape recorder that faithfully registers information and replays intact. But now, researchers are discovering that memory is far more malleable, always being written and rewritten, not just by us but by others. We are discovering the precise mechanisms that can explain and even control our memories. The question is— are we ready?

CyberWar Threat

   2015    Technology
The global cyberwar is heating up and the stakes are no longer limited to the virtual world of computers. Now, thanks in part to secret documents released by Edward Snowden, the true scale of the National Security Agency's scope and power is coming to light. Besides spending billions of dollars to ingest and analyze the worlds' electronic communications, the NSA has set out to dominate a new battlefield—cyberspace. We examine the science and technology behind cyber warfare and asks if we are already in the midst of a deadly new arms race". Already, highly sophisticated, stealthy computer programs such as the notorious Stuxnet worm can take over and even destroy the control systems that regulate everything from food factories to gas pipelines, power plants, and chemical facilities—even our cars. While the destruction of Iranian centrifuges may have delayed Iran’s bomb program and forestalled an Israeli attack, the attack has opened a Pandora's Box, and now America's own critical infrastructure is vulnerable to retaliation and attack. With leading defense experts and investigative journalists who have probed the murky realm of criminal and strategic hacking, NOVA examines the chilling new reality of cyberwar in which no nation or individual is safe from attack.

Stem Cell Universe with Stephen Hawking

   2014    Medicine
The use of embryonic stem cells has ignited fierce debate across the spiritual and political spectrum. But what if we could create manmade stem cells - or find super cells in adults that could forever replace embryonic cells and remove the controversy? Today, we are on the brink of a new era - an age where we may be able to cure our bodies of any illness. Stephen Hawking has spent his life exploring the mysteries of the cosmos, now there is another universe that fascinates him - the one hidden inside our bodies - our own personal galaxies of cells." Hawking takes us on a fascinating journey exploring what these wondrous and baffling mechanisms are capable of. He is joined by the scientists who are on the front lines of discovery in this field including Dr. Doris Taylor who is customizing a donor's heart with the recipient's stem cells - her goal is to revolutionize heart transplants, Dr. Paul Lu and Dr. Mark Tuszynski may have created a breakthrough that could cure paralysis, and Dr. Vincent Giampapa who believes that stem cells can be used to stem the tide of aging and create a fountain of youth.

Let there be Life

   2014    Science
Professor of physics Jim Al-Khalili investigates the most accurate and yet perplexing scientific theory ever - quantum physics, the perplexing theory of sub-atomic particles. Turning his attention to the world of nature, can quantum mechanics explain the greatest mysteries in biology? The European robin navigates using one of the most bizarre effects in physics - quantum entanglement, a process which seems to defy common sense. Jim finds that even the most personal of human experiences - our sense of smell - is touched by ethereal quantum vibrations. According to new experiments it seems that our quantum noses are listening to smells. Jim discovers that the most famous law of quantum physics - the uncertainty principle - is obeyed by plants and trees as they capture sunlight during the vital process of photosynthesis. Jim wonders if the strange laws of the sub-atomic world, which allow objects to tunnel through impassable barriers in defiance of common sense, could effect the mechanism by which living species evolve?
Series: The Secrets of Quantum Physics
Chemistry
Chemistry

   2010    Science
Catalyst
Catalyst

   2017    Science
Planet Earth
Planet Earth

   2007    Nature
The Nazis, A Warning From History
The Nazis, A Warning From History

   1997    History
The Climate Wars
The Climate Wars

      Nature
The Gene Code
The Gene Code

   2011    Science
Absolute Zero
Absolute Zero

   2007    Technology