Nova scienceNow

2005, TV Show

Full Episodes(21)

Latest Episode: What Will the Future Be Like?

Nov 14, 2012 Season 6 Episode 6 watch on (Paid)

Mobile phones that read your mind? Video games that can cure cancer? Wearable robots that give you the strength of Iron Man? David Pogue predicts which technologies will transform our daily lives. These advancements are already taking shape in laboratories around the world — and gadgets that once were purely science fiction are on the verge of becoming as common as the iPhones and Androids Pogue reviews every day.

Episode 8

Sep 01, 2009 Season 4 Episode 8

We spend about one third of our lives sleeping. Scientists do not know exactly why, but evidence is building that sleep plays a crucial role in strengthening memories and facilitating learning, not just in humans, but in all animals; One of our early ancestors may have been a tree climbing creature the size of a mouse. If University of Florida paleontologist Jonathan Bloch is correct, we may have to downsize our image of what it means to be a primate, the biological order that includes humans, apes, monkeys, and comparable mammals. NOVA scienceNOW goes into the field with Bloch to search for fossil remains of our missing relatives from the shadowy period after the catastrophe that doomed the dinosaurs; Some of the most dramatic earthquakes to strike North America have not been in California or Alaska, but in the heart of the country, an area centered on New Madrid, Missouri. In 1811 and 1812, a powerful string of earthquakes struck New Madrid with such force that they shifted the course of the Mississippi river and created a new lake, the Reelfoot Lake, in Tennessee. The quakes were felt in Canada, and rang church bells in Boston. But were these earthquakes freak events, or could another chain of quakes strike near New Madrid? Profile of Sang-Mook Lee, Assistant Professor of Marine Geology and Geophysics at Seoul National University, is paralyzed from the neck down. But this has not slowed him down, he continues to teach and focus on his work on tectonic plates and the formation of the worlds oceans.
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Episode 7

Aug 25, 2009 Season 4 Episode 7

The repair mission for the Hubble space telescope, as astronauts try to fix crucial equipment that was not designed to be repaired in orbit; common backyard birds with a dark secret, and a clue that might unravel the most brutal reign of terror in the avian world; a profile of neurosurgeon Alfredo Quinones-Hinojosa; and studies on the brain of an epileptic to try to understand more about the link between brain structure and memory.
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Algae Fuel

Aug 18, 2009 Season 4 Episode 6

The implications of the personal genetic profile; a visit to a Texas algae farm; a journey deep beneath the Arctic Ocean; a profile of roboticist Yoky Matsuoka.
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Episode 5

Jul 28, 2009 Season 4 Episode 5

Moon Smasher: Tag along with a team of scientists at NASA who will smash two SUV-sized rockets onto the lunar surface and unleash a debris cloud to study with LCROSS (Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite). The data could provide the key to understanding how to build a permanent base on the moon, accelerating a new race to the moon. / Secrets in the Salt: In 2008, in a tunnel deep below the desert near Roswell, New Mexico, microbiologist Jack Griffith made a phenomenal discovery: the oldest known organic molecules on earth. A year later, Griffith will push the hunt for the earliest macromolecules ever further as he searches in 400 million year old salt deposits below Detroit City. / Bird Brains: Take a second look at what the songs of zebra finches can tell us about the human evolution of language. It turns out the way a finch learns to sing is very similar to how babies learn to speak. The similarity between birdsong and human speech and the evolution of human language may all be linked to an intriguing gene called FOXP2, shared by a wide range of creatures. / Profile-Lonnie Thompson: A recent winner of the prestigious National Medal of Science, Thompson has been drilling ice cores at high elevations in the tropics since 1976. Why the tropics? Many fellow scientists were skeptical until Thompson showed that such cores preserve a detailed, millennia-old record of climate shifts in the most populous regions of the world.
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Episode 4

Jul 21, 2009 Season 4 Episode 4

The Science of Picky Eaters: Neil deGrasse Tyson sets out to find out more about the science behind our sense of taste and discovers that you can't understand taste without also getting into smell. Just when he thinks he's got it, HHMI scientist Bob Margolskee throws him a curve ball: receptors on taste cells are turning up in parts of the body no one ever imagined finding them! / Capturing Carbon: Can an eighth grader's science fair project tackle rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere? Claire Lackner's father Klaus, a renowned scientist at Columbia University, thought so when he saw how Claire used an aquarium pump to capture carbon dioxide in the air. A decade later, Dr. Lackner has helped form a green company that is testing a product inspired by his daughter's vision. / Smart Sea Lions and Talking Walruses: Sea lions and walruses are often dismissed as circus clowns, but new evidence shows that these animals are remarkably intelligent. Scientists have found sea lions to be capable of higher order reasoning that few other animals have demonstrated, and studies of walrus and sea lion vocal abilities are also shedding light on the evolutionary roots of human language. / Profile-Sangeeta Bhatia: Sangeeta Bhatia comes from a long line of successful women. Her aunt in India went to medical school and her mother was the first woman in India to receive an MBA. Now with her own PhD in Medical Engineering, and an MD, Bhatia is a tissue engineer at MIT with a focus on the liver and cancer treatment, and she's started an outreach program to get young girls into labs wearing space suits, working with lasers, and loving science.
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Episode 3

Jul 14, 2009 Season 4 Episode 3

Marathon Mouse: After studying mice his team managed to genetically alter for heightened endurance, Ron Evans has found two drugs that have the same effect as gene modification. Now that both drugs have been approved by the FDA for other uses, will their promise-helping those with little to no muscle mass, such as kids with muscular dystrophy or the frail elderly, to build strength and endurance-be overshadowed by potential athlete abuse? / Dinosaur Plague: Renowned paleontologist George Poinar-whose study of extinct creatures exquisitely preserved in amber partly inspired Jurassic Park-has announced his discovery of multiple clues to parasitic pandemics that could have been just as instrumental in wiping out the dinosaurs as the hypothesized asteroid impact. / Profile-Franklin Chang-Diaz: The son a Spanish Costa Rican mother and a Chinese and Costa Rican father, Chang-Diaz became the first astronaut who was a naturalized citizen. He also holds the record for the most space flights-and he's designed a revolutionary new rocket that just might power a new generation of space explorers. / Space Storms: The northern lights are glorious, but what causes them? The most energetic displays are associated with violent space weather-the energetic interaction of radiation, magnetic fields, and charged particles from the sun-which could catastrophically disrupt the space-based technologies on which we increasingly rely. And the pressure is on-there's a storm brewing in the next few years, marking the peak in the Sun's 11-year cycle of maximum activity.
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Episode 2

Jul 07, 2009 Season 4 Episode 2

Hunt for Alien Earths: NOVA scienceNOW visits astronomers on the brink of finding another Earth in our galaxy with a new planet-hunting machine that will soon be operational: the Kepler telescope. This and other ingenious new techniques could finally answer the age-old question: Are we alone? / Art Authentication: Try once more to spot the fake in NOVA scienceNOW's classic challenge to three different computer teams: find the meticulously forged van Gogh in a group that includes five genuine works by the artist. Can computers really be used to identify which works are really his? / Profile-Maydianne Andrade: Some arachnophobes might see Maydianne Andrade's career as a horror film (her favorite kind), but Andrade can't imagine how she would spend her days and nights if not studying the cannibalistic behavior of the Australian redback spider. And she believes the redback can teach us about how sexual selection, social interactions, and ecological conditions interact to affect the evolution of mating systems. / Autism Genes: Rudy Tanzi, a pioneer in discovering genes for Alzheimer's disease, is turning his attention to autism. Using gene chips that can scan up to a million genetic markers across the entire human genome, Tanzi and others are on the hunt for the genetic key to a heartbreaking disease that seems to come out of nowhere, and yet affects millions of children and their families.
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Episode 1

Jun 30, 2009 Season 4 Episode 1

Diamond Factory: A blindfolded Tyson is led to a top-secret "diamond farm" to investigate breakthroughs in the engineering of artificial diamonds. Indistinguishable from the real thing, these glittering creations may one day adorn more than ring fingers. They could replace silicon transistors in everything from super-computers to high-speed electric trains. / Anthrax Investigation: Using an ingenious technique that highlights key mutations in a strain of anthrax, researchers can use genetic "fingerprinting" to trace the source of the strain. This revolutionary technique also has the potential to find the source microbe responsible for anything from food-borne poisonings to deadly health epidemics. / Auto-Tune: NOVA scienceNOW talks to the engineers behind Auto-Tune, the pitch correction software that turns sour notes into sweet ones and which is used by everyone from Madonna to Snoop Dogg. But can Auto-Tune turn host Neil deGrasse Tyson into a singing star? / Profile-Luis von Ahn: From growing up in Guatemala, where his family owned a candy factory, human computation expert Luis von Ahn, 30, went on to become a professor of computer science at Carnegie Mellon University, where he works to combine the best skills of both humans and computers, capitalizing on the countless hours that humans waste at computers, furthering the intelligence of computers, and hopefully benefiting humankind.
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