Season 12, Episode 9 Body Building

First Aired: May 28, 2002

This episode explores what host Alan Alda calls “the new marriage of biology and engineering” in repairing and replacing damaged body parts. Among the advances: mechanical hearts; functional electrical stimulation for people with spinal-cord injuries; and a bioreactor that functions like a liver (“It's not just chipped liver,” quips MIT scientist Linda Griffith). Then there's stem-cell research (some using cells from unfertilized eggs). It's promising, Alda says, because “if we just provide the right conditions, stem cells will do their thing.”

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  • Premise: Science, technology and nature are examined with insight, humor and an eye on the practical, with smartly paced reports on such subjects as the big-bang theory, robots, the relationship between stress and illness, and whether we are alone in the universe.… (more)

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