Category “Science”

Phages: The Virus that Cures

With Multidrug-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) threatening to infect huge numbers of patients who make even short trips to the hospital, and the gradual increase in the number of bacteria that are resistant to all known antibiotics, scientists are turning to new ways to conquer the killer bugs. The emergence of dangerous antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria is most prevalent in the USA where antibiotics are available over the counter and are often mishandled. The answers to these problems may be locked in the science of the former Soviet Union, and whether this potential can be...

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Pipe Down

Pipe Down is an hour long documentary that tells the story of a rural community in Co. Mayo in Ireland, who have been battling the oil giant Shell over their plans to put a dangerous raw gas pipeline through the community and complete construction of a gas processing terminal that is a threat to their delicate environment. The documentary features interviews with Colin Joyce of Shell Ireland; Willie Corduff, a local farmer & one of the Rossport Five; Pat O'Donnell, a local fisherman; Gerry Coyle, a County Councillor for the area (Fine Gael); Eoin O'Leidhin & Diane Amber, activists with the...

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Playing God

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...

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Predators in Your Backyard

Across the world scientists are releasing predators, nature’s ultimate killers, close to where people live. In Florida, a new population of panthers, feared as ambush predators, have been released near to the busy town of Naples. In the Italian Alps, bears have been reintroduced after they became virtually extinct, and now try to get into people’s homes in the middle of the night. And in Yellowstone National Park, wolves have been brought back 70 years after they were exterminated. Horizon meets the scientists behind this radical scheme, and the people who now have to share their...

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Predators: The Ultimate Killing Machines

Predators, a series of six half-hour films, uses miniaturized cameras mounted on the hunters themselves to show the chase from their perspective. The series also uses action replays and computer animations, allowing it to analyze the tactics of predator and prey from every angle. It shows that both are often evenly matched, with no room on either side for the slightest mistake. One of the series producers, David Wallace, explained what his team had set out to do. Explosive moment. “In a standard natural history series, we take the life cycle of an animal or a place and beam the viewer...

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Professor Brian Cox: A Night with the Stars

For one night only, Professor Brian Cox goes unplugged in a specially recorded programme from the lecture theatre of the Royal Institution of Great Britain. In his own inimitable style, Brian takes an audience of famous faces, scientists and members of the public on a journey through some of the most challenging concepts in physics. With the help of Jonathan Ross, Simon Pegg, Sarah Millican and James May, Brian shows how diamonds – the hardest material in nature – are made up of nothingness; how things can be in an infinite number of places at once; why everything we see or touch in...

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Project Poltergeist

This is the story of two genuine scientific heroes. For forty years, John Bahcall and Ray Davis were engaged in a single extraordinary experiment - to find out why the Sun shines. In the end they would triumph. Davis would win the Nobel Prize and, thanks to their work, a whole new theory about how the universe is put together may have to be created. At the heart of this story is a tiny, utterly mysterious thing called a neutrino. Trillions of them pass through your body every second, touching nothing, leaving no trace. Yet neutrinos are one of a handful of fundamental particles in the...

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PT 3/3 Nerds 2.0.1: A Brief History of the Internet

Wiring the World Nerds 2.0.1: A Brief History of the Internet (1998) is a three-hour documentary film written and hosted by Mark Stephens under the pseudonym Robert X. Cringely and produced by Oregon Public Broadcasting for PBS. A sequel to Triumph of the Nerds, Nerds 2.0.1 documents the development of ARPANET, the Internet, the World Wide Web and the dot-com bubble of the mid and late 1990s. It was broadcast two years prior to the collapse of the dot-com bubble. The documentary was later turned into a book of the same title by series director Stephen...

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Pure Science Specials: Magnetic Storm

There is a region of our planet that no human being has ever visited, no one has ever seen this place, yet what happens here effects everyone of us every day of our lives. Its 2000 miles beneath our feet, the earths molten core. Here a vast ocean of liquid iron generates an invisible forcefield, the earths magnetic field. It surrounds our entire planet cocooning us from the dangers of space, but now scientists have made an alarming discover, there is a storm brewing deep within the earth, a storm which could destroy our vital magnetic...

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