The Ebola outbreak of 2014 almost brought the world to its knees, but this crisis has mobilized scientists and researchers, paving the way for new treatments and vaccines. From antibiotics and vaccines to computer programs that predict how viruses will spread, new lifesaving tools will be used to fight a wide range of viruses in the near future, including HIV, influenza, dengue fever, malaria, and a host of other killer diseases.
2015 • Health
Scientific advancements are challenging the concept of what it means to be human. Technology embedded in our bodies is fairly common: artificial limbs, pacemakers. But new research is taking us beyond replacement parts and into a new realm that is changing the nature of the human body and the human mind. Will the fusion of biology and technology change how we think, how we feel, how we experience the world?
2015 • Technology
After millennia of speculation about what goes on inside the human brain, we now have the tools to explore its hidden reaches. These tools are leading to research that may help those suffering from afflictions such as epilepsy and Alzheimer's disease. They are also shedding light on the mystery of consciousness and what makes us who we are.
2015 • Brain
In recent years, close study of the aging process has opened up new ways that could help us all live healthier for longer. Can we move beyond treating individual diseases, and instead treat the aging process itself? But would a longer life necessarily be a better life? A loose-knit group of researchers believe the real breakthrough is extending our health span - the period of life spent free of disease.
2015 • Health
We are surrounded by clean, raw energy waiting to be tapped - energy that could eventually replace fossil fuels. Finding new ways to harness the energy around us takes a rare breed of scientist-engineers: men and women with a combination of technical skill, imagination, and unwavering focus. If we act now, developments in energy production could avert disaster and usher in a new era of clean, safe energy.
2015 • Economics
California is on the brink of an apocalypse. The state faces a future of drought that will cost billions in lost farm revenue and thousands of jobs. But the challenges facing the state are not unique: All over the world, governments are struggling with bigger populations and a diminishing supply of freshwater. Innovators across the globe are seeking solutions in emergent technologies to prevent a planet-wide water crisis.
2015 • Environment
Only in the last 200 years have humans learned how to make things cold. Steven Johnson explains how ice entrepreneur Frederic Tudor made ice delivery one of the biggest export business in the U.S. and describes the place where Clarence Birdseye, the father of the frozen food industry, experienced his eureka moment. He also travels to Dubai to see how mastery of cold has led to penguins in the desert. From IVF to food, politics and Hollywood to human migration, the unsung heroes of cold have led the way.
The oceans are at the heart of the terrestrial climate machine. Without them, there is no life. However, they are subjected to significant changes: heating, acidification, pollution, a loss of biodiversity. In 2050, we will do all it takes to preserve them.
With 66 billion euros in revenue by the end of 2014, Google is the richest search engine company in the world and has become ubiquitous to the point of being used as a verb. Searching the net, sending messages via Gmail, getting around with Google maps, watching videos on YouTube.... By being ever present in our lives, Google has got to know a lot about us. But how much do we really know about Google? How did the big teenager become a giant octopus, data swallower who took the opportunity to sneak itself into so many practical and free services that have become a vital part of our lives? From France in English
2015 • Technology
In 1962, the British and French governments signed a historic agreement: they will produce the first passenger superstructure Concorde. Engineers will move the aeronautical engineering boundaries to fly the Atlantic Ocean in less than three and a half hours. In the midst of the Cold War, Concorde took part in the unrestrained race with Boeing 2707, a project initiated by J. Kennedy and Soviet Tupoljev 144. In the spring of 1969, Concorde successfully carried out the first pilot flight.
In the early years, air fields were more concerned with utility than comfort with the first passengers becoming used to enduring the elements as they walked out to their flight. As the popularity of air transport increased, cities recognized the need to provide better service to passengers, and airports grew in design, to become the hub of activity and convenience they are today.
Costing $150 billion, the International Space Station is the most expensive structure humans have ever built. In this episode, using the series' signature photo-real computer graphics, we take it apart to uncover the extraordinary innovations that enable it to support life in the deadly vacuum of space.