Top Science Stories 2021 • 2021

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Brings viewers all the amazing news-breaking advances in science in technology from 2021. Startling discoveries from around the globe, from a prehistoric nursery to a covid treatment breakthrough. Join us for an exclusive hyper-tour from earth to space.

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Indestructible

Glass so strong you can jump on it, rubber so tough it protects a clay pot dropped from 50 feet, endless varieties of plastic. Scientists and engineers have created virtually indestructible versions of common materials by manipulating the chains of interlocking atoms that give them strength—but have they made them too tough? Host David Pogue explores the fantastic chemistry behind the everyday.

S1E1Beyond the Elements • 2020 • Science

Surveillance

Ever feel like you're being watched? Well, you may be right. Latif explores the sometimes cute, often creepy ways surveillance pervades our lives.

S1E1Connected - The Hidden Science of Everything • 2020 • Science

The Most Unknown

Dark matter. Microorganisms. Consciousness. Space-time. Distinct subjects -- yet parallel quests for knowledge.

2018 • Science

Avalanche: Making a Deadly Snowstorm

In March 2018 an international team of scientists gathered in a remote valley in the Canadian Rockies to conduct a unique experiment - to attempt to see into the heart of a massive avalanche to see if we can find ways to save lives in the future. Avalanches kill hundreds of people every year. Even in the UK 25 people have been killed by these forces of nature since the year 2000. But we know surprisingly little about them - why they happen or how they are able to produce destructive forces so powerful that they can flatten entire villages. Equally disturbing is the fact that climate change means that the pattern of avalanches is changing. They are occurring in places where they have never happened before. Finding out where might be in danger in the future is of vital importance. Answering all these questions could help save lives. The experiment attempts to provide those answers. The team of experts, gathered from all over the world, includes the programme's presenter Prof Danielle George. Her day job is studying space at Manchester University, but she is also a specialist in the design of experiments. She is even getting personally involved. As part of an experiment to test out safety equipment, Danielle puts on the latest breathing device intended to help you survive being caught in an avalanche. She then agrees to be buried under half a tonne of snow. The scientists hope to do what no one has ever managed before - to reveal the mysteries of an avalanche's destructive power by finding out what is going on at its very heart. Hitherto, our understanding of avalanches has been based on computer models - but these consistently underestimate the sheer power of these natural phenomena. To try and work out why, the scientists will conduct a range of cutting-edge tests, using the latest technology, including placing a car rigged with sensors right in the path of the avalanche. The plan is to set up the equipment and then unleash the avalanche by dropping explosives near the top of the slope. But the team are in a race against time. They have just three days to rig the mountain before the snow will come down the slope naturally. If they aren't ready in time, all their efforts will be wasted. Even worse, they are working in an active avalanche zone. For some scientists going out on the slopes to install their equipment means risking their lives. Interwoven with the main experiment are powerful and moving stories from survivors of these violent natural forces. We meet Casey George, whose two children were buried when an avalanche struck the small town of Missoula, Montana, completely out of the blue while they were playing. Their neighbour Fred Allendorf was inside his house when it was completely destroyed. The cataclysm claimed the life of his wife. Missoula had never been struck by an avalanche before. And no one could understand how a well-built house could be utterly demolished. The film meets British snowboarder Johno Verity, who was being filmed when an avalanche started right underneath him. His story provides clues as to what causes these disasters - a subtle change in the microscopic structure of snow deep beneath the surface. In a unique snow lab, where they can recreate different snow conditions, Danielle discovers exactly how snow can be transformed from something light and fluffy into a potential killer. And there is Elyse Saugstad, an expert skier who, despite years of experience, was caught unawares in an avalanche that killed three of her friends. All these stories emphasise just how unpredictable and devastating these events can be and why we need to understand and so be able to predict them better. In addition to being buried, Danielle George conducts another experiment into equipment that may help skiers survive being caught in an avalanche. Your chances of living rapidly diminish if you are buried for more than 15 minutes. She conducts a test with an inflatable airbag that is designed to keep you near the surface of an avalanche, making you easier to find. After two intense days of work by the scientific team, the experiment ends with over 1,000 tonnes of snow rushing down the mountainside. It triggers a whole host of censors and observational equipment. There is then a tense wait for results. But when they come, they are revealing. It seems that the team may have uncovered the first clues to an avalanche's unexplained power. If so, this could one day lead to significant breakthroughs in how we build houses and infrastructure that may lie in an avalanche's path and in how we devise safety equipment for skiers. It could be that this experiment will help save lives in the future.

2018 • Science

Ice Station Antarctica

Antarctica is the last great wilderness. It's the coldest, windiest, driest and most isolated place on Earth. And every winter, for over three months of the year, the sun never rises. But it's also home to the British Antarctic Survey's Halley Research Station. A veteran of living and working at Halley in the early eighties, BBC weatherman Peter Gibbs makes an emotional return to the place he once called home. A place that, during his time, was key to the discovery of the ozone hole. The journey starts with an arduous 12-day, 3000-mile voyage onboard the RRS Ernest Shackleton. Once on the ice shelf, Peter is delighted to finally arrive at the futuristic research station and marvels at the cutting edge science being done at Halley today. From vital discoveries about how our lives are vulnerable to the sun's activities, to studying interplanetary travel and the threat of man-made climate change. But Peter's journey is also something of a rescue mission. The research station's home is a floating ice shelf that constantly moves and cracks, and the ice shelf has developed a chasm that could cast Halley adrift on a massive iceberg.

Horizon • 2016 • Science

Can We Cheat Death?

Death is life's greatest certainty. But that may be about to change. Scientists have discovered an immortal animal that may hold the secret of endless regeneration. They're on the brink of editing our DNA so that we can cure death like a disease. Or is dying necessary for the survival of our species?

S8E02Through the Wormhole • 2017 • Science