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NOVA scienceNOW 2008 #5

NOVA scienceNOW 2008 #5

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Item Number:
56 min.
Closed Caption:
WGBH Boston Video
Grade Level:
7 - 12
From the award-winning producers of NOVA, NOVA scienceNOW brings its fast-paced, magazine-style approach to investigate what's happening on the very front lines of science. Go behind the scenes of today's most exciting science research with host Neil deGrasse Tyson, renowned astrophysicist and Director of the American Museum of Natural History's Hayden Planetarium. This episode of NOVA scienceNOW covers:

Leeches: Leeches have been bad-mouthed a lot. Notoriously overused for blood-letting in 19th-century medicine, they've orchestrated something of a comeback, and are today used when reattached fingers and toes become engorged with excess blood. You may learn more than you want to know about leeches, but you'll gain new respect for these fascinating little creatures and never use their name in vain again.

The Search for ET: In 1960 a curious astronomer named Frank Drake aimed a radio telescope at a couple of nearby stars and started listening. More than 40 years later we're still listening, and SETI—the search for extraterrestrial intelligence—has just expanded big time. The Allen Telescope Array, underwritten primarily by billionaire philanthropist Paul G. Allen, will eventually comprise 350 giant dish antennas, all working in unison to answer the question: Are we alone?

Stem Cells Breakthrough: NOVA scienceNOW explores an exciting and potentially revolutionary new development in the controversial subject of stem cell research. Japanese researcher Shinya Yamanaka has discovered how to take an ordinary skin cell from an adult, turn back its genetic clock, and transform it into the equivalent of an embryonic stem cell. Yamanaka calls these cells Induced Pluripotent Stem (iPS) cells, and their crucial feature is that they are created without embryos, thus bypassing a political and ethical stumbling block that has hampered research.

Profile—Edith Widder: Go for a deep-sea dive with a specialist in marine bioluminescence, the biochemical emission of light by ocean animals that can light up the murky depths to an astonishing degree. Doing some lighting of her own with an innovative camera system called "Eye in the Sea," Widder uses a wavelength of light invisible to sea creatures to catch them unawares; on its first test the "Eye" recorded a squid not yet known to science.

Special DVD features include: materials and activities for educators; a link to the NOVA scienceNOW Web site; segment selection; closed captions; and described video for the visually impaired.

For your STEM Curriculum Education needs.

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