This NOVA scienceNOW poses the question - What's the Next Big Thing? - and host Neil deGrasse Tyson tackles one of science's major challenges in each episode. He will guide us as he explores dramatic discoveries and the frontiers of research that connect each central, provocative mystery.
Program episodes include
Social Robots - Robots already build our cars and vacuum our floors. Will they one day be our companions, too? Engineers are designing robots with the social smarts to understand human feelings, learn from human teachers, carry on conversations, and even make jokes. But is a future full of robotic companions a delightful dream - or a lonely nightmare?
Robotic Cars - Will the car of the future be able to drive itself? At the GM Tech Center, engineers are testing two-wheeled, battery-powered cars called EN-Vs. Weighing under 500 kg and measuring about 1.5 meters in length, the tiny cars don't use up much energy or space. And they're smart, too! Using GPS, the EN-Vs can plan a route to their destination, and even talk to each other.
Detecting Earthquakes - On January 12, 2010, a devastating earthquake struck Haiti. Just two years earlier, the quake had been forecast with amazing accuracy. In exclusive coverage, NOVA scienceNOW accompanies a team of U.S. geologists into Haiti after the tragedy, trying to determine if more quakes are coming; then travels to California, where scientists are uncovering hints of massive destruction yet to come.
Smart Grid - How does electricity get to from its source to your light switch? Could a new Smart Grid could do the job better? Smart Grids support transient power sources like solar and wind, heading off devastating power outages and letting consumers make greener - and more economical - choices about how and when to power up.
Profile: Jay Keasling - Jay Keasling grew up isolated on his family's farm in Nebraska. But perseverance, a love of the outdoors, and an interest in engineering helped him become a pioneer in the cutting-edge field of synthetic biology. Now he's developing ""designer"" microbes, synthesizing the key drug for malaria at a fraction of the cost, and hoping to create new microbes that produce clean-burning fuels.
Descriptive Video for the Visually Impaired
Producer: Robe Imbriano, Terri Randall, Heeth Grantham
Production Year: 2011
Copyright Year: 2011
Director: Kirk Wolfinger, Robe Imbriano, Terri Randall
Host: Chad Cohen, Deborah Tong, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Kirk Wolfinger
Subtitle Language: English (SDH)
Audio Format: Stereo
Aspect Ratio: 16x9 Widescreen