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Summer 2008 Broadcasts

Airs at 9pm on most PBS Stations
(Check local listings)

Dark Matter

June 25
Host and astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson examines new findings on dark matter, regaining lost memories, the art and science of digital forensics, and how a crowd can prove "smarter" than each of its individual members.


July 2
Explore genetic tests that can tell you your chances of developing diseases like diabetes and cancer, see how digital scans and clever algorithms can reveal counterfeit paintings, learn how artificial "trees" could someday help remove excess carbon from the atmosphere, and meet Pardis Sabeti, a geneticist by day and a rocker by night.


July 9
This broadcast looks at attempts to repair the Hubble Space Telescope, the discovery of our earliest primate ancestors, a dangerous bacterium that's making soldiers sick, and a profile of neurologist and cancer researcher Dr. Alfredo Quiñones-Hinojosa.

Bird Brains

July 16
Examine bird songs and what they tell us about language, learn how violent space weather causes the northern lights, see how structural engineers are developing "smart" bridges, and meet neuroboticist Yoky Matsuoka, who is developing a robotic hand that could one day be controlled by brain signals.

Stem Cells

July 23
Host Neil deGrasse Tyson explores the wonderful world of leeches, searches for intelligent alien life with SETI, examines a breakthrough that could allow for embryonic stem-cell research without the embryo, and goes deep-sea diving with marine-bioluminescence specialist Edith Widder.


July 30
Explore new discoveries about brain trauma, watch a tribute to the late "cancer warrior" Judah Folkman, follow the Phoenix mission to Mars, and delve into a mystery of truly mammoth proportions.


August 6
This broadcast looks at attempts to build a space elevator, how we age, a new technique for finding Maya ruins, and a profile of biologist Bonnie Bassler.

Mass Extinction

August 13
Host Neil deGrasse Tyson looks into mass extinction, the killer 1918 flu virus, high-tech ways to read ancient papyrus, and an MIT roboticist who designs sociable robots.

Doomsday Asteroid

August 20, 8pm
This broadcast investigates doomsday asteroids, the genetics behind overeating, the quest to create a new element, and an MIT roboticist who also writes award-winning fiction.


August 20
Learn how our lifestyles can change the way our genes work, examine a yet-to-be-broken code on a sculpture called Kryptos, see preserved dinosaur blood vessels, and meet cosmologist Arlie Petters.