Next Episode of Horizon is
Season 2017 / Episode 12 and airs on 29 August 2017 21:00
Horizon tells amazing science stories, unravels mysteries and reveals worlds you've never seen before.
This episode tells the story of how one Russian internet millionaire is turing to cutting-edge science to try to unlock the secret of living forever.
The story of an extraordinary scientific adventure - the attempt to control gravity. For centuries, the precise workings of gravity have confounded the greatest scientific minds, and the idea of controlling gravity has been seen as little more than a fanciful dream. Yet in the mid 1990s, UK defence manufacturer BAE Systems began a groundbreaking project code-named Greenglow, which set about turning science fiction into reality. On the other side of the Atlantic, Nasa was simultaneously running its own Breakthrough Propulsion Physics Project. It was concerned with potential space applications of new physics, including concepts like 'faster-than-light travel' and 'warp drives'. Horizon explores science's long-standing obsession with the idea of gravity control. It looks at recent breakthroughs in the search for loopholes in conventional physics and examines how the groundwork carried out by Project Greenglow has helped change our understanding of the universe.
The effects of dark energy were discovered in 1998 but physicists still don't know what it is. Worse, its very existence calls into question Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity - the cornerstone of modern physics. The hunt for the identity of dark energy is on. Experiments on earth and in space generate data that might provide a clue, but there are also hopes that another Einstein might emerge - someone who can write a new theory explaining the mystery of the dark energy.
The oceans define the earth. They are crucial to life and we used to think that they were unique to our blue planet. But we were wrong.
It has recently been discovered that there are oceans all over our solarsystem and they are very similar to our own. And now scientists are going on an epic journey in search of new life in places that never seemed possible. Nasa is even planning to dive to the depths of a strange, distant ocean in a remarkable submarine.
Horizon discovers that the hunt for oceans in space is marking the dawn of a new era in the search for alien life.
The story of how our solar system will be transformed by the aging sun before coming to a spectacular end in about eight billion years. Astronomers can peer into the far future to predict how it will happen by analysing distant galaxies, stars and even planets in their final moments. In this film, Horizon brings these predictions to life in a peaceful midwestern town that has a giant scale model of the solar system spread out all over the city. As it ages, the sun will bloat into a red giant star, swallowing planets... as well as half the town. The fate of the Earth itself hangs in the balance. How will the solar system end?
Liz Bonnin presents a controversial and provocative episode of Horizon, exploring how and why zoos keep animals, and whether they need to change to keep up with modern science, or ultimately be consigned to history. Should zoos cull their animals to manage populations? Liz travels to Copenhagen Zoo to witness their culling process first hand. They think it is a natural part of zoo keeping that is often swept under the carpet. Should some animals never be kept in captivity? In a world exclusive, Liz visits SeaWorld in Florida and asks if captivity drove one of their orcas to kill his trainer. But could zoos be the answer to conserving endangered species? Liz meets one of the last surviving northern white rhinos and discovers the future of this species now lies in a multi-million dollar programme to engineer them for stem cells. Veteran conservation scientist Dr Sarah Bexel tells Liz the science of captive breeding is giving humanity false hope.
Mathematician Dr Hannah Fry uses Dr Xand Van Tulleken as her guinea pig to test whether the algorithms that dating sites use to match people actually work. While Hannah builds a dating site, Xand meets the scientists investigating online dating - and learns what pictures to use and what to write in his profile. He tries out a 'bot' that has automated a swiping app and has an MRI scan to find out whether his brain is equipped for love. 50 members of the public take part in some mini experiments at a date night - and Xand goes on various dates to test whether the algorithm is better than him choosing randomly.
BBC weatherman Peter Gibbs makes an emotional return to Antarctica, years after he lived and worked at the British Antarctic Survey's Halley Research Station. During his time, the station was key to the discovery of the ozone hole, and upon his return, Peter is delighted to see the cutting-edge science being done at Halley today.
Horizon investigates a new era of Alzheimer's research, which is bringing hope to millions across the world. New scanning and gene technology is allowing scientists to identify the disease at its earliest stages, often 15 years before symptoms appear. A series of new drugs trials in Colombia, the USA and Europe are showing startling success in reducing beta amyloid, the protein which is a hallmark of the disease. It is becoming clear that changes in lifestyle can prevent the development of the disease. A new system inside the brain has been discovered which clears amyloid when we are in deep sleep, but allows it to accumulate if we don't sleep well. The programme reveals that for sufferers in the early stages of the disease, brain connections can be strengthened and even replaced by absorbing enough of the right nutrients. In an ageing world, where the biggest risk of developing Alzheimer's is old age, these scientific breakthroughs are bringing hope where once there was despair.
Michael Mosley investigates the dramatic rise in e-cigarettes. They are everywhere these days, but what does the latest scientific research on them reveal? Michael reveals what e-cigarettes are really doing to your health. Are they really better for you than cigarettes? What is actually in them? Is passive vapour harmful? And can they really stop you from smoking? Michael meets some of the scientists around the world studying them, asks a group of volunteers to try to give up smoking regular cigarettes using them, and even takes up 'vaping' himself, smoking an e-cigarette every day for a month to see the effects on his own health - no easy task for such a committed non-smoker.
Dr Xand van Tulleken investigates the world of performance-enhancing drugs - from the athletes seeking the rewards of fame, glory and lucrative sponsorship deals to the hundreds of thousands of people in the UK now regularly taking anabolic steroids to look good and buff up. What are these drugs? What do they do to the body? And is it worth it? Xand's investigation reveals the extraordinary gamble dopers take with their health. Long-term effects include kidney failure, cognitive impairment and testicular shrinkage and Xand witnesses how users are self-experimenting with drugs that have not yet been approved for human use. Horizon uncovers the new frontier of doping, from new molecules to gene therapy - where the genes that control muscle growth are altered. These new methods could be completely undetectable by the doping authorities. Finally, and with the help of his twin brother Chris, Xand discovers the legal ways some athletes try to gain the edge.
With exclusive behind-the-scenes access, Horizon follows the highs and lows of an extraordinary story in particle physics. In June 2015, teams at CERN started running the large hadron collider at the highest energy ever. Rumours quickly emerged that they were on the brink of a huge discovery. A mysterious bump in some data suggested a first glimpse of a brand new particle that could change our understanding of how the universe works. A new particle could hint at extra dimensions and help us understand the very beginning of the universe - but first the team has to find it. Horizon follows the scientists as they hunt for the elusive signals that would prove if there is a new particle or if it is just noise from their machine.
The acerbically witty and severely facially disfigured broadcaster Adam Pearson presents a personal film about genetics. He and his twin brother Neil are genetically identical and both share the same genetic disease, Neurofibromatosis 1 (Nf1) - yet they are completely different. Adam's face is covered with growths, whereas Neil looks completely normal. Neil has short term memory loss, whereas Adam is razor sharp.
How can the same genetic disease affect identical twins so differently?
Adam is on the cusp of a successful film and television career, but the disease has left tumours on his face that are growing out of control and he could lose his sight. For years, everyone thought Adam's brother Neil had escaped symptoms, but today his life is governed by epilepsy and a mysterious memory loss that suddenly came on during his teens.
Determined to save their future, Adam tries to find out why the disease affects the twins so differently and see if there is anything he can do to stop it from tearing their lives apart.
Comedian Jimmy Carr takes over Horizon for this one-off special programme, produced as part of BBC2's sitcom season. Jimmy turns venerable documentary strand Horizon into a chat show, with eminent laughter scientists as guests and a studio audience to use as guinea pigs. Jimmy and his guests try to get to the bottom of what laughter is, why we enjoy it so much and what, if anything, it has to do with comedy. Between them, and with the help of contributions from other scientists on film, Jimmy and guests discover that laughter is much older than our species, and may well have contributed to making us human. With professors Sophie Scott, Robin Dunbar and Peter McGraw.
Alice Roberts explores the latest discoveries in the study of human origins, revealing the transformation that has been brought about in this field by genetics. Traditional paleo-anthropology, based on fossils, is being transformed by advanced genome sequencing techniques. We now know that there were at least four other distinct species of human on the planet at the same time as us - some of them identified from astonishingly well-preserved DNA extracted from 50,000-year-old bones, others hinted at by archaic sections of DNA hidden in our modern genome. What's more, we now know that our ancestors met and interacted with these other humans, in ways that still have ramifications today. Alice uses these revelations to update our picture of the human family tree.
We love talking about the weather - is it too hot or too cold, too wet or too windy? It's a national obsession. Now scientists have started looking to the heavens and wondering what the weather might be like on other planets. Today, we are witnessing the birth of extra-terrestrial meteorology, as technology is allowing astronomers to study other planets like never before. They began with our solar system, sending spacecraft to explore its furthest reaches, and now the latest telescopes are enabling astronomers to study planets beyond our solar system.
Our exploration of the universe is revealing alien worlds with weather stranger than anyone could ever have imagined - we've discovered gigantic storm systems that can encircle entire planets, supersonic winds, extreme temperatures and bizarre forms of rain. On some planets, the temperatures are so hot that the clouds and rain are believed to be made of liquid lava droplets, and on other planets it is thought to rain precious stones like diamonds and rubies.
We thought we had extreme weather on Earth, but it turns out that it is nothing compared to what's out there. The search for the weirdest weather in the universe is only just beginning.
Dr Giles Yeo investigates the latest diet craze and social media sensation - clean eating. In a television first, Giles cooks with Ella Mills, the Instagram entrepreneur behind Deliciously Ella, one of the most popular brands associated with clean eating, and examines how far her plant-based cooking is based on science. Giles sifts through the claims of the Hemsley sisters, who advocate not just gluten-free but grain-free cooking, and Natasha Corrett, who popularises alkaline eating through her Honestly Healthy brand. In America, Giles reveals the key alternative health figures whose food philosophies are influencing the new gurus of clean. He discovers that when it comes to their promises about food and our health, all is not always what it appears to be. Inside a Californian ranch where cancer patients have been treated with alkaline food, Giles sees for himself what can happen when pseudoscience is taken to a shocking extreme.
The Horizon team have gathered together a team of scientists and doctors to investigate the incredible, natural material that is growing out of our heads - our hair. With access to the research laboratories of some of the world's leading hair care companies, including L'Oreal and ghd, the team explore the latest cutting-edge research and technology designed to push the boundaries of hair and hair care.
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