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Nova scienceNOW: Where Did They Come From?

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PBS (Direct)

Host Neil deGrasse Tyson will tackle one of science's major challenges in each episode framed as a simple question that ordinary people wonder and worry about. Neil will guide US as he explores dramatic discoveries and the frontiers of research that connect each central provocative mystery. Episode includes: 1) ORIGINS OF LIFE - Scientists have long argued that billions of years ago life emerged on it's own - from the self-assembly of non-living matter but no knows exactly how. Now in landmark discovery chemist John Sutherland has created the conditions in which the building blocks of RNA - one of the key molecules of life and the probable precursor to DNA - assemble themselves naturally. 2) BIRTH OF THE SOLAR SYSTEM - Could the key to our solar system's existence be the epic explosion of an ancient supernova? Combining chemical evidence from meteorites with the latest computer simulations scientists show how nearly five billion years ago a supernova shock wave could have swept through a cloud of dust and gas and caused it to collapse eventually forming the sun and the planets. We also see amazing Hubble images of nebulae where the same cycle is happening today. 3) LICE AND THE HAIRLESS APE - Fossil hominid bones tell US a lot about human evolution but still leave many questions unanswered like when we lost our hair and started wearing clothes. Thankfully there's another source - even if it's kind of gross. Most people especially the parents of young children are sworn enemies of head lice but the creepy critters - who've been sucking our blood for millions of years - are suddenly proving their value. Their DNA turns out to hold a treasure trove of clues about our evolution. 4) PROFILE: ANDRE FENTON - Can a simple injection erase a painful memory? Andre Fenton (SUNY Downstate) who grew up in Guyana South America says it can. But he isn't in the business of wiping out personal histories. He hopes that his work can help people struggling with dementia and Alzheimer's and one day illuminate the biological root of memory itself.

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Director: Andr Fenton
Director: Joshua Seftel
Director: Mark Marabella
Director: Michael Bicks
Producer: Jesse Sweet
Producer: Joshua Seftel
Producer: Mark Marabella
Producer: Michael Bicks
Producer: Vincent Liota

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Nova scienceNOW: Where Did They Come From? |