Science and Nature

NOVA

NOVA brings you stories from the frontlines of science and engineering, answering the big questions of today and tomorrow, from how our ancestors lived, to whether parallel universes exist, to how technology will transform our lives. Visit the official website to watch full-length documentaries, or explore our world through short-form video, on our digital publication NOVA Next.

Bat Superpowers

53m 23s

Bats have been implicated in deadly epidemics such as COVID-19 and Ebola, yet scientists are discovering evidence that they may hold a key to a longer and healthier life. From caves in Thailand and Texas to labs around the globe, NOVA meets the scientists who are decoding the superpowers of the bat.

Episodes

  • Search Engine Breakdown: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Search Engine Breakdown

    S48 E101 - 20m 37s

    Why does a widely used internet search engine deliver results that can be blatantly racist and sexist? Two leading information researchers investigate their discoveries of hidden biases in the search technology we rely on every day.

  • Bat Superpowers: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Bat Superpowers

    S48 E10 - 53m 23s

    Bats have been implicated in deadly epidemics such as COVID-19 and Ebola, yet scientists are discovering evidence that they may hold a key to a longer and healthier life. From caves in Thailand and Texas to labs around the globe, NOVA meets the scientists who are decoding the superpowers of the bat.

  • Ship That Changed the World: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Ship That Changed the World

    S48 E9 - 53m 12s

    The Age of Exploration and Europe’s imperial colonization of far-off lands was launched by a revolution in ship design that made long-distance voyages practical. A newly discovered 500-year-old wreck offers vital clues to this momentous innovation.

  • Great Electric Airplane Race: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Great Electric Airplane Race

    S48 E7 - 53m 6s

    Can new emission-free electric planes replace our polluting airliners and revolutionize personal transportation in our cities? NOVA takes a ride in some quiet, energy-efficient, prototypes that are vying for success as electric flight takes off.

  • Hindenburg: The New Evidence: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Hindenburg: The New Evidence

    S48 E6 - 53m 13s

    80 years after the world’s largest airship ignited in a giant fireball, newly discovered footage sparks a reinvestigation of what exactly caused the Hindenburg disaster.

  • Fighting for Fertility: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Fighting for Fertility

    S48 E5 - 53m 6s

    What causes infertility, and how can assisted reproductive technologies help? Follow the journeys of people navigating fertility challenges from structural inequalities and racism to falling sperm counts, egg freezing, and IVF.

  • Reef Rescue: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Reef Rescue

    S48 E4 - 53m 21s

    If oceans continue to warm at the current pace, coral reefs could be wiped out by the end of the century. But scientists from around the globe are rushing to help corals adapt to a changing climate through assisted evolution.

  • Picture a Scientist: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Picture a Scientist

    S48 E3 - 1h 33m

    Women make up less than a quarter of STEM professionals in the United States, and numbers are even lower for women of color. But a growing group of researchers is exposing longstanding discrimination and making science more inclusive.

  • Looking for Life on Mars: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Looking for Life on Mars

    S48 E2 - 53m 46s

    NASA launches its most ambitious hunt for traces of life on Mars, landing a car-sized rover in a rocky, ancient river delta. The rover will stow samples for possible return to Earth and test technology that may pave the way for human travel to Mars.

  • Secrets in our DNA: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Secrets in our DNA

    S48 E1 - 53m 26s

    Some 30 million Americans have sent their DNA to be analyzed by companies like 23andMe and AncestryDNA. But what happens once the sample is in the hands of testing companies, and how accurate are their results? NOVA explores the power of genetic data to reveal family connections, ancestry, and health risks—and even solve criminal cold cases.

Extras + Features

  • Why NASA is Back on Mars: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Why NASA is Back on Mars

    S48 E2 - 5m 10s

    This NASA rover landed on Mars, more than 130 million miles from Earth. It’s task? To continue the search for past life on the red planet.

  • This NASA Scientist Helps Prevent Mars from Contamination: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    This NASA Scientist Helps Prevent Mars from Contamination

    S48 E2 - 4m 58s

    The spacecraft has to be extremely clean. The entire spacecraft—that includes the rover, the heat shield, the descent stage, and back shell—must contain less than 500,000 bacterial endospores, or spores. Just to give you an idea, a teaspoon of seawater has ten times more bacteria.

  • Secrets in our DNA Preview: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Secrets in our DNA Preview

    S48 E1 - 27s

    Some 30 million Americans have sent their DNA to be analyzed by companies like 23andMe and AncestryDNA. But what happens once the sample is in the hands of testing companies, and how accurate are their results? NOVA explores the power of genetic data to reveal family connections, ancestry, and health risks—and even solve criminal cold cases.

  • Half Sisters Unite Thanks to DNA Testing: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Half Sisters Unite Thanks to DNA Testing

    S48 E1 - 4m 19s

    Half-sisters share their unlikely story of finding one another through genetic testing, and what they learned about their family history along the way.

  • How COVID-19 and Climate Change Affect Breathing: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    How COVID-19 and Climate Change Affect Breathing

    S48 - 4m 13s

    An ornithologist and conservationist shares how the coronavirus pandemic's effects on his ability to breathe has echoed the disproportionate effects of climate change on certain communities

  • How to Make Birdwatching More Inclusive: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    How to Make Birdwatching More Inclusive

    S48 - 3m 7s

    New York City Audubon's Christian Cooper shares stories of his early days as a birdwatcher, and offers suggestions on how to get involved in birding and make it more accessible in your community.

  • This University Monitors COVID-19 Through Saliva Testing: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    This University Monitors COVID-19 Through Saliva Testing

    S48 - 6m 53s

    One out of 50 COVID-19 tests in the U.S. are processed at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Here's how its researchers are tracking the spread of the coronavirus on campus, and how the University became a model of testing for other flagship universities.

  • The Science of Exercise—and Getting Back in the Game: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    The Science of Exercise—and Getting Back in the Game

    S48 - 30m 1s

    We’re stretching it out and exploring the science of exercise and—after more than a year of unexpected interruption—getting back in the game. Dr. Alok Patel checks in with an expert in exercise physiology and an Olympic athlete, biomechanist, and chiropractor.

Schedule

  • Image
    NOVA: TVSS: Banner-L1

    NOVA

    The Cannabis Question

    Wednesday
    Sep 29

    1 Hour

    A look at the risks posed by cannabis on the developing adolescent brain and the potential long-term health consequences of its use.
  • Image
    NOVA: TVSS: Banner-L1

    NOVA

    The Cannabis Question

    Wednesday
    Sep 29

    1 Hour

    A look at the risks posed by cannabis on the developing adolescent brain and the potential long-term health consequences of its use.
  • Image
    NOVA: TVSS: Banner-L1

    NOVA

    The Cannabis Question

    Thursday
    Sep 30

    1 Hour

    A look at the risks posed by cannabis on the developing adolescent brain and the potential long-term health consequences of its use.
  • Image
    NOVA: TVSS: Banner-L1

    NOVA

    The Cannabis Question

    Thursday
    Sep 30

    1 Hour

    A look at the risks posed by cannabis on the developing adolescent brain and the potential long-term health consequences of its use.
  • Image
    NOVA: TVSS: Banner-L1

    NOVA

    The Cannabis Question

    Thursday
    Sep 30

    1 Hour

    A look at the risks posed by cannabis on the developing adolescent brain and the potential long-term health consequences of its use.
  • Image
    NOVA: TVSS: Banner-L1

    NOVA

    The Cannabis Question

    Friday
    Oct 1

    1 Hour

    A look at the risks posed by cannabis on the developing adolescent brain and the potential long-term health consequences of its use.
  • Image
    NOVA: TVSS: Banner-L1

    NOVA

    The Cannabis Question

    Friday
    Oct 1

    1 Hour

    A look at the risks posed by cannabis on the developing adolescent brain and the potential long-term health consequences of its use.
  • Image
    NOVA: TVSS: Banner-L1

    NOVA

    The Cannabis Question

    Saturday
    Oct 2

    1 Hour

    A look at the risks posed by cannabis on the developing adolescent brain and the potential long-term health consequences of its use.
  • Image
    NOVA: TVSS: Banner-L1

    NOVA

    The Cannabis Question

    Sunday
    Oct 3

    1 Hour

    A look at the risks posed by cannabis on the developing adolescent brain and the potential long-term health consequences of its use.
  • Image
    NOVA: TVSS: Banner-L1

    NOVA

    Particles Unknown

    Wednesday
    Oct 6

    1 Hour

    An international team studies the neutrino, the most common yet least understood particle in the universe.
  • Image
    NOVA: TVSS: Banner-L1

    NOVA

    Particles Unknown

    Wednesday
    Oct 6

    1 Hour

    An international team studies the neutrino, the most common yet least understood particle in the universe.
  • Image
    NOVA: TVSS: Banner-L1

    NOVA

    Particles Unknown

    Thursday
    Oct 7

    1 Hour

    An international team studies the neutrino, the most common yet least understood particle in the universe.
  • Image
    NOVA: TVSS: Banner-L1

    NOVA

    Particles Unknown

    Thursday
    Oct 7

    1 Hour

    An international team studies the neutrino, the most common yet least understood particle in the universe.
  • Image
    NOVA: TVSS: Banner-L1

    NOVA

    Particles Unknown

    Thursday
    Oct 7

    1 Hour

    An international team studies the neutrino, the most common yet least understood particle in the universe.
  • Image
    NOVA: TVSS: Banner-L1

    NOVA

    Particles Unknown

    Friday
    Oct 8

    1 Hour

    An international team studies the neutrino, the most common yet least understood particle in the universe.
  • Image
    NOVA: TVSS: Banner-L1

    NOVA

    Particles Unknown

    Friday
    Oct 8

    1 Hour

    An international team studies the neutrino, the most common yet least understood particle in the universe.

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