via press release:
This Friday is the season premiere of Planet Green’s new original series, DEAN OF INVENTION (Friday, October 22, at 10PM ET). This new series features visionary inventor Dean Kamen — best known for the inventions of the Segway and insulin pump — as he travels the globe with correspondent, Joanne Colan, to uncover the cutting-edge technologies that are changing life as we know it.
DEAN OF INVENTION
Series World Premiere: Friday, Ocober 22, at 10 PM (ET)
New Premieres Every Friday at 10 PM (ET)
Meet the Microbots
Series World Premiere: Friday, October 22 at 10 PM (ET)
Every year, hundreds of thousands of Americans die on the operating table or in recovery from surgery. Surgeons are among the most intelligent people on the planet, but the reality is that the tools they use are large and crude. Medical instruments are more often suited for cutting and tearing than healing and mending, especially when it comes to the most delicate areas of the body—the heart, the brain and the eyes. But what if we had tools that were molecular in size? Could we develop a medical technology that would let us repair the body at the cellular level? DEAN OF INVENTION explores a new age of medicine that is upon us, an era of tiny robots with enormous power, including “nanobots” that are able to enter the bloodstream, find cancerous cells without anyone’s guidance and kill them. No surgeon, no surgery, no cancer. Exactly what it might mean no one knows for sure. But one thing is certain: Medicine as we know it is about to change irrevocably.
Building the Bionic Body
World Premiere: Friday, October 22, at 10:30 PM (ET)
Now more than ever, there is a great need for limb replacement. More than a thousand soldiers have returned home from Iraq and Afghanistan missing an arm or a leg— a higher percentage’ than in any previous conflict. And every year 100,000 diabetics in this country suffer the same amputations. But new advancements in prosthetics are changing the definition of what it means to be disabled. DEAN OF INVENTION asks, are we entering an era of bionic humans, when disabled people become hyper-abled?
World Premiere: Friday, October 29, at 10PM (ET)
Scientists are working to project human consciousness into the infinite virtual realm of the Internet. Can we give speech back to people rendered mute by illness or trauma? Will it be possible to link our minds directly to vehicles from cars to fighter jets or restore bodily freedom to those who are shackled inside paralyzed bodies? Someday, will we be able to send data from computers back into the brain, giving people a wealth of abilities still unfathomable to humans? In this episode, DEAN OF INVENTION explores brain-computer interface (BCI), whereby the intentions and desires of the human mind can be read—and translated into action. BCI has the potential to unlock vast new potential powers for humankind.
World Premiere: Friday, November 5, at 10PM (ET)
You’re the victim of an earthquake, buried under tons of shattered concrete and rubble. Who will find you—and how? You’re an American soldier, trudging for days in a hostile environment carrying more than a hundred pounds of gear. How can you be ready to fight for your life when you’re serving as your own pack mule? DEAN OF INVENTION provides the answer: robots. After years of being relegated to characters in fantasy and science fiction, robots are finally becoming crucial players in solving real-life problems. The twist is that they won’t be our peers. They’ll last longer. They’ll be stronger. And they’ll meet challenges human beings simply can’t.
Gonzo for Guano
World Premiere: Friday, November 12, at 10PM (ET)
All organic waste—human and animal—is bad for the environment. In fact, cows generate a jaw-dropping 20 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. Specifically, their waste emits methane, and that gas is pure poison for the ozone layer. And don’t think your own stool doesn’t stink where the environment is concerned. An astounding 5 percent of America’s energy consumption is spent simply on processing our own human waste. If you could take just one day’s excrement from all the humans and cows in the world and harness the energy locked inside, you’d have enough electricity to power New York City for seven years. Until recently, all that waste was just going to waste. But now, DEAN OF INVENTION unveils how the race is on to develop processing plants that can harness this previously pooh-poohed waste into power.
World Premiere: Friday, November 19, at 10PM (ET)
After a century of dependence on fossil fuel, the flexibility and power of electric technology can open the door to revolutionary new ways of living and moving—mobility on demand. Electric cars are quickly evolving into cutting-edge and sexy next-generation realities that include cars that fold in half and even drive themselves. Innovative engineers and builders are ready to redesign not just what we drive, but how we live, because one thing is for sure: Right after freedom of speech and freedom of assembly, Americans prize freedom of movement. DEAN OF INVENTION explores what it takes for Americans to find a way to make the needs of tomorrow fit with our need for mobility.
World Premiere: Friday, December 3, at 10PM (ET)
For generations, the flying car has been a staple of the American imagination. The first design for a flying car, Glenn Curtis’ Autoplane, was introduced in 1917, a mere 25 years after the invention of the automobile. Technological advances in communications systems, the Internet and smart phones have made the world much smaller. Yet, for all that closeness that’s been created digitally, society still relies on an outdated, overstretched system of congested highways and airports to get around. Now, the race is on, and the future of America as an economic and political superpower is at stake. As the population soars, congestion in these systems will continue to get worse and worse, slowing down all means of transport. Engineers across the U.S. are working on ways to change the way we think about flying, and they’re not just trying to make the seats in coach larger. Just as the automobile replaced the horse and carriage and fundamentally changed our world, the advent of a new age of aviation could be the catalyst for a new generation of growth in the U.S.
World Premiere: Friday, December 10, at 10PM (ET)
Every day, 18 Americans die while waiting for an organ transplant. Kamen is confounded by the thought that even in second decade of the 21st century, if your liver or heart fails, it requires the death of another human for your life to be saved. Even more alarming is the fact that approximately 1,500 children die each year while waiting for an organ donor. If scientists could grow new tissue and organs in the lab and safely implant them, DEAN OF INVENTION asks, would the days of desperate patients waiting for organ donors become a distant memory?