27 October 2015

National Geographic Channel and GE present new six-part TV series focusing on game-changing innovation

Source: National Geographic Channel website.

The National Geographic Channel and GE have announced a new TV series, BREAKTHROUGH, produced by Imagine Entertainment and Asylum Entertainment. Presented by National Geographic and GE, both brands dedicated to innovation, science and exploration, the series will air on National Geographic channels in 440 million homes spanning 171 countries and in 45 languages.

Executive-produced by Brian Grazer, Ron Howard, Steven Michaels, Jonathan Koch, Mark Dowley and Kurt Sayenga, BREAKTHROUGH is about scientific explorers from leading universities and institutions and how their cutting-edge innovations and advancements will change our lives in the future. The series brings to life the stories, people and technology behind these breakthroughs, and show how they are changing our world. Each hour-long episode is directed by a Hollywood visionary.

Breakthroughs covered include:

Fighting Pandemics (directed and narrated by Peter Berg, who may be known for his role as Dr Billy Kronk in Chicago Hope)
Premieres 7 November at 10pm SGT

Berg takes viewers into the world of pioneers scrambling to stop an outbreak and save the world from future plagues. From antibiotics and vaccines to computer programs that predict how viruses will spread, new lifesaving tools will be used to fight a wide range of viruses in the near future, including HIV, influenza, dengue fever, and malaria.

More Than Human (directed and narrated by Paul Giamatti, Golden Globe winner for Barney's Version)
Premieres 14 November at 10pm

Chances are you either are, or you know, a cyborg: a person who is aided or enhanced by embedded technology, such an artificial limbs or pacemakers. But advances in science are taking us beyond replacement parts and into a new realm that is changing the nature of the human body and the human mind.

The fusion of biology and technology is making us better, stronger, faster and smarter. But as the natural and man-made worlds merge, will we become more than human? Watch Trish Aelker at Lockheed Martin Exoskeleton Technologies build exoskeletons that give mere mortals super strength, and Dr Miguel Nicolelis, a brain-machine interfaces expert whose work with the Walk Again Project is giving hope to people with traumatic spine injuries.

Decoding The Brain (directed by Brett Ratner, who also directed the Rush Hour series; narrated by Adrien Brody, who starred in The Pianist)
Premieres 21 November at 10pm

We now have the tools to explore the hidden reaches of the brain, leading to research that may help those suffering from afflictions such as epilepsy and Alzheimer’s disease. Meet scientists such as Dr John Schenck, who helped pioneer magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technologies and was the first person to have his brain imaged by the machine in the early 1980s; Dr Mohamad Koubeissi, a neurologist who developed a groundbreaking way to treat epilepsy; and Dr Steve Ramirez, who is investigating how to implant or erase memories and hopes his work could help people suffering from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

How Long Can We Live? (directed and narrated by Ron Howard, who also directed Grand Theft Auto and A Beautiful Mind)
Premieres 28 November at 10pm

In recent years, studies of the ageing process have opened up new ways that could help us all live healthier for longer. Some researchers believe the real breakthrough is extending our health span — the period of life spent free of disease. Hear from Laura Deming, who dropped out of MIT at age 14 and now focuses on projects that can expand the human health span, and Dr Brian Kennedy, whose work in the basic biology of ageing is the foundation of much other research.

Energy On the Edge (directed by Akiva Goldsman, an Academy Award winner for A Beautiful Mind; narrated by Jason Bateman of Arrested Development and Horrible Bosses fame)
Premieres 5 December at 10pm

We are surrounded by clean, raw energy waiting to be tapped — energy that could eventually replace fossil fuels. This episode follows innovative alternative energy projects and the people behind them, like the team at the US National Ignition Facility, who are trying to save the world by harnessing the power of controlled fusion.

Water Apocalypse (directed and narrated by Angela Bassett, who portrayed Tina Turner in What's Love Got to Do with It)
Premieres 12 December at 10pm

All over the world, governments are struggling with bigger populations and a diminishing supply of fresh water. Bassett focuses on inspiring stories of people working on innovative water projects.


BREAKTHROUGH will air on National Geographic Channel (Singtel TV channel 201, StarHub channel 411) from Saturday 7 November 2015 at 10pm. View the repeat schedule

Read the TechTrade Asia blog post about Project Breakthrough, a complementary programme for Singapore kids that fosters their passion in science and technology