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This television series follows leading anthropologists as they are looking to make the next big scientific discovery. They are looking for ways to improve technology and have developed a number of innovations that will change the lives of many people. The inventions they are working on will change the way that people live for the better for generations to come. The series takes a look at what leading scientists are working on and the research behind their current inventions. The viewer will get to see some of the newest technology in its early development stage. This technology is being designed not only to help the scientific community but to help the average person as well. The viewer sees the research behind these advancements and inventions as well. They will also get to see how these inventions are changing the way that people live and will change the way that people live in the future.

Sunday 9:00 PM et/pt on National Geographic
2 Seasons, 52 Episodes
November 1, 2015
7.6/10
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Breakthrough Full Episode Guide

  • The world's electric grids are aging and vulnerable. Now, engineers are making a dangerous trek to prove there is a better way to bring power to the people. Engineers make a dangerous trek across the Himalayas to bring power to a remote monastery.

  • By finding hidden patterns in big data, computers powered by a new form of artificial intelligence can predict the future with amazing accuracy.

  • Inventors seek ways to defend troops and civilians from small, bomb-dropping drones.

  • Maverick doctors supercharge killer T cells, creating a breakthrough treatment for cancer.

  • An exclusive look inside the world of hackers, where good battles evil with the security of the world at stake. Cyberterror follows "white-hat" hackers on a high-risk mission to sneak inside and compromise bank computers and a "black-hat" ISIS hacker trying to recruit suicide bombers to attack a beloved tourist destination.

  • An unlikely alliance of an elderly English countess, a dethroned drug czar and ambitious young doctors in the U.S. and U.K. is reviving long-suppressed research into the therapeutic value of psychedelic drugs. Brain scans reveal medically supervised trips may reboot the brains of addicts … but are they powerful enough to break an opiate addiction?

  • As the Covid-19 pandemic ramps up globally, every day brings new information about the disease. Learn what the virus does to the human body, and hear from the medical experts searching for techniques to treat the illness.

  • Officially designated as a pandemic, it seems as if COVID-19 has taken over the world. Lucky for us, this isn't the first time we've had to deal with a serious virus outbreak. Experts share the methods currently in place to slow down this infectious disease.

  • Is it possible that there is a hidden planet within our own solar system? New evidence suggests that the fabled Planet X, or Planet 9, may indeed exist... but where? Meet the teams racing to discover and redefine our planetary neighborhood.

  • The coronavirus disease is spreading at frightening speeds from Wuhan, China, to the rest of the world. How did this virus develop, and how close are we to finding an effective vaccine?

  • El Leon es conocido como el Rey de la Selva. Pero fueron los tigres dientes de sable los que gobernaron las Americas en el pasado. Sus fosiles nos cuentan la vida violenta y casi humana de esta misteriosa especie.

  • The Greenland ice sheet, the last remnant of the Ice Age, is melting at an unprecedented rate. Today, scientists and researchers from all over the world are paying close attention to what could become a global catastrophe.

  • Wildfires have greatly increased in size and intensity over the past few years. After record-setting conflagrations erupted in the region's prized forests, new tools using cutting edge technology are being developed to help save property and lives.

  • For all of human history, the Sun, our home star, has measured our days and our seasons while fueling all life on Earth. Yet it remains an enigma. NASA's Parker Probe Plus is on a mission to change that -- flying through dangerous radiation to become the closest spaceship to orbit our Sun.

  • A new discovery in Argentina suggests that Saber-toothed cats used their canines in surprising ways. Looking at skulls of adult prehistoric cats also suggests social behaviors that are seen in the big cats of today.

  • The eruption of Mount Vesuvius is renowned for its decimation of Pompeii, but nearby, an equally impressive Roman settlement known as Herculaneum was lost to history. Today, the latest in technology is opening a wind to the past, as scientists digitally "unravel" the Herculaneum Scrolls.

  • Rip currents can appear without warning, turning an ideal beach outing into a horrific scene of chaos and panic. But groundbreaking new research could teach thousands of potential victims how to spot and escape these silent killers before it's too late.

  • The real impact of global warming is now being felt in communities around the world. Climate scientists explain what to expect where you live, and what steps might still be taken to reverse the climate crisis.

  • A ballistic missile test by India recently shot down one of its own communications satellites. With over 900,000 pieces of debris currently orbiting planet Earth, space trash has become a very real threat to ongoing missions.

  • Hayabusa2 just became the first spacecraft to take subsurface samples of an asteroid. How did they do it? Easy, just blow a crater on the surface! The probe now has its final sample and will begin its journey back home in the coming months.

  • 66 million years ago, an asteroid slammed into Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula, causing a dinosaur mass extinction. With over 700,000 asteroids in space, what's in store for humanity and our planet if it happens again?

  • One of the oldest known hominins in southern Africa. An almost complete skeleton dates back more than three million years. Found in 1994 in the Sterkfontein Caves near Johannesburg in South Africa, which form part of the Cradle of Humankind.

  • Heart disease is the number one cause of deaths worldwide, but there are researchers frantically working to change that. Meet the people inventing the future of cardiac health, from new ways of imaging the body, to the possibility of 3D printing a functioning heart.

  • A non-profit organization established in 2011 is aiming to land the first Israeli spacecraft on the Moon. This is the story of their attempt and the excitement of being the first private company to have a spacecraft launched with the intention of going to and landing on the moon.

  • The Tyrannosaurus Rex is known as the king of the dinosaurs, but how did its reign begin? Meet Moros Intrepidus, a 180 lb., deer-sized ancestor to the T-Rex. Learn how the latest in paleontology can now link this small dinosaur to the 19,000-pound Scotty, the largest T-Rex ever discovered.

  • How close are we to rendering infertility a problem of the past? Scientists believe that they are steps away from making healthy babies from stem cells, opening the doors for those with health limitations to become parents. But what are the legal and ethical implications of this breakthrough?

  • Wiped off the face of the Earth by humans nearly a century ago, geneticists are now working on resurrecting the enigmatic Tasmanian Tiger.

  • Great white sharks are one of the most feared predators on Earth, and yet we know very little about them. Science is now revealing the mysteries of this perfect predator through evolutionary biology.

  • For the first time, scientists have captured a photograph of a black hole. The image verifies one of the most important theories in physics and will help unlock the greatest mysteries of the cosmos.

  • How long does it take for life to rebound after a major mass extinction? Scientists in Svalbard dig through fossil clues for surprising revelations about our Earth's history.

  • Soon the European Space Agency's comet chasing probe, Rosetta, will crash onto the comet's surface near the robotic space lander, Philae. What will we learn about comets as the probe sends its final messages back to the ESA team on Earth?

  • The New Horizons spacecraft revolutionized our understanding of the solar system as it rocketed past Pluto. Now, four billion miles since its launch, the craft approaches its next target...Ultima Thule.

  • An extraordinary new discovery of a dinosaur fossil so pristine and complete, that it shows off the texture, patterns, and color of a prehistoric giant. Discover this brand new species that roamed during the late Jurassic and Cretaceous periods.

  • The fate of the Mars InSight lander will all come down to a fiery seven-minute freefall into the Red Planet. Will it survive and reveal new insight into our planetary neighbor, or will the atmosphere of Mars prove to be too much for our new planetary explorer?

  • New evidence suggests humans arrived in North America far earlier than previously thought, and that they may have traveled along paths now buried deep beneath the sea.

  • Discovered in 2013, new and puzzling finding of small-skulled fossils of Homo naledi have scientists trying to understand whether Homo sapiens lived at the same time as Homo naledi, and how Homo naledi communities may have lived.

  • Geologists in New Zealand created a stir earlier this year when they declared their discovery of the eighth continent of the world. Learn how was it formed and how something so massive could remain undetected until now.

  • As the number of people affected by Alzheimer's Disease continues to grow at an unprecedented pace, researchers worldwide are racing to discover a cure. While stopping the disease is the ultimate goal, could a team in the UK have cracked a method to reverse Alzheimer's Disease?

  • As scientific studies confirm sea level changes throughout the globe, major coastal cities like Miami are now fighting back against these rising tides, before it's too late. Parts of Miami Beach are under serious threat, with major economic and social dangers looming large.

  • Gravitational Waves from three billion light years away have reached earth -- the latest discovery from a new branch of astronomy that one day could give us a front row seat to the Big Bang.

  • NASA may have just gotten one step closer to the answering the question: are we alone? The Spitzer Telescope has made a groundbreaking discovery of exoplanets that could be similar to our own. And as Kepler also continues its search, our understanding of the universe continues to be redefined.

  • New information from the eye of the Greenland Shark confirms it is the longest living vertebrate on Earth. Find out what qualities the shark has, and how looking at Sea Squirts (Tunicates) is also helping scientists understand more about the aging process.

  • Only 20 years ago, on July 5, 1996, scientists cloned a sheep, Dolly. Now genetics have advanced to gene editing, a technique that is promising to pave the way for curing genetically carried illnesses, like certain cancers. But how does it all work? And what are the challenges?

  • A close look at Earth's troubling lack of clean water, including a view of emerging technologies trying to fix the problem.

  • An investigation into the breakthroughs in energy production that may bring an era of clean, safe energy.

  • In recent years, close study of the aging process has opened up new ways that could help us all live healthier for longer. Can we move beyond treating individual diseases, and instead treat the aging process itself? But would a longer life necessarily be a better life? A loose-knit group of researchers believe the real breakthrough is extending our health span - the period of life spent free of disease.

  • Using powerful new technologies, scientists are seeking solutions to a variety of mental illnesses by exploring unmapped facets of the human brain.

  • Scientific advancements are challenging the concept of what it means to be human. In the near future, enhancing the human body with technology could lead to the next stage of our evolution.

  • The recent Ebola outbreak forced medical science to evolve as quickly as the virus. From antibiotics and vaccines to computer programs, new lifesaving tools that will be used to fight viruses in the near future.

Breakthrough News

Breakthrough Targets Christian Audiences on Easter Weekend

With no blockbuster competition, the faith-based drama might have a chance.

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