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NOVA ScienceNOW Season 3 #306 1x53

NOVA scienceNOW reports on the upcoming touchdown of the latest NASA Mars probe.  The Phoenix lander is set to touch down for the first time on the Martian arctic.  Its mission is to dig in to the Martian permafrost in search for the first samples of water ever to be obtained from the Red Planet.  The lander’s ultimate goal is to test for the presence of organic molecules that could be the precursors of life.


Join NOVA scienceNOW on the trail of an extraordinary paleontological cold case. 40 years ago, a young paleontologist unearthed the fossilized remains of two mammoths, their tusks entwined in a fatal battle. Was it accidental death or violent murder? By looking inside the fossilized tusks, modern forensic science can read a record of the mammoths’ final days that will finally put this murder mystery to rest.

With the recent passing of famed “cancer warrior” Judah Folkman, NOVA scienceNOW takes a look back at the great man’s accomplishments and where his groundbreaking angiogenesis work is leading the medical field today.  Long ignored and even initially rejected, angiogenesis is now widely accepted as the process by which tumors prompt the growth of blood vessels to help with their survival.  Dr. Folkman spent much of his early career convincing the scientific establishment of the existence and importance of angiogenesis and then devoted his remaining years to trying to apply it to medical research.  New work in the Folkman lab – based on the principals of angiogenesis – is leading to earlier detection of cancer, better drugs and even cures for diseases like macular degeneration.