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NOVA

The Science of Opioid Addiction and Treatment

NOVA

The Science of Opioid Addiction and Treatment

3m 8s

Opioids mimic the body's natural pain relievers, binding to receptor proteins in the brain and sometimes inducing euphoria.

Play Fighting for Fertility Preview

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.

Play Reef Rescue Preview

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.

Play Picture a Scientist Preview

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.

Play This NASA Scientist Helps Prevent Mars from Contamination

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.

Play Why NASA is Back on Mars

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.

Play Looking for Life on Mars Preview

Follow along as NASA launches the Mars 2020 Mission, perhaps the most ambitious hunt yet for signs of ancient life on Mars. In February 2021, the spacecraft will blaze into the Martian atmosphere at some 12,000 miles per hour and attempt to lower the Perseverance Rover into the rocky Jezero Crater, home to a dried-up river delta scientists think could have harbored life.

Play Secrets in our DNA Preview

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.

Play Beyond the Elements: Life Preview

Without the chemistry of photosynthesis, ozone, and a molecule called Rubisco, none of us would be here. So how did we get so lucky? To find out, host David Pogue investigates the surprising molecules that allowed life on Earth to begin, and ultimately thrive. Along the way, he finds out what we’re all made of—literally.

Play Plastics: Durable, Diverse, and Indestructible

Through a series of lab experiments, "Beyond the Elements" host David Pogue learns that there are tens of thousands of grades of plastics, each tailored for a specific purpose. What do we do with them when their job is finished?

Play Beyond the Elements: Indestructible Preview

Glass so strong you can jump on it, rubber so tough it protects a clay pot dropped from 50 feet, endless varieties of plastic. Scientists and engineers have created virtually indestructible versions of common materials by manipulating the chains of interlocking atoms that give them strength—but have they made them too tough? Host David Pogue explores the fantastic chemistry behind the everyday.

Play What Gives Hot Peppers Their Heat?

When you eat peppers, the chemical capsaicin fits into the heat pain receptors in your mouth, sending a false signal that’s identical to the one your brain would receive if you ate something literally burning hot.

Play Beyond the Elements: Reactions Preview

Just about every solid, liquid, or gas in the world as we know it begins with reactions between individual atoms and molecules. Host David Pogue dives into the transformative world of chemical reactions, from the complex formula that produces cement to the single reaction that’s allowed farmers to feed a global population by the billions—a reaction that when reversed, unleashes high explosives.

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