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The Nano Revolution Begins

The Nature of Things with David Suzuki kicks off its 51st season with remarkable three-part series, beginning October 13th at 8pm (8:30 NT) on CBC-TV.

Embark on a fantastic voyage to the brave new world of nanotechnology, "the invisible revolution" that will transform our bodies,our lives--and our world.

September 30, 2011 - CBC Television's longest-running, multi-award-winning documentary series THE NATURE OF THINGS WITH DAVID SUZUKI returns for a 51st Season of exciting, thought-provoking television, Thursday, Oct. 13, at 8 p.m. (8:30 NT), with the airing of the remarkable three-part series The Nano Revolution

Continuing its tradition of being ahead of the curve, THE NATURE OF THINGS takes us far into the future to reveal the shape of things to come. A three-way international co-production between the CBC, Japan's NHK and France/Germany's Arte, The Nano Revolution uniquely combines elements of documentary, drama and animation to tell this incredible story in three hour-long episodes.

New technologies have always shaped our world. Now, researchers are crossing yet another technological frontier, the nano-dimension, where they're learning to manipulate the smallest mechanics of life. The promise is this technological revolution will give us more control of our bodies and of our environment. But is that future as exciting and rosy as some would claim? The Nano Revolution explores a mysterious and unknown universe, and examines both sides of the debate.

Derived from the Greek word for dwarf, "nano' refers to the world of the infinitesimally small--where scientists explore matter on a scale 80,000 times smaller than a human hair. Dubbed the "invisible revolution," nanotechnology is the new science of manipulating matter on an atomic or molecular level--that is, tweaking matter from the bottom up. Thirty years ago, scientists first opened the doors to this new dimension, and since then massive budgets have been spent on nano research in North America, Japan and Europe, triggering a range of new products and some astounding discoveries.

Nanotechnology's promoters say it will provide groundbreaking solutions to the most serious problems that threaten our future--everything from climate change and global security to chronic disease. Yet some scientists are asking: what kind of future does it hold for us? Will it provide a safer society, or a society with no privacy? Will it provide a cleaner Earth, or more pollution? What consequences lie ahead? And how do we strike a balance?

The Nano Revolution begins Thursday, Oct. 13, at 8 p.m. (8:30 NT), with Welcome to Nano City, which explores nanotechnology's effect on communications integration, security and privacy.The convergence of biological, cognitive and information sciences at the nano scale will likely produce the most radical and immediate effects on our everyday life, providing new methods of identification and new ways to communicate through microscopic devices embedded in the environment or in our bodies. Intelligent and interactive objects and houses are in the foreseeable future. But to achieve the full benefit these devices will provide, we might need to give up our current notion of privacy. Will nanotechnology take us to a safer, more connected future--or an Orwellian police state?

Continuing on Thursday, Oct. 20, at 8 p.m. (8:30 NT), More Than Human?delves into the medical and health revolution promised by nanotechnology. Nano-devices can help automate routine laboratory tests or deliver active treatment directly to affected cells, which could have wide-ranging effects on the treatment of disease, including cancer. In a medical future where treatment is predictive, personalized and pre-emptive, permanent nano-devices will roam and monitor body functions. Nanotechnology is a powerful tool for advancing tissue engineering and stem cell therapy, and could open the way for better control of prosthetics and all kinds of implants. Will nanotechnology allow us to live longer lives? If so, how much longer? And how intimately can we integrate technology into our bodies and still remain human?

The concluding episode of the series, Will Nano Save The Planet?, airing Thursday, Oct. 27, at 8 p.m. (8:30 NT), looks at nanotechnology and the environment. Scientists believe that nanotechnology could be the key to overcoming some of the great challenges facing the Earth, such as fossil fuels and their impact on climate, the predicted depletion of oil resources, and our continued supply of clean water. Restructuring materials at the nano scale could unveil new and incredible properties that will, for instance, provide the developing world with more effective water purification systems, or allow efficient solar devices to be built in such remote areas as the Sahara Desert, or help clean up industrialization's legacy of pollution and waste. But with this tinkering, do we run the risk of creating pollutants even more dangerous than the ones we already have?

Executive producer of The Nano Revolution is Michael Allder, senior producer is F.M. Morrison. Bob Culbert is executive producer of THE NATURE OF THINGS WITH DAVID SUZUKI. Caroline Underwood and F.M. Morrison are senior producers.

THE NATURE OF THINGS WITH DAVID SUZUKI airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. (8:30 NT) on CBC-TV, as well as Thursdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT and Sundays at 6 p.m. ET on CBC News Network. For complete program information, please visit www.cbc.ca/natureofthings/.

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For more information or to request a screener, please contact:
Melissa Prince, Veritas Communications
P) 416.482.2669
C) 416.704.8733

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