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NOVA scienceNOW: Where Did We Come From?

Airs Wednesday, February 16, 2011 at 8 p.m. on KPBS TV

Above: Head lice. Fossils can tell us a lot about human evolution, but still leave many questions unanswered. After sucking our blood for millions of years, lice are suddenly proving their value: Their DNA turns out to hold a treasure trove of clues about our evolution.

Neuroscientist André Fenton. Can a simple injection erase a painful memory? André Fenton says it can. But he isn’t in the business of wiping out personal histories. He hopes that his work can help people struggling with dementia and Alzheimer’s, and one day illuminate the biological root of memory itself.
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Above: Neuroscientist André Fenton. Can a simple injection erase a painful memory? André Fenton says it can. But he isn’t in the business of wiping out personal histories. He hopes that his work can help people struggling with dementia and Alzheimer’s, and one day illuminate the biological root of memory itself.

In this episode of NOVA scienceNOW, journey back in time to the birth of our solar system to examine whether the key to our planet's existence might have been the explosive shockwave of an ancient supernova. Meet a chemist who has yielded a new kind of "recipe" for natural processes to assemble and create the building blocks of life.

And see how the head louse, a creepy critter that's been sucking our blood for millions of years, is offering clues about our evolution.

Finally, meet neuroscientist André Fenton, who is looking into erasing painful memories with an injection. But he isn’t in the business of wiping out personal histories. He hopes that his work can help people struggling with dementia and Alzheimer’s, and one day illuminate the biological root of memory itself.

Video

Preview: NOVA scienceNOW: Where Did We Come From?

Above: In this episode of "NOVA scienceNOW," journey back in time to the birth of our solar system to examine whether the key to our planet's existence might have been the explosive shockwave of an ancient supernova. And see how the head louse, a creepy critter that's been sucking our blood for millions of years, is offering clues about our evolution. Finally, meet neuroscientist André Fenton, who is looking into erasing painful memories with an injection.

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