Science Night 5/8

Nature The Private Life Of Deer at 7 pm
From our kitchen windows we spot them, nibbling away at our gardens and shrubs. They wander along our highways, reminders of the wilderness we have paved our way through. From coast to coast some 30 matillion white-tailed deer make their home in the United States. But once they retreat from our view, where do they go? What secrets do they carry back into the forest, away from our prying eyes? Deer are among the most highly-studied mammals in the world; but does any typical homeowner with deer in the yard know how long a deer can live? When they sleep? How many babies a doe can have each year? Working with scientists, special camera equipment, and deer experts and devotees of every kind, NATURE reveals the hidden world of white-tailed deer in a whole new light.

NOVA Venom: Nature’s Killer at 8 pm
Venom scientists are in a race against time. Inside the bodies of many creatures, evolution has produced extreme toxic cocktails, all designed for one reason: to kill. It took millions of years to perfect these ultimate brews of proteins and peptides and we have only just begun to discover their potential. Now, the race is on to collect and study them before the animals that produce them disappear. But how does venom do its deadly work? NOVA reveals how venom causes the body to shut down, arteries to bleed uncontrollably and limbs to go black and die. But nature’s most destructive and extreme poisons could contain the building blocks for a new generation of advanced drugs that could treat heart attack, stroke, diabetes, obesity and cancer. Venom follows scientists on their expeditions to track down and capture the planet’s most deadly creatures, risking life and limb just to tease out milligrams of venom and get it back to the lab. Find out how nature’s deadliest cocktails could be medicine’s brightest new hope.

Secrets of the Dead Death On The Railroad at 9 pm
Death On The Railroad is a classic story involving foul play, cover ups, a murder mystery and a voyage of discovery to understand what happened to a group of Irish men who came to America for a better life but found only misery. In 1832, railroad contractor, Philip Duffy, hired 57 Irish immigrants to lay railroad tracks in West Chester, Pennsylvania. But, less than two months after their arrival, all 57 were dead. Did they all die – as was widely believed – due to a cholera pandemic? Or, were some of them murdered? In 2003, twin brothers discovered a secret file among their grandfather’s papers that led them to investigate the deaths of these men and find the location of their final resting place in a valley now known as Duffy’s Cut. Using the latest forensic and scientific investigative techniques, DNA, forensic analysis, facial reconstruction and historical detective work in Ireland and the USA, modern detectives and experts will unravel this extraordinary story.