Archive: February 2012

Channel 4 Commissions Katie Piper Documentary From Mentorn Media As She Attempts To Recover Her Sight

Thursday, 02 February 2012

Channel 4 has commissioned a one-hour documentary from Mentorn Media following Katie Piper as she explores the possibilities of regaining her sight.

KatiePiperKatie has spent the past three-and-half-years living with the impacts of an acid attack which included leaving her blind in her left eye. In Katie: The Science of Seeing Again which transmitted on February 7 2010 on Channel 4, Katie discovers the existence of pioneering surgery that could potentially restore her sight using the extraordinary power of stem cells.

She tracks down the doctor responsible and puts herself forward to be among some of the first people to undergo the treatment - which entails transplanting stem cells directly into her eye.


In this authored film, Katie discovers the science behind stem cell technology, investigating the long-term effects, the chance of success and moral considerations as she prepares to undergo this ground-breaking optical surgery.

Commissioned by David Glover this is the first documentary as part of Katie's exclusive deal with Channel 4. He said: "This film was Katie's idea and she approached me asking to make it. What's amazing about it is that we explore a cutting-edge science story from the point of view of the person undergoing the operation. Katie is an extraordinary natural communicator and puts it all in human terms, it's been a huge pleasure working with her."

Mentorn Media Executive Producer, Hannah Wyatt, said: "Katie is an incredible young woman and in this film we see her bravery, positivity and humour take her down a different path to previous programmes. She intelligently explores the science behind such pioneering surgery, considering carefully the moral and ethical questions of such a life-changing decision."

Katie Piper said: "This has been an extraordinary exploration for me and one that has resulted in the decision to make my 110 operation one to help restore my sight. It has been at times emotional but fascinating - as I continue my medical journey I am constantly in awe of the human body and the skills of the amazing surgeons I come into contact with."

To view a clip of the documentary go to Katie: The Science of Seeing Again on YouTube

Would you get in a car that drives itself?

Wednesday, 01 February 2012

Planet Science, a Tinopolis-produced website, investigates.

Robotic cars aren't in a sci-fi writer's imagination. They're real and they're coming to a street near you!

Well, maybe it'll be a while until robot cars are the norm, but Google's self-driving cars have clocked up a successful 140,000 miles on busy city streets.

Have a look at this video of a journalist testing Google's self-driving car.

What's the point of a self-driving car?

Because it's cool! OK, not just because it's cool.  Robot cars could reduce car accidents, cut down on traffic congestion and reduce the amount of petrol we use.

How does it work?

The car 'sees' the road through cameras, sensors and radar. This information is sent to the 'brain' of the car, a computer. The car can take in and process information much more quickly than a human driver, allowing it to make and carry out correct decisions swiftly.

Have a look at this picture on the New York Times to find out more.

When will all cars be robotic?

Designers have to make sure that the cars can cope with all kinds of unpredictable situations, like pedestrians walking out in front of cars, cyclists running red lights and other people's terrible driving.

Governments also need to think about the laws involving robotic cars. Who is responsible if there is an accident - the person in the car or the manufacturer who made and designed the car? Once these problems are sorted out there's no reason why we couldn't all be driving robotic cars!

For more news on the latest science, visit Planet Science.