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The idea that living organisms are born to reproduce and ultimately die is one of the most common and widely accepted ideas about life across cultures. But is it true? Using whimsical animation, The Animal That Wouldn’t Die explores the strange case of the hydra – a creature that seems to play by a different set of rules than anything else in nature. Following the work of two scientists separated by many generations, this documentary investigates the surprising regenerative power of the small fresh water animal, and how the concept of the ‘circle of life’ might not be as universal as we once thought.
Director: Adam Cole
Producer: Robert Krulwich
Website: NPR’s Skunk Bear
Liquid experiments show how beautiful things can happen when chemicals meet
Philosophy of mind
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History of ideas
How did ‘personal responsibility’ evolve into its opposite, ‘everyone for themselves’?
The Standard Model might be the most successful theory in science. But what is it?
Thinkers and theories
Bigger isn’t better – the renegade ‘Buddhist economics’ of E F Schumacher
Meet the citizen scientist who changed how we see the Sun, and science itself
Information and communication
The modern world is littered with statistical noise. Here’s how to find the signal
Dance and theatre
Close-up on kabuki – the colourful ‘pure entertainment’ of Japan’s Edo period
On the run from COVID-19, an Indigenous family treks deep into the Amazon rainforest