New TV Show 'Dean of Invention' Looks at Scientist's Cutting-Edge Technologies

What do you give a man who has over 400 patents (which include the insulin pump, robotic prosthetics and the Segway--beloved by mall cops everywhere.) ? At this point in his career--his own TV show. Dean Kamen serves as host and informed guide on "Dean of Invention," which airs on Planet Green Friday nights at 10:00 PM. MythBuster fanatics might miss the explosive pyrotechnics, but they'll meet scientists and technologists committed to solving the world's most difficult problems. Kamen, who pilots his own jet, leapfrogs across

the globe finding those new technologies for his audience. Last Friday's premiere focused on robotics. In one segment he meet MIT scientists working to develop nano robots that travel through your body, find individual cancer cells, and deliver chemotherapy without systemically destroying and poisoning your body.

This Friday's episode, titled "Gonzo for Guano," examines scientists extracting energy from human and animal excrement. Kamen told MNN:

"Guys in California have figured out how to take...waste products from sewage plants... and very efficiently drive all the water out of it with a process they invented... Then it has the same characteristics as coal. You can take it to power plants and produce energy with it without burning coal and there's no net carbon increase."

Later shows hightlight transportation and electric vehicles. He continued:

We also visited people making purely electric vehicles, commuter vehicles that would be very city-friendly. I'm convinced that this planet is going do adopt more intelligent, more environmentally friendly and more fun ways for people to move short distances.

For this show he said, "You take a huge, diverse set of problems that are important to people - energy, transportation, the environment, disease. Technology properly developed and applied can wipe any of those problems out. I think that's a good story. But it's very rarely told." It's a pleasure to watch TV that doesn't condescend to its audience.

Which seemingly intractable world problems will be solved in our lifetimes?

Photo: Dean Kamen: planet green screen shot Photo: Segway: Urban Mobility Gmbh

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