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Science of TRON

Listen to audio from the "Science of TRON" panel, featuring director Joe Kosinski, producer Sean Bailey, and science consultants Sean Carroll & John Dick. Learn More

Jenn Creighton

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Tribeca Film Festival: WarGames

It is all fun and games – until you accidentally start World War III. That is what Matthew Broderick’s character, David, discovers in the acclaimed 1983 film WarGames. Believing he hacked into a war-based computer game, David starts to play the game by sending missiles from the Soviet Union to the United States. What he does not realize is that he hacked into the U.S. military’s War Operation Plan Response (WOPR) supercomputer, and his game is believed to be a real attack. A thrilling chase to save the world ensues, and, well, we will not spoil it for you.

Men in Black 3: Going Back in Time

Two familiar men in black suits are back in theaters on May 25, 2012, and this time, more than aliens are involved. In this released trailer for Men in Black 3, J discovers K has been dead for 40 years. With the help of a small device and a jump from the Empire State Building, J travels back in time to find some answers to K’s mysterious death.

Time travel is a popular storyline in television and film (Back to the Future, Lost, The Time Traveler’s Wife, to name a few). It is also a frequently requested subject for science consulting. But is it possible? Or even plausible? Well, we have some good news and we have some bad news.

Cancer-Fighting Stem Cells

If you want to be immortal (in real life or in television and film), you need more than anti-aging cells – you need cells that fight common diseases. It is a fact echoed in In Time, a film where the characters never age past 25 years old. One of the characters mentions that only an accident could take his life – cancer, heart disease, and other illnesses do not exist in In Time’s (very youthful) world. But how could people be engineered not to age and resist cancer? Maybe the characters in the film are benefitting from some recent news at UCLA, where researchers engineered stem cells that find and attack melanoma.