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Smithsonian’s ‘Women of Science’ Comics Star Real-Life Superheroines [Video]

Because teachers are the real heroes, the Smithsonian Channel has launched a new series spotlighting some of the world’s greatest scientists and their fascinating work. The hook? They’re all women — superheroines of discovery and exploration. In support of Women in Science, Smithsonian Channel commissioned five short webcomics starring the esteemed subjects of the series, which include such tantalizing titles as “Decoding Immortality,” “Batwomen of Panama,” and “Ghost Cat.” Check out more details below.The heroic roster of Women in Science includes Nobel Prize-winner Elisabeth Blackburn, whose mission to “Decode Immortality” leads to the discovery a mysterious enzyme that can keep cells young – but with potentially deadly consequences.


Also on the Women in Science team is JoGayle Howard, whose quest to save the endangered Clouded Leopard –aka “The Ghost Cat” — whose home in the forests of Thailand proves quite a test for Howard and her cohorts, who encounter the very poachers that threaten the existence of the beautiful creature.

Nan Hauser had dedicated her life to protecting the whales and dolphins of the Pacific Ocean. But while as noble a calling as can be, Hauser’s work is one of the most dangerous jobs on Earth.


In “Batwomen of Panama,” Elisabeth Kalko and a team of researchers become nocturnal creatures themselves as they toil to discover the mysteries of Barro Colorado, an island in the Panama Canal that’s home to dozens of species of bats (not to mention other parasites, vicious insects, venomous snakes and more).


Scientist Godrun Pflueger credits her victory of cancer to her determination to save the natural habitat of Canadian wolves. Her story is one of freezing temperatures and great personal cost, but Pflueger may yet rescue this incredible species from the brink of extinction.


Each of Smithsonian’s webcomics is written by Mallory Murphy and illustrated by Gerard Conte with colors by Kevin Colden and letters by Arnold Hidaka, and spotlights one of the five Women in Science. The program airs on Sundays at 8pm EST/PST, but you can already watch some complete episodes at the Smithsonian Channel’s website, where the webcomics are also available to read in their entirety.

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