England's Deputy Chief Medical Officer and epidemiologist Jonathan Van-Tam takes a deep dive into viruses and reveals why discoveries and advances made during the on-going Covid-19 pandemic mean biological science will never be the same again.
S1E3 • Royal Institution Christmas Lectures - Going Viral • 2021 • Health
The extraordinary inside story of the biggest scientific challenge of our age – following a small band of vaccine scientists around the world who took on Covid-19 and ultimately delivered the weapon to beat it. As news of the coronavirus broke around the globe, a small group of scientists jumped into action to tackle one of the greatest medical challenges of our time: to create a vaccine against a virus no-one had ever seen before and to do so in record time, all during a deadly, global pandemic.
Our skin is the largest organ in our bodies, with a surface area of about 20 square feet in adults. When we are cut or wounded, our skin begins to repair itself through a complex, well-coordinated process. Sarthak Sinha takes us past the epidermis and into the dermis to investigate this regenerative response.
Our lifespan is increasing by 2.5 years every decade - and a third of all babies born today can expect to live to 100. But living longer can come at a cost. Old age itself brings with it a range of debilitating illnesses, many of which are the result of accumulating damage during our lifetime. Three diseases in particular have become the main killers in the developed world - cancer, heart disease and dementia. But a revolution in bio-medicine is now offering new hope for the treatment of these ailments, and the potential to extend our lives still further. Methods such as gene editing and stem cell therapies are transforming the way medicine can conquer disease today. These extreme frontiers of medicine do, however, also come with a range of ethical dilemmas - when is the right time to try out an experimental technique on a patient? Should we gene edit human embryos? And is it right to use cells from aborted foetuses for medical treatments?