What is a virus? How does it affect humans and how does it spread? Doctors, virologists and scientists examine the spread of the Zika virus, what effect this growing epidemic may have on large populations, and possible next steps to stop the illness.
England's Deputy Chief Medical Officer Jonathan Van-Tam is joined by a host of top UK scientists to take a deep dive into the science of viruses. Plus, how new research could have an impact far beyond Covid-19.
S1E2 • Royal Institution Christmas Lectures - Going Viral • 2021 • Health
A fresh perspective on autism research with the developing "Bacterial Theory" of autism. The fastest-growing developmental disorder in the industrialized world, autism has increased an astounding 600 per cent over the last 20 years. Science cannot say why. Some say it's triggered by environmental factors and point to another intriguing statistic: 70 per cent of kids with autism also have severe gastrointestinal symptoms. Could autism actually begin in the gut? The Autism Enigma looks at the progress of an international group of scientists who are studying the gut's amazingly diverse and powerful microbial ecosystem for clues to the baffling disorder.
When Hannah Fry is diagnosed with cervical cancer at the age of 36, she starts to interrogate the way we diagnose and treat cancer by digging into the statistics to ask whether we are making the right choices in how we treat this disease. Are we sometimes too quick to screen and treat cancer? Do doctors always speak to us honestly about the subject? It may seem like a dangerous question to ask, but are we at risk of overmedicalising cancer? At the same time, Hannah records her own cancer journey in raw and emotional personal footage, where the realities of life after a cancer diagnosis are laid bare.
2022 • Health
Michael heads to Spain to search for some of the most powerful tastes on the planet, whilst James travels high in the Peruvian Andes to discover how a bitter potato - a cousin of the humble spud - has been tamed to help the inhabitants survive the extreme altitude. Using the latest imaging techniques to take us inside our food, right down to the molecular level, Michael and James offer us a whole new way of thinking about taste: far more than being just delicious, it's actually a matter of survival.
The coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 has upended life as we know it in a matter of months. But at the same time, an unprecedented global effort to understand and contain the virus—and find a treatment for the disease it causes—is underway. Join doctors on the front lines of the fight against COVID-19 as they strategize to stop the spread, and meet the researchers racing to develop treatments and vaccines.
The use of embryonic stem cells has ignited fierce debate across the spiritual and political spectrum. But what if we could create manmade stem cells - or find super cells in adults that could forever replace embryonic cells and remove the controversy? Today, we are on the brink of a new era - an age where we may be able to cure our bodies of any illness. Stephen Hawking has spent his life exploring the mysteries of the cosmos, now there is another universe that fascinates him - the one hidden inside our bodies - our own personal galaxies of cells. Hawking takes us on a fascinating journey exploring what these wondrous and baffling mechanisms are capable of. He is joined by the scientists who are on the front lines of discovery in this field including Dr. Doris Taylor who is customizing a donor's heart with the recipient's stem cells - her goal is to revolutionize heart transplants, Dr. Paul Lu and Dr. Mark Tuszynski may have created a breakthrough that could cure paralysis, and Dr. Vincent Giampapa who believes that stem cells can be used to stem the tide of aging and create a fountain of youth.
2014 • Health