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Plagues and Pestilence

   2020    Medicine
COVID-19 is far from the first pandemic to wreak havoc in the world. A long line of infectious diseases have devastated and in some cases destroyed entire societies. Almost all of them started in animals and made the jump to humans. The Black Death spread across Europe and Asia in the 14th century leaving millions dead in its wake. Between the 15th and 18th centuries, European colonists brought smallpox to the Americas, the Pacific region and to Australia. In Europe, the 17th century saw a series of major epidemics. And at the end of the First World War, more people died of the Spanish flu than on the battlefield.
This documentary examines the causes of these epidemics - whether it be lack of hygiene, interaction with animals, overcrowding, or the growth of cities - and how people travelling helped to spread disease and promote pandemics. It also sheds a light on the impact these infectious diseases have had on politics and societal change. Over the centuries, scientists managed to develop treatments and medicines to help control or even eradicate infectious diseases. Virologists are facing that task again with the coronavirus, as the world frantically searches for ways to overcome a pandemic which threatens our modern way of life.

Extinction: The Facts

   2020    Nature
With a million species at risk of extinction, Sir David Attenborough explores how this crisis of biodiversity has consequences for us all, threatening food and water security, undermining our ability to control our climate and even putting us at greater risk of pandemic diseases.
Everything in the natural world is connected in networks that support the whole of life on earth, and we are losing many of the benefits that nature provides to us. The loss of insects is threatening the pollination of crops, while the loss of biodiversity in the soil also threatens plants growth.
Last year, a UN report identified the key drivers of biodiversity loss, including overfishing, climate change and pollution. But the single biggest driver of biodiversity loss is the destruction of natural habitats. Seventy-five per cent of Earth's land surface (where not covered by ice) has been changed by humans, much of it for agriculture, and as consumers we may unwittingly be contributing towards the loss of species through what we buy in the supermarket. Human activities like the trade in animals and the destruction of habitats drive the emergence of diseases. Disease ecologists believe that if we continue on this pathway, this year’s pandemic will not be a one-off event.

Fixing a Broken Heart

   2019    Medicine    HD
Heart disease is the number one cause of deaths worldwide, killing more than eight million people each year. Cardiac infarction, more commonly known as a heart attack, can happen without warning, killing heart muscle cells immediately. Even if the patient recovers, the damage to their heart may not.
But there are researchers frantically working to change that. Meet the people inventing the future of cardiac health, from new ways of imaging the body, to the possibility of 3D printing a functioning heart.
Series: Breakthrough

The Flu That Killed 50 Million

   2019    Medicine
It is 1918 and the end of WWI. Millions have died, and the world is exhausted by war. But soon a new horror is sweeping the world, a terrifying virus that will kill more than fifty million people - the Spanish flu. Using dramatic reconstruction and eyewitness testimony from doctors, soldiers, civilians and politicians, this one-off special brings to life the onslaught of the disease, the horrors of those who lived through it and the efforts of the pioneering scientists desperately looking for the cure.
Narrated by Christopher Eccleston, the film also asks whether, a century later, the lessons learnt in 1918 might help us fight a future global flu pandemic.

The Science of Sleep: How to Sleep Better

   2019    Medicine
Gaby Roslin and Amir Khan present a program in which they apply the latest science to some of the worst sleepers. They include an extreme snorer, a man who suffers from night terrors, a woman who has restless leg syndrome, and a man with chronic insomnia for 20 years.
The film also shows a sleep deprivation experiment to test for risky behaviour, pain resistance and emotional control. When the subjects reach the final hours of the challenge, the experiment begins to take its toll as the participants' emotions go into overdrive, with one threatening to quit altogether.
How to Grow a Planet
How to Grow a Planet

   2012    Science
Black Hole Apocalypse
Black Hole Apocalypse

   2018    Science
Reel Rock
Reel Rock

   2014    Culture
The Germanic Tribes
The Germanic Tribes

   2007    History
The Last Dance
The Last Dance

   2020    Culture
Wild South America
Wild South America

   2005    Nature
Engineering the Future
Engineering the Future

   2020    Technology
How the Universe Works Season 6
How the Universe Works Season 6

   2018    Science