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The Irrational Health Service

       Medicine
Richard Dawkins examines the growing suspicion the public has for science-based medicine, despite its track record of successes like the germ theory of disease, vaccines, antibiotics and increased lifespan. He notes a fifth of British children are currently not immunised against measles, mumps and rubella, attributing it to fears arising from a highly controversial report linking the vaccine with autism. Dawkins criticizes the growing field of alternative medicine which does not pass the same objective and statistical rigour as scientifically derived treatments using controlled double-blind studies. Without verifiable evidence, alternative therapies must rely on biased anecdotes and word of mouth to perpetuate. Dawkins observes these treatments have fanciful rationales and rituals behind them, with many alternative treatments employing pseudoscientific jargon such as "energy", "vibration" or "quantum theory" to give themselves greater credence to patients.
Series: Enemies of Reason

Neanderthal 2

       History
Long ago, two species of human beings coexisted on Earth until competition drove one of them to extinction. This program, set in the southwest of France 35,000 years ago, reconstructs the life in the Neanderthal world at the time Cro-Magnons first entered the scene. All aspects of Neanderthal clan life are examined, including tool- and weapon-making, hunting and gathering, health and healing, childbirth, rituals, and making fire. Footage of skeletal remains and the scholarly research of eminent paleontologist Chris Stringer and Oxford University's Paul Pettitt support the documentary.
Series: Neanderthal

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 Golden Age

   2016    History
This episode tells the tale of what's broadly considered China's most creative dynasty - the Song (960-1279). Michael Wood heads to the city of Kaifeng, the greatest city in the world before the 19th century. Here in Twin Dragon Alley, locals tell him the legend of the baby boys who became emperors.
He explores the ideas and inventions that made the Song one of greatest eras in world culture, helped by China's most famous work of art, the Kaifeng scroll, which shows the life of the city in around 1120. A chef makes Michael a recipe from a Song cookbook, while a guide to 'how to live happy, healthy lives for old people', published in 1085 and still in print, is discussed with local women doing their morning exercises. The Song was also a great era for scientific advance in China. Michael steers a huge working replica of an astronomical clock, made by China's Leonardo da Vinci.
Then at a crunch Chinese Premier League match, Michael tells us the Chinese invented football! The golden age of the northern Song ended in 1127, when invaders sacked Kaifeng, but they survived in the south. At their new capital, Hangzhou, Wood joins locals dancing by the West Lake, while in the countryside he meets Mr Xie with his records of 40 generations of ancestors. The final defeat of the Song took place in a naval battle in the estuary of the Pearl River in 1279. When all was lost, rather than surrender to the Mongols, a loyal minister jumped into the sea with the young boy emperor in his arms. 'So ended the glory of the Song', Wood concludes, 'but a new age would arise... as in China, it always has!'.
Series: The Story of China

Cooked: Water

   2016    Culture
Michael Pollan looks to the kitchens of India for a lesson in the value of pot cooking and examines the consequences of eating highly processed food.
Series: Cooked
Triumph of Life
Triumph of Life

   2006    Nature
Long Way Up
Long Way Up

   2020    Culture
Our Planet
Our Planet

   2019    Nature
Jonestown: Terror in the Jungle
Jonestown: Terror in the Jungle

   2018    History
The Truth About
The Truth About

   2018    Medicine
Reel Rock
Reel Rock

   2014    Culture