Cannabis is the world's favourite drug, but also one of the least understood. Can cannabis cause schizophrenia? Is it addictive? Can it lead you on to harder drugs? Or is it simply a herb, an undervalued medicine? Addiction specialist Dr John Marsden discovers that modern science is finally beginning to find answers to these questions. John traces the cannabis plants' birthplace in Kazakhstan; finds the origins of our sensitivity to cannabis in the simple sea squirt; and finds out just what it does to our brains. He meets people who have been changed by this drug in drastically different ways - from those whose lives have been shattered to those who lives have been revived.
Dr Michael Mosley traces the sinister ways the experimental psychology has used to try to control our minds. He finds that the pursuit of mind control has led to some truly horrific experiments and left many casualties in its wake. Extraordinary archive captures what happened - scientists systematically change the behaviour of children; law abiding citizens give fatal electric shocks; a gay man has electrodes implanted in his head in an attempt to turn his sexuality. Michael takes a hallucinogenic drug as part of a controlled experiment to try to understand how its mind-bending properties can change the brain. This is a scientific journey goes to the very heart of what we hold most dear - our free will, and our ability to control our own destiny.
The world stood in fear of an emerging new disease that threatened to kill millions. A new flu variant H1N1 had arrived. If this latest pandemic has taught anything, it is just how little is understood about the invisible world of viruses. But that has not stopped scientists trying. Horizon follows the leading researchers from across the world, who are attempting to unravel the many secrets of viruses to understand when and why they kill.
Over a person's lifetime they are likely to be prescribed more than 14,000 pills. Antibiotics, cholesterol lowering tablets, anti-depressants, painkillers, even tablets to extend youth and improve performance in bed. These drugs perform minor miracles day after day, but how much is really known about them? Drug discovery often owes as much to serendipity as to science, and that means much is learnt about how medicines work, or even what they do, when they're taken. By investigating some of the most popular pills people pop, Horizon asks, how much can they be trusted to do what they are supposed to?
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