What if weed could be a cure to most severe diseases, such as cancer or AIDS? Not really, but cannabis can. As a matter of fact, molecules inside marijuana are now at the center of medical research around the world. There are more and more scientists, doctors, and psychologists encouraging the therapeutic and controlled use of cannabinoids for specific treatments.
Vaccines are widely regarded as one of the greatest achieves of modern medicine and save millions of lives every year. But there are an increasing number of families who decide, for one reason or another, not to vaccinate their children. As a result, diseases that were almost eradicated in the developed countries are returning. We hear from various families that are against vaccination. Some of them believe in natural and alternative medicines, others don’t believe that vaccines are safe.
Is it the latest gene scandal or a blessing for medicine and agriculture? CRISPR allows scientists to change the genetic material of all living organisms. Researchers are developing therapies for incurable diseases; plants with new characteristics are being created. But the designer baby is also within reach. How far should medicine or agriculture be allowed to go? Researchers, ethicists and critics do agree: society urgently needs to debate the chances and boundaries of genetic engineering.
The idea of postponing or even reversing the ageing process has always fascinated humanity. Some claim that immortality will be possible as little as thirty years from now - but will it just be for the rich? Our team visited research laboratories working on this objective and interviewed the world’s top researchers in the field. We ask just how long humans might be able to live, and what it could involve. The programme also looks into the popular wish to remain young and extend our lifespan.
A new industrial revolution is under way. Super-intelligent, docile and never tired, robot workers are carrying out ever more complex tasks. In Saudi Arabia, some have reached such a stage of evolution that they have even acquired the status of citizen! But workers are struggling to find their place in this new world and even the creators themselves suspect that robots are destroying more jobs than they create. Is society prepared for such upheavals?
Cold War rivalry and the acceleration of space exploration; Preparations for Hubble’s final servicing mission; Chasing a Comet - Launch and the difficult path to rendezvous; Space Debris - Monitoring orbital debris
Project Mercury Begins -The start of NASA & America’s first manned space program; Mars Express - The European Space Agency’s Mars Satellite; The Soyuz Launch System - The gradual evolution of Russia’s Soyuz launcher
Project Mercury Advances - America’s first manned space program finally puts a man in orbit; Camera Tracking - The array of special cameras that follow a spacecraft at launch; The International Space Station - The building and operation of the orbiting laboratory
Project Gemini Commences - Did Gemini give the US a lead in the space race?; Venus Express - The last days of ESA’s Venus probe; EMU - NASA’s Extravehicular Mobility Unit; Deep Space Communications - ESA’s worldwide network of giant dishes
Project Gemini Advances - NASA refines the techniques needed for rendezvous; Cassini At Saturn - In the Cassini probe’s final years of activity, its handlers are asking it to do more complex and risky assignments; Learning More About Mars - An interlinked group of satellites and rovers are paving the way for a manned mission to Mars
Project Gemini – Docking and EVA - In the final phase of the Gemini program NASA struggles with docking and spacewalks; Curiosity - Roving Mars - On the surface of Mars the Curiosity rover is changing the way we think about the red planet; Swarm - A constellation of satellites is trying to discover why the Earth’s magnetic field is diminishing rapidly.
The Apollo Program Begins - At the very beginning of NASA’s moon project things go wrong; Caves - ESA’s special training program for astronauts; Planck - Mapping the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation
Rebuilding Project Apollo - After the Apollo 1 disaster NASA resumes manned space flight; Orbiting Carbon Observatory 2 - Monitoring the Earth’s CO2 levels in unprecedented detail; Zero Gravity Training - Parabolic flights and their role in weightlessness training
Beyond Earth Orbit - The Apollo program takes bold new steps; IXV Re-Entry Vehicle - Europe is working to perfect a re-entry vehicle; Galileo Satellites Lost and Found - Navigation satellites go into incorrect orbit
Love can change our lives - in the truest sense of the word. Recent scientific studies prove that love is more than just an emotion. It is a drive that transforms our brain and our body profoundly. This film shows the fascinating science behind what love is, what it does to us - and whether it is good for us at all.
"The idea that the poor are genetically different from the rich or that men are naturally more intelligent than women may seem laughable but it’s an argument regularly used as a social weapon to stall the advancement of equality and maintain the status quo. Since the discovery of DNA, the idea that genes are somehow responsible for everything has permeated society."
A wonderful journey in the heart of a legendary civilization that owns the world longevity record in good health. The archipelago of Okinawa, located in the Pacific Ocean at the very south of Japan sees its population with almost no diseases. What are the secrets of Okinawa’s inhabitants ? How can we live longer, happy and in good health ?
Dangerous antibiotics, fluoroquinolones, have been destroying the lives of healthy people. For years, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration turned a blind eye to this tragedy. Washington, D.C. consumer advocacy group, Public Citizen, successfully sued the FDA, in 2008, forcing stronger warnings on name brands like Cipro and Levaquin. How can 5 pills change one's life forever?
For years antibiotics have been misused to treat both humans and animals for minor illnesses. Careless overprescription has led to the emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. By 2050 these "superbugs" could cause more deaths than cancer. Meanwhile research into new antibiotics is limited, considered unprofitable. Doctors and scientists fear that this combination of factors will create a "perfect storm”.
Oxycontin. Codeine. Fentanyl. All prescription drugs to which countless patients have become addicted. As America battles an opioid crisis that sees 170 citizens die everyday, lawyers and prosecutors are trying to bring an end to Big Pharma’s impunity. How did it happen? Midwest City, Oklahoma. Family doctor, Regan Nichols, is on trial charged with five murders for over-prescribing opioids.
The Launchers - The first step in leaving the Earth’s surface must be made via the huge power and precision control of a rocket. It’s expensive to reach space but new technology is bringing the cost down. This episode examines the range of launchers available today.
Mars is our nearest planetary neighbour and its environment resembles own more closely than any other member of our planetary family. Robotic probes have revealed that water once flowed on the surface. This episode follows the quest to find traces of life on Mars.
Saturn and its disc of rings has become more bewildering the more closely we are able to observe it. The dynamic system of moons, moonlets and orbiting dust are drawing scientific attention. This episode looks at the Saturnian system, its unique moons and the probes that have began penetrating this planetary mystery.
The International Space Station - Since the 1970 the space powers have been sending to orbit craft in which people could live and work for extended periods, but the expense and complexity has been daunting. This episode focuses on the international collaboration required to maintain a permanently crewed laboratory orbiting the Earth.
Jupiter is the largest planet in our solar system but it’s only recently that we’ve been able to get a glimpse into the intricacies of this giant and the fascinating moons that orbit it. This episode looks at what we know about Jupiter and how we know it.
Spacesuits - Space is a hostile environment. For humans to live and work beyond the atmosphere requires a sophisticated suite of technology. This episode looks at the health effects of space on the human body and the techniques used to allow people to function in the micro-gravity vacuum.