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Searching for Syphilis: Track 1

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At the end of the 15th century a terrifying new epidemic spread across Europe, but was this disease, known as the Great Pox, really Syphilis? Did Christopher Columbus actually bring the disease back from the New World? Join us as we look at whether the discovery of a 600 year old skeleton can shed new light on the origins of one of mankind's most enduring diseases, which still affects 12 million people every year. This material forms part of The Open University course S320 Infectious disease.

By: The OpenLearn team (The Open University,)

  • Duration 35 mins
  • Updated Wednesday 7th October 2009
  • Posted under Biology
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Track 1: Searching for Syphilis

Same as album description


© The Open University 2009


Tracks in this podcast:

Track   Title Description
1 Searching for Syphilis    Same as album description Play now Searching for Syphilis
2 What was the Great Pox?    Discussions to whether the symptoms described by medieval medical records really were the signs of syphilis. Could Columbus and his crew really have started the spread of the disease in Europe? Play now What was the Great Pox?
3 The bones of Rivenhall women    Dr Simon Mays discovers a 600 year old diseased skeleton from a church yard in Essex. Will the bones of Rivenhall women show signs that treponemal disease was in Europe prior to the voyage of Columbus? Play now The bones of Rivenhall women
4 Extracting DNA from ancient bone    Dr Piers Mitchell an orthopaedic surgeon and medical historian looks at which types of diseases Rivenhall women was likely to be carrying. Meanwhile Ms Abi Bouwman an biomolecular archaeologist is looking at new ways of detecting treponemal DNA in ancient bone. Play now Extracting DNA from ancient bone
5 Treatment for syphilis    Dr Sheila Lukehart talks about how syphilis has shown little resistance to the basic antibiotics we use to fight it, mainly penicillin. Play now Treatment for syphilis
6 The results of Rivenhall women's test    Ms Abi Bouwman reports on the results of the Rivenhall women's DNA tests. Play now The results of Rivenhall women's test
7 The future for syphilis    A surprised Dr Simon Mays discovers the true origins of the Rivenhall women and talks about the future for syphilis Play now The future for syphilis

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