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Pain, Pus and Poison
The search for modern medicines.
7th June 2018 at 11:00PM
Pain has a profound effect on our bodies - when we are experiencing it, millions of nerve cells deep within our brains are firing, telling us 'it hurts' - and for centuries the challenge has been to find something that will lessen or even switch off these sensations to bring us relief. Dr Michael Mosley discovers just what pain is, why we want to control it and how we ultimately did it when the discovery of morphine, the world's first pharmaceutical, at the beginning of the 19th century led to a 200-year journey of scientific breakthrough, discovery and self-experimentation.
Infection can take over the entire human body, and if our immune systems aren't strong enough we will die - in fact, infectious disease has regularly wiped out millions of people across the planet. Dr Michael Mosley explores our earliest attempts to tackle infection and reveals the moment we began to harness the power of microbes to fight back. This is the story of how scientists, chemists and doctors helped us win the battle, from Louis Pasteur to Howard Florey, and how a small team of dedicated men and women wiped out one of mankind's deadliest diseases - smallpox.
Dr Michael Mosley ends the series with a look at poisons, exploring the turning points when scientists went from finding antidotes to poisons to applying poisons as a cure - celebrating the eccentrics and mavericks whose breakthroughs were to pave the way for some of the most striking treatments of modern medicine. Of the medicines explored in this series, those that are derived from poisons are perhaps the most extraordinary. The story of turning poisons into medicines encompasses the planet's most deadly substances, in which we turned killers into cures.
Long-term medical problems can change your life - but you have control. Could you balance your work and social life with medication regimes? Would you be able to advise a friend?Take part now ❯Choose Health: Managing long-term conditions
We live in a society that depends on science, but how many of us really understand the science behind the important issues that feature in the news? Whether you are keen to study a specific area of science or are not yet sure whether your interest lies – say – in physics or biology, then this degree is for you. It starts with a wide-ranging introduction to highly topical areas of modern science, and then offers the chance to specialise as you develop your interests. Pathways include biology; chemistry; Earth sciences; environmental sciences; physics; and astronomy and planetary science. Flexible, accessible study arrangements mean you can do all the practical work near where you live or online in your own home, but taking part in laboratory and field work at specific locations may be an option for some pathways.Learn more ❯BSc (Honours) Natural Sciences
Explore the discovery and development of a range of drugs and medicines that relieve pain, alleviate symptoms, minimise the risk of infection and effect cures.Read more ❯Molecules, medicines and drugs: a chemical story
I am an analytical scientist and have spent all my research career monitoring biological systems. My most recent research interests are in using volatile organic compounds (VOCs) as markers for disease.
My particular research interests are in the analysis of VOCs from breath or the headspace above clinical samples of urine, blood, serum, sputum etc. in order to diagnose disease or monitor the health of an individual.
I am also particularly interested in digital innovation in teaching, and how we can use these innovations in supporting students to learn difficult concepts.