We are in a crisis: While Canada consistently has one of the worst organ donor rates in the Western world, its hospitals are overcrowded with patients who desperately need an organ transplant. And within Canada, Alberta is the province with the lowest donor rates. 40 per cent of patients die while waiting for an organ. Strongly character driven, the one-hour documentary «The Ward» features the work of the nurses, surgeons and physicians at the University Hospital in Edmonton.
Body in Focus
Short-sightedness is reaching epidemic proportions. Some scientists think they have found a reason why. East Asia has been gripped by an unprecedented rise in myopia. Today, up to 90% of Chinese teenagers and young adults are short-sighted. Other parts of the world have also seen a dramatic increase in the condition, which now affects around half of young adults in the USA and Europe.
The fitness craze is spreading faster than the flu virus, swelling the crowds of “gym bunnies”. Punishing training schedules, protein-only diet, building the perfect body can in some cases become an obsession. Falò put on gym shoes and joined this world which has become a way of life for many, and followed a politician during training sessions.
Sight is arguably our most important sense, an extremely complex process, which requires light that can start with photons, generated in distant stars and ending in the visual cortex of our brains. In the middle of this process are our eyes. This documentary looks at the science, medicine and technology of vision and the individuals who are battling the darkness of blindness.
Breast cancer kills. But are blanket screening programmes that screen all women, rather than those with symptoms, doing more harm than good? Controversially, studies into the effects of these programmes show they do not reduce the risk of dying from breast cancer. Healthy women are receiving unnecessary diagnoses of pre-cancerous conditions that are unlikely to develop and many are harmed by unnecessary treatment. We follow four women around the world facing the fear of cancer.
The march towards the dominance of GM products in agriculture started 15 years ago but where will it end? Today in Argentina all agriculture is transgenic but after 15 years the weeds have adapted and the Glyphosate no longer works. In response farmers have started using hazardous chemicals in an indiscriminate and unregulated manner. In some areas the rate of serious genetic deformities in children has exploded. We meet the families and doctors convinced that living so close farms is the cause.
We live in a world where self-image has become an obsession, where we can no longer ignore the role that science and technology play in our never-ending quest for beauty and youth.Through touching and meaningful stories, as well as the testimonies of plastic surgeons, and interviews with experts from related fields, Body à La Carte explores the increasingly popular and fascinating phenomenon of cosmetic procedures.
Blood saves lives – for a long time, this has been accepted as a matter of course. However, scandals around contaminated blood donations have made many people feel uncertain about it. To resolve the doubts, scientists are working on finding a way to produce secure, artificial blood. Pioneers experiment with lugworms and stem cells to make industrial blood production possible in the future.
The first heart transplant conducted in 1967 was a breakthrough that would go on to save many lives. But those who get the organs are expected to have short lifespans. What can help in prolonging their lives? Amid the various challenges patients face, one man stands apart. Elmar Sprink completed a grueling triathlon two years after a heart transplant. What explains his exceptional health?
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 light-fingered teen living in industrial suburbia struggles in the shadow of his Mother's desperate need for an organ donor. When he skips school to take a job at a second hand car yard he soon uncovers a front for a local crime syndicate. Convinced he can buy his Mother a second chance at life, he schemes to pinch a large drug haul, but soon discovers life sinking from naive penny pinching to the abyss of major crime.
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.
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?
When Craig Venter, the star of genome technology, joins forces with Apple and Google, in an investment, you know it’s something big! This documentary is an opportunity to demonstrate the DECODING of the protein structure: a production which could be seen as taking the last steps in a scientific sensation.