Science and Nature

Extra Life: A Short History of Living Longer

Discover the little-known story of the innovations in science and medicine that doubled the human lifespan in less than a century, and celebrate the unsung heroes of public health who believed change was possible and acted on it.

Behavior

53m 6s

Understand the importance of persuading the public to protect themselves during health crises. History shows that handwashing, social distancing and grassroots campaigning all play important roles in helping to shift behavior and save lives.

Episodes

  • Behavior: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Behavior

    S1 E4 - 53m 6s

    Understand the importance of persuading the public to protect themselves during health crises. History shows that handwashing, social distancing and grassroots campaigning all play important roles in helping to shift behavior and save lives.

  • Data: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Data

    S1 E3 - 53m 6s

    Track the importance of data mapping and analysis in the quest to improve public health. The painstaking work of past data detectives made us aware of epidemic "curves" as well as the extent of health inequalities among different U.S. communities.

  • Medical Drugs: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Medical Drugs

    S1 E2 - 53m 6s

    Learn about the surprisingly recent invention of medicine that combats illness directly, such as antibiotics. From the accidental discovery of penicillin to today’s hunt for antivirals, this history underpins work to find COVID-19 treatments.

  • Vaccines: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Vaccines

    S1 E1 - 53m 7s

    Discover the role vaccination plays in our growing ability to prevent the spread of illness. Travel through the remarkable history of vaccines and learn how new ones are developed when never-before-seen diseases like COVID-19 emerge.

Extras + Features

  • Florence Nightingale Used Creativity to Alter Hygiene Habits: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Florence Nightingale Used Creativity to Alter Hygiene Habits

    S1 E4 - 4m 15s

    Florence Nightingale hypothesizes that poor hygiene causes disease, and the data confirms it. In an ingenious move, she creates a colorful rose diagram to catch the attention of the general public so that they pay heed to her findings. Her diagram was fundamental in persuading people to change their hygiene habits.

  • Using Behavioral Psychology to Encourage Healthy Habits: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Using Behavioral Psychology to Encourage Healthy Habits

    S1 E4 - 4m 14s

    Advertising agencies employ behavioral scientists to use psychology to persuade people to make healthy lifestyle choices. They've discovered key insights into how the human mind works when faced with a call to action. Behavioral scientists used a universal human trait — fear of shame or social rejection — to encourage workers at a food factory to improve their hand washing habits.

  • How Gertrude Elion Became a Pioneer of Modern Medicine: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    How Gertrude Elion Became a Pioneer of Modern Medicine

    S1 E3 - 5m 3s

    Gertrude Elion and George Hitchings were a drug-making dream team. They built highly efficient, targeted synthetic drugs to perform specific tasks. Elion and her team built a new antiviral drug in the 1970s to treat herpes, ushering in a new age of medicine and paving the way for designer drugs that could treat a huge range of illnesses.

  • Alexander Fleming's Messy Desk Leads to a Major Discovery: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    Alexander Fleming's Messy Desk Leads to a Major Discovery

    S1 E3 - 4m 58s

    Alexander Fleming's untidy desk becomes the key to a major scientific breakthrough when a particle of bacteria from his laboratory floats onto a petri dish on a desk in his study. This accident in a petri dish leads to his discovery that naturally-occurring mold could be a bacteria killer, setting the stage for the invention of penicillin further down the line.

  • The Impact of COVID-19 On Different Ethnicities In London: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    The Impact of COVID-19 On Different Ethnicities In London

    S1 E2 - 5m 7s

    Dr. Vanessa Apea researched the impact of COVID-19 on different ethnicities in London. She found that Black and Asian ethnicities had a greater risk of death despite being a younger and fitter population due to environmental, rather than biological, factors.

  • A Doctor Uses Children's Teeth to Study Lead Poisoning: asset-mezzanine-16x9

    A Doctor Uses Children's Teeth to Study Lead Poisoning

    S1 E2 - 6m 16s

    By collecting data from children's teeth, Dr. Herbert Needleman was able to verify the dangers of lead poisoning. The data was clear — exposure to even low levels of lead builds up over time and harms the long-term health of children. However, the lead industry tried to discredit Needleman's finding by targeting his data.

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