Snake Venom and Antibodies (08:14)
Steve Ludwin has been injecting himself with snake venom for 30 years and developed antibodies against the deadliest snakes. Pharmaceutical engineers Andreas Laustsen and Brian Lohse study Ludwin's antibodies and replicate them on a large scale, in the hopes of saving millions of lives with anti-venom.
Withstanding Cold (07:49)
Wim Hof can survive two hours of immersion in ice by using a special breathing technique that increases adrenaline which in turn raises metabolism and body temperature. Matthijs Kox studied the effect of Hof’s breathing technique on the immune system and discovered that it suppresses the immune response.
Brain Plasticity (06:34)
At the age of three, Jody Graves began having frequent seizures and doctors discovered half her brain was chronically inflamed. The only way to treat Rasmussen’s encephalitis is to remove this half of the brain. At a young age, the brain can adapt and reorganize—Graves’ brain was likely compensating for impairment before the surgery.
Fear Response (08:53)
Jordy Cernik began to gain weight and develop high blood pressure due to high levels of cortisol. Doctors removed his adrenal glands which cured the Cushing's disease but left Cernik without a fear response; he can perceive risk. Sarah Garfinkel hopes the discovery will lead to development in the treatment of anxiety and other fear-related illnesses.
Loudest Scream (04:48)
At a Halloween screaming competition, Jill Drake discovered she had the loudest scream in the world, at 129 decibels. Prof. David Howard studies the human voice and how the larynx creates sounds. The rapid volume changes in a loud scream create a sensation of fear in other people’s brains.
Cataplexy and Narcolepsy (06:19)
When Lucy Tonge experiences a strong emotion, her muscles become weak and she loses control of her limbs. She also falls asleep many times a day; she does not have the brain protein which maintains wakefulness. Through studying narcoleptic dogs, Emmanuel Mignot discovered a problem with the hypocretin receptor gene.
HIV and Leukemia (06:43)
Timothy Ray Brown was living with HIV when he acquired Leukemia. Dr. Gero Hütter addressed Brown's situation by locating an individual of the 1% who is resistant to HIV, and conducting a stem-cell transplant.
Credits: Survival (01:40)
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