Physical Effects of Chemical Weapons

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More allegations that the Syrian government have been using chemical weapons surfaced last week. Various videos have been shown to the BBC’s correspondent Ian Pannell which cannot be verified, but appear to feature people with suspicious symptoms. But how do you tell whether someone has been exposed to a chemical weapon? Alistair Hay, Professor of Environmental Toxicology and Epidemiology at Leeds University gives Health Check a guide to the different types of chemical weapons and what they do.

Mosquito Manipulation
Each year, more than two hundred million people around the world catch malaria from a mosquito bite. Ninety per cent of the deaths occur in Africa. Although the distribution of bed nets to stop mosquitoes biting and anti-malarials to treat symptoms has improved over the years, infections still persist at high levels. One team of researchers have found that once a mosquito is infected with malaria, it becomes even better at using its sense of smell to hunt out a human to bite. The BBC’s Meera Senthilingam finds out how this discovery might lead to new ways of tackling the disease.

Alligator Teeth
It turns out there is something very special about alligator teeth which could eventually help the rest of us. Whilst humans only have baby teeth and then the final set, alligators are able to grow entirely new sets of teeth; up to fifty times. Led by Professor of Pathology Cheng-Ming Chuong, researchers from the University of Southern California have just discovered how alligators are able to do this.

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28 minutes

Last on

Sun 26 May 2013 22:32 GMT
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