Michael Mosley explores how pioneering doctors learnt to harness the immune system by exposing themselves to incurable diseases like rabies, typhoid and polio.
Dr Michael Mosley explores the ways in which pioneering doctors laid the foundations of modern medicine by experimenting on themselves.
Mosley explores the unbelievable ways in which doctors learnt to harness the immune system by deliberately exposing themselves to incurable diseases like rabies, typhoid and polio. He meets the team of Nottingham doctors who are infecting themselves with hookworms to see if they can shut down the immune system in order to cope with allergies like hayfever and asthma.
The programme includes the story of living self-experimenter Dr Hilary Koprowski, who mixed up a potion of ground-up rats' brains in the 1950s and drank it in his efforts to develop an oral polio vaccine. Mosley charts the terrible consequences of releasing an unproven vaccine too early, which happened in the race to control polio in the 1930s and the 1950s. One of the contributors describes the 1950s polio trial which involved millions of children as 'the worst man-made biological disaster in American history'.
|Executive Producer||Anne Laking|