8:00pm – Thursday, May 26 on ABC1
Can you really die from a curse? Jonica Newby travels to New Orleans, home of Louisiana voodoo, to uncover the source of its power – the Nocebo effect. We hear the true story of a harmful hex, attend a modern voodoo ceremony and visit a scientific lab with some truly incredible results. Jonica explores the power of the placebo’s deadly opposite – the Nocebo effect.
Robotic Heart Surgery Maryanne Demasi reports on a robotic navigation system being used to revolutionise the treatment of atrial fibrillation. Surgeons see a 3D-map of the heart and control the operation from outside the theatre – lowering the risk of infection.
Penguin DNA Generation after generation of Adelie penguins have nested in the same Antarctic location for thousands of years. Researchers in Brisbane are comparing old DNA from penguin fossils and DNA from more recent samples to measure the rate of evolutionary change. On his last trip to Antarctica, Paul Willis gathered a few pairs of feet from deceased Adelie penguins at Brown Bluff on the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula. The analysis of the DNA provided by Paul is helping to build up a picture of evolutionary change much faster than previously estimated.
Martin Green Profile – The father of photovoltaics Scientia Professor Martin Green and his team have led the world in silicon cell efficiency since 1983, paving the way for the solar panels we now put on our homes. Dubbed ‘the father of photovoltaics’, he’s guided a generation of international researchers and entrepreneurs – including China’s first solar billionaire.
Sydney Brick Pit Fossil As you travel southward on the Princes Highway through Sydney, you’ll pass by the remains of one of Sydney’s oldest brick works. Now surrounded by recreational parkland, it was also where the fossilised bones of paracyclotosaurus were found. Paul Willis asks why the bones are now in London’s Natural History Museum.
Placebo The placebo pill can cure any number of medical symptoms – why? Because you believe it can. And the effectiveness of a placebo can be determined by your genes.