Blood and Guts: A History of Surgery

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Innovations such as Joseph Lister's antiseptic technique, the first open-heart surgery, and Walter Freeman's lobotomy operations, among other breakthroughs, are brought to life in these pages in vivid detail. This is popular science writing at it's best. A superb very readable introduction into a complex subject. By no means exhaustative, but then it makes pains to ensure that this is understood, focusing instead on five branches of surgery: Cardiac He has written and presented a number of radio series on science, the environment, and international politics.

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It marked the birth of a whole new obsession - surgeons gradually became entranced with the idea that not only could they fix the body, but now they could even fix our sense of self-esteem. A neo-nazi obsessed with the perfect stitch, organs from prisoners, patients bombarded with radiation, chance discoveries involving bottles of good quality olive oil - this is the story of transplant surgery.

Blood and Guts A History of Surgery (2008) Season 1 Episode 2

At first, transplant surgery seemed a craze, a one-off experiment. But pursuing fame, prestige and worldwide acclaim, surgeons took increasingly extraordinary risks. This five-part series about the brutal, bloody and dangerous history of surgery continues with a look at the development of heart surgery, which produced some extremely reckless experiments.

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With a family history of heart problems, presenter Michael Mosley takes a personal interest in these pioneers, who teeter on the scalpel-edge between saviour and executioner. Michael has a go at heart surgery, meets a man with no heartbeat, and witnesses an operation where the patient is cooled until their brain stops and has all of their blood sucked out.

Tides govern marine life. Tidal marshes are some of the most productive parts of the world. Numerous plants support numerous animals, yet life is not easy; predators are attracted to these enormous quantities of food, forcing animals to seek constant protection from attack.

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Relief comes with the crashing waves, as the tides flow once more. Between the tides, when the sands become depleted of food and air, the worms, clams and shrimps just endure the expected pause.


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The boundary between land and sea is an exciting place, with animals constantly coming and going. From the open oceans, millions of seabirds are forced to come onto land to breed.


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Sea eagles steal kittiwake chicks from their nesting ledges. Turtles lay their eggs in the sand and marine mammals haul themselves out to fight on the beaches. Sea lions emerge from the kelp to give birth, while killer whales come crashing into n the surf to snatch the sea lions' young. Bathed in warm, clear tropical water and brilliant sunlight, coral reefs are the rainforests of the sea.

Surrounded by ocean deserts, they are rich oases of life. Spectacular numbers make it necessary to stand out to survive. This competition is highly visible as brightly coloured fish compete for food, territory and mates.

Blood and Guts: A History of Surgery

But the corals themselves are also dynamic. Incredible time-lapse photography shows the dramatic formation of a coral reef, portraying its myriad inhabitants and its ultimate destruction. Don't have an account? Sign up here.

The history of surgery is gory viewing – not to mention what they do to dogs

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