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TEDTalks [electronic resource]: Sonaar Luthra - Meet the Water Canary

After a crisis, how can we tell if water is safe to drink? Current tests are slow and complex, and the delay can be deadly-as in the cholera outbreak after Haiti's earthquake in 2010. In this TEDTalk, TED Fellow Sonaar Luthra previews his design for a simple tool that quickly tests water for safety: the Water Canary.

Rise of the Superbugs [electronic resource]

Before the advent of antibiotics in the 1930s it was not uncommon for people to die of pneumonia or appendicitis, and medical procedures we now take for granted were impossible to perform due to the risk of deadly infection. It's hard to imagine returning to that era, but many believe that if the problem of drug-resistant bacteria is not sufficiently addressed, it's a future we'll have to face. This program examines the rise of superbugs, introducing patients with uncontrollable infections and visiting places where antibiotics misuse is breeding multi-drug resistance. In particular, the video looks at the case of India's NDM-1, an enzyme that is able to genetically modify bacteria to turn them into superbugs.

Checkerboard Tech Detects Pathogens in 24 Hours [electronic resource]

The Lawrence Livermore Microbial Detection Array can identify viruses and food-borne pathogens within 24 hours.

Deadly Bacteria Go Viral [electronic resource]

Tricking the tuberculosis bacterium could save many people.

Exposing the Smallest Viruses [electronic resource]

What if illnesses could be detected even before symptoms?

How Airports Influence the Spread of Disease [electronic resource]

Researchers identify the U.S. airports most likely to affect the transmission of epidemics.

Local Bugs Pose Threat to Soldiers [electronic resource]

Insects in the Middle East could be deadly to troops.

Spanish Flu [electronic resource]: H5N1's Deadly Ancestor

The influenza pandemic of 1918 killed an estimated 50 million people worldwide. This program examines recent efforts to gain a more rigorous understanding of the outbreak and its implications for today's global community. Although the Spanish flu caused far more fatalities than World War I, the film shows how large-scale trench warfare amplified the spread of the virus. Frantic methods used by urban centers to fight the advance of the disease are also studied. Experts in epidemiology and emergency medicine reconstruct the Spanish flu's 18-month rampage and explore scientific evidence linking old and new killer flu strains.

Defeating the Superbugs [electronic resource]

Across the world we are seeing the emergence of bacteria that have gone rogue. These are the superbugs, dangerous bacteria that are becoming resistant to our only defense: antibiotics. Horizon meets scientists who are tracking the spread of these potential killers around the globe, and discovers new techniques researchers are developing to help defeat these superbugs.

Virus vs. Bacteria [electronic resource]: A Way Out of the Antibiotics Crisis?

For decades, experts have been warning about the growing resistance to antibiotics. Could a rarely-discussed alternative hold the answer to the crisis? Phage therapy-the use of viruses which attack and destroy certain bacteria without harming their human hosts-has been around for longer than antibiotics. But it was forgotten in much of Europe once antibiotics became the standard treatment, and it is still not generally accepted there. However, partly due to their historical isolation from antibiotics research, Russian scientists have pioneered new developments in phage therapy. To illustrate the potential of phage treatments, this film follows the case of Henri Lemaitre, whose leg became infected with resistant bacteria during a hospital stay.

Building the Perfect Bug [electronic resource]: Virology, Rogue Science, and Bioterrorism

Why did Dutch virologist Ron Fouchier and his team of researchers purposely engineer a lethal, airborne bird flu virus? That's the first of many questions raised in this timely, eye-opening investigation. Why did Fouchier, in an uncanny parallel with American scientists who conducted similar experiments, decide to publish his findings and openly share his working methods? Can the deadly microbes he produced be contained securely, or are they vulnerable to bioterrorists? Interviewed in the film, Fouchier and a respected American virologist, Dr. Vincent Racaniello of Columbia University, defend the controversial research while Pulitzer Prize-winning science writer Laurie Garret and other experts highlight the tremendous risks it poses.

Antibiotics [electronic resource]: Double-Edged Sword

Antibiotics initially worked miracles, saving millions of lives. In just decades, many of the wonder drugs are ineffective. How did it happen? This program reports on a battle for survival between humans and microbes, providing a concise history of antibiotics, as well as tracing their decline in efficacy. Their overuse and misuse is examined in medicine, agriculture, and domestic cleaning products. Special attention is given to the world's first case of vancomycin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or VRSA. Among those who discuss the issue are Dr. Richard Besser, director of the Centers for Disease Control's national campaign to reduce antimicrobial resistance, and Dr. Stuart Levy, author of The Antibiotic Paradox and founder of the Alliance for the Prudent Use of Antibiotics.
2005; 2003

Microbe Invasion [electronic resource]: Learning From Good Guys and Bad Guys

This engaging program delves into the microscopic milieu that overlays life as human beings know it, illustrating the complex relationship between the microscopic and macroscopic worlds as the human host, with its billions of microbial allies and antagonists, journeys from the birth canal to the decomposition that follows death. Spectacular 3-D computer animation, case study footage, and expert commentary offer insights into the infiltration mechanisms of a range of pathogenic organisms; defense strategies of the digestive tract, lungs, ears, nose, and skin; positive results of probiotic therapy; and postmortem forensic research.
2005; 2002

Living With Crohn's Disease [electronic resource]

Of the more than 400,000 Americans living with Crohn's disease, as many as 20 percent were diagnosed as children or teens. Several case studies of young female patients provide a forum for medical experts from the Mayo Clinic and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center to share their knowledge of risk factors, symptoms, screening methods, complications, and treatment options, including anti-inflammatory medications, steroid treatments, immunosuppression, injected proteins, and surgical interventions. Cycles of remission and relapse, genetic and pharmaceutical research, diet and nutrition, pregnancy, and support groups are also covered.
2006; 2002

Infection [electronic resource]: History

As a history of infection and contagion, this program tells a story of clever science and dumb luck, horror and hope. Filmed at locations worldwide, the video traces the battles fought against humanity's oldest foes: diseases such as yellow fever, malaria, syphilis, cholera, smallpox, tuberculosis, polio, and perhaps the deadliest pandemic of all, AIDS. Health workers and epidemiologists on the front lines discuss the dynamics of combating disease, particularly in Africa, where AIDS ravages the continent. The growing problem of antibiotic resistance is also examined. Experts include Dr. David Ho, a virologist at the Pasteur Institute in Paris who has developed some of the most effective HIV drugs.
2005; 2001

The New Face of Leprosy [electronic resource]: Healing Bodies, Opening Minds

Multidrug therapy can cure leprosy, stop its transmission, and prevent disfigurement. However, the disease will not be eradicated until early diagnosis and easy access to treatment become the norm-and heightened awareness completely replaces fear with facts. This compassionate program uses case studies from India, Ethiopia, Brazil, and Japan to illustrate the symptoms of leprosy, pharmaceutical treatment, and corrective surgery. In addition, it movingly addresses the rejection, isolation, and violation of human rights that generally have been the lot of leprosy patients. Initiatives such as Father Marian Zelazek's Karunalaya Leprosy Care Center are spotlighted.
2006; 2001

Ebola [electronic resource]: Diary of a Killer

Ebola, one of the most deadly viruses known to humankind, struck a town in Zaire in January 1995, ultimately causing the agonizing death of 80 percent of its victims-many of them health-care workers. This riveting documentary traces the progress of this outbreak and reports on its aftermath. Doctors at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention discuss current research, the virus's possible reemergence, and what the international medical community is doing to prepare itself. We visit a ready-response medical unit where health-care workers are being trained to deal with future outbreaks.
2006; 1996

Outbreak [electronic resource]: Stopping SARS

WHO Issues a Global Outbreak Alert "Emergency Travel Advisory" "SARS Spreads Worldwide" When SARS first hit the headlines, it was poised to become a major pandemic. This program shows how vigilant medical professionals save countless lives by tracking and identifying emerging mystery viruses-and stopping them cold with shared knowledge and cutting-edge technology deployed on a global scale. Examination techniques for patients with unknown infectious illnesses are demonstrated, as are diagnostic laboratory tests. The mechanics of coronaviruses are addressed.
2006; 2003

Breaking the Silence [electronic resource]: Lifting the Stigma of HIV/AIDS in Ethiopia

In Ethiopia, fear of HIV has led to a stigma against those who carry it. This case study spotlights the heroic efforts of individuals and organizations such as Dawn of Hope, the Cheshire Foundation, Mekdim, and Save Your Generation to open a life-saving dialogue about the disease that includes community education on HIV transmission and prevention as well as counseling and care for those in HIV-related need. "This issue is knocking on everybody's door," says Tsegaye, a young man who came out about his infection to open the eyes of his friends to the danger of unprotected sex. "Each of us must do our part." Contains discussions of condom use.
2005; 2003

Emerging Diseases [electronic resource]: Prions and Viruses

In an increasingly global society, disease outbreaks are on the rise-and so is the need for epidemiology expertise. This program introduces students to vital information regarding the transmission, clinical features, diagnosis, treatment, vectors, prevention, and control of several communicable diseases. Students receive vital information on zoonotic diseases such as SARS, Rift Valley fever, and avian influenza, including steps typically taken to manage and mitigate the spread of these illnesses. Creutzfeld-Jacob disease is also discussed. An experienced virology specialist discusses the science behind each of these diseases and current efforts to combat them.
2009; 2008