Episode 4 Bang Goes the Theory


Episode 4

The team puts more science to the test, including new stem-cell research and the Nocebo effect (placebo's evil twin). And Dallas Campbell goes to a memory boot camp.


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Transcript


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On tonight's programme: Liz joins the team whose new stem

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cell research may change organ transplant surgery for ever.

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you a little bit nervous about it all? No, not nervous. I have just

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got anticipation that something good is going to come from it.

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And Dallas discovers why he can never remember where he left his

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keys as he books into Memory Boot Camp. So this little connection

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here, I mean, that's not a memory in itself? No, it's part of a

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memory. So it might be, you know, 100,000th of a memory pattern.

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That's Bang Goes The Theory: revealing your world with a bang.

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Hello and welcome to tonight's show. Now, I have got to that age where I

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keep forgetting things. What have I done with my car keys? Why have I

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walked into a particular room? Who are you? It's not good. So I have

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decided to investigate the science of memory. How does it all work,

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and what can we do to improve our memories? It's time for a memory

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MOT. So I have brought this memory with

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me. I haven't seen this for many years, but I look at it now and

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it's all floods back. I remember playing in the hose, I remember the

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hose was absolutely freezing cold. I remember my sister being there. I

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think of my brain, if you like, as a kind of filing cabinet for memory.

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Somewhere in my brain, there is a bit where that event happens. And

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like a filing cabinet, you can go through and pull it out. I know it

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is not like that. I think most of us think of things intuitively,

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that is an easy way to think about it. But memory is much more like

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this dynamic replay. And it captures the things that were of

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relevance. The coldness of the water, the sun, the breeze. Those

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sensations that you had then are reactivated and you kind of re-

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member or re-put-together reality to re-experience it in your head.

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So if memory is a mental replaying of past events, how are those

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events actually recorded in my mind? When we experience something

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that is significant and that we remember later on, what happens is

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we change the connections amongst brain cells. All of the brain sort

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of takes part in remembering and experience. So it is not at all

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that you have these little localised bits of brain that are

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special for memory. So when I remember my breakfast this morning,

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it is not, there is a location in my brain of "here's breakfast".

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here we have a bunch of brain cells, and these cells are special in that

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they are like little batteries. They have a little voltage in them

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and they can communicate electrical signals to one another and form

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circuits. We have, I don't know, 100 billion brain cells in the

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brain. There are lots of these. Each neuron can receive thousands

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of inputs from different cells. So when this cell is sufficiently

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excited, it will send out its own, what we call "a spike" of

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electricity, down the cell wire. And here we have these receiving

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little tentacles of this other cell here. And here, you can see that

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they are making a little connection. So this little connection here, I

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mean, that is not a memory in itself? No, it is part of a memory.

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So it might be, you know, 100,000th of a memory pattern. So what can I

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actually do to improve my memory? I think the important things are to

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try to form as rich a web of associations, objects, feelings,

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sensations, as you can. And that creates a very rich web of

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interconnected neurons. So you have more entryways, or hooks, to get

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To create the collection, I needed Her in A series of really dull

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objects. And then a vivid complex scene. Let's see, cows in the

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street, washing hanging out, there are some people at the bus stop and

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somewhere, there, on the balcony, top right, a mobile phone. Now,

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after a bit of brainwave analysis, I should be able to see the

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difference between a weak memory and a vivid one. OK, so now for the

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moment of truth. We are going to see if you one, have a brain. Two,

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whether you were able to form some associations, whether thatcaused

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physical changes in your brain and whether we can see it. This is my

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memory of a shoe from the first group of pictures. The coloured

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areas show where neurons were connecting, but this is me

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remembering the mobile phone. More connections formed because it was a

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richer memory and therefore easier to recall. So there is context with

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my object, therefore there is more brain activity and that brain

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activity is memories being formed. This brain activity is retrieval of

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those extra contextual things, so you are linking these objects with

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these rich themes and context. what you're doing is forging real

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links between those mundane objects and all of these aspects within the

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scene. So you are actually sort of reforming and strengthening

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connections within the brain, informing the circuitry of the

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brain. Terrifying to think that all of my

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early memories are on Super Eight. I am getting old. Better Super

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Eight than tapestry. This is true, this is true. Actually, you know

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what, we should make the distinction between the natural

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loss of efficiency of memory through ageing and actual brain

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damage that you can sustain through neuro-degenerative diseases like

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Alzheimer's. We are not talking about that, we are talking about

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ageing and that sort of thing. thing that struck me most about

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your film was that, you know when you have those microscopic images

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of the brain, that you could actually see that it was connected

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with wires. There are electrical connections. When you hear people

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saying "You are not wired up right", you actually aren't wired up right!

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It was amazing, we are physical machines, you are absolutely right,

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it is an amazing thing. What really Was the contextualisation of memory,

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because when I was doing exams, I always literally visually

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reproduced a page with a diagram and that was associated with a box

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of text here. That was how I learned, visually and contextually.

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There is a very good reason for that and we will be getting into

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the whole memory and context in the next part of that film later on.

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Excellent. OK, next up, stem cells. Scientists have been researching

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them for about 30 years now and over that time, it is safe to say

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it has become a very controversial subject. That is mainly because the

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early research focused on embryos. The stem cells were derived from

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the embryos that were replanted into a mother during IVF treatment.

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But nowadays, of course, we know that stem cells don't just come

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from embryos, they also exist in as adults. And it is those adult stem

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cells that are now the subject of the latest research. In fact,

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scientists are using an individual's own stem cells, adult

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stem cells, to treat that very person's conditions. OK, are you

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:07:06.:07:06.

OK? Just about. Good. We do want you to carry on a little bit longer

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if you can. OK. Michael Taylor suffers from a serious heart

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condition. He is preparing to join a

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pioneering clinical trial. Halfway through this phase now. But first,

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his heart is being assessed at the Royal Brompton Hospital to gauge

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the severity of his symptoms. I came home from work and I was

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absolutely shattered. Which was not normal? Not normal. Literally, I

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was watching a programme and I would fall asleep and my wife was

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telling me off, saying... "What is wrong with you?" Exactly. And I

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couldn't... I just thought it was tiredness. And how are you feeling

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about the next stage? Are you calm? You a little bit nervous about it

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all? No, not nervous. No, I have just got anticipation that

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something good is going to come from it. So I am hoping from this,

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I hope I get better. I will keep everything crossed for you. And

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well done on that treadmill. I was rooting for you. I needed it! I

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need a bit of luck. By volunteering, Michael will help

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doctors to discover whether stem cells can be used to relieve his

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condition. So, what are stem cells? Now, imagine this is a stem cell.

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Stem cells are unique, because they have the ability to generate new

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cells of almost any kind. They all start up as unspecialised cells,

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but given the right chemical and genetic signals, the stem cells can

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divide to form slightly more specialised cells, of different

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size, shape and function. And after a few more cycles of division,

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these can give rise to highly specialised cells, like heart

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muscle cells, for example, that help your heart pump the blood

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around your body. Given a different set of signals, this same

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unspecialised stem cell can go down an alternative pathway and give

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rise to a different type of specialised cell, like a neuron,

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that transmits electrical signals in the brain. Compared with stem

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cells from embryos, adult stem cells give rise to a smaller number

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of cell types, usually those of the organ or tissue in which they are

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found. Now, researchers have found adults stem cells in more tissues

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than previously thought. Bone marrow, skin, brain, liver, eyes,

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and this has led to research into using the patient's own adult stem

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:09:31.:09:33.

cells to repair damaged organs. Just relax back your head. And that

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is exactly the focus of the trial Michael Taylor is taking part in.

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Led by Professor Anthony Mather at the London Chest Hospital, the

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trial is vitally important, because heart disease is still on the rise.

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Cardiovascular disease is the number one killer in the UK, With

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nearly three million people suffering from heart conditions in

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the UK. Around 800,000 people suffer from this condition of heart

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failure. He has got a condition which makes the heart fairly weak

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and baggy and it doesn't work very well as a pump. What we're trying

:10:05.:10:08.

to do is see whether his own stem cells can actually repair that

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heart and make it pump effectively again. So if you're looking to

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repair heart tissue, do you need to use heart stem cells?

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Ideally, yes. The problem is that there are very few of those cells

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in the heart, and we have only recently discovered they are there.

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And the few heart stem cells that are present clearly aren't capable

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of repairing it. And that is really where we step in with our trials.

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By using bone marrow as a source of stem cells, we try and enhance the

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stem cells in the heart and their ability to repair the damage that

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has been caused. This trial tackles heart disease on two fronts.

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Michael's bone marrow has already been stimulated to release enormous

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amounts of stem cells into his blood. And now, more are to be

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harvested directly from the bone marrow in his hip. Are you OK?

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fine, thank you. It wasn't that bad at all. Good. As this is still a

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trial, only some patients will have the stem cells reinjected. Although

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Michael will get an injection directly into his heart, neither he

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nor Professor Mather know if it will contain his stem cells or a

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placebo. We are about to put either stem cells or placebos into his

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coronary arteries. We won't know which until the end of the study,

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when we have treated all of our patients. This uncertainty helps

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the researchers to rule out the placebo effect from any positive

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results they achieve. Professor Mather feeds a tube through

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Michael's blood vessels right back to the site of the disease in his

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heart. Incredibly, Michael remains fully awake throughout the entire

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procedure. Are you all right? fine, thank you. Good. You can't

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feel anything? No, I can't feel anything. So that is the first half

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we have done. -- first artery. Now the second one and then one more

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and we are all finished. All finished. OK. That is it, all done.

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That went very well. As you heard, the patient didn't

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feel anything. Yes, a very successful procedure. Let's see

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:12:31.:12:31.

The big thing that leaps out at me, how's Michael? I know. Well, what

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is really interesting is that for the first time in years, his blood

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pressure is back then to normal, and he is cycling again, so it is

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looking positive, but we won't know whether he actually got his own

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stem cells or a placebo until next June, so fingers crossed. Yes.

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think that the potential and the versatility of stem cells is

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amazing. Yes, a couple of months ago, doctors already achieved an

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entire tracheal implant into a patient using his own stem cells.

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So they grew the trachea, the windpipe, in a bioreactor in

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something like two days. They implanted it into him and he is

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doing really well with it. So this eliminates the need for

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immunosuppressant drugs, because you are not going to reject your

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own cells, and also, it eliminates this long waiting list for donor

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organs, so it is really exciting stuff. I guess as well, you are not

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getting one that is already worn. It is brand-new. It is not like

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getting a part for your car from the breaker's yard, it is like

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getting one straight out of the shop. Nice analogy. What I find

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really exciting as a biologist, of course, is that the research is

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amazing but it is also a reflection of how incredible our own bodies

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are. The stem cells are fascinating entities and the more we learn

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about them, the more we will be able to use them in therapies.

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is, it is absolutely amazing. Now, in Liz's film, she talked about the

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placebo effect, which you have probably heard of. The idea that

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just believing in something can have beneficial physiological

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effects. But have you heard of a "no-cebo" effect? That is placebo's

:13:54.:14:04.
:14:04.:14:04.

evil twin. Well, we sent the evil What would you think if I told you

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that just believing that something is going to hurt or make you feel

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ill will actually make you suffer even more? It is called the no-cebo

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effect and it is very real. I can demonstrate using one of these. It

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is called an electrical stimulator. Ow! So, I'm going to need some

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willing volunteers. OK, anyone for pain? Bridget, thank you so much

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for volunteering. You are looking a bit worried. I am slightly.

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going to give you some electric shocks. Are you all right with

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that? I think so. What I would like you to do is to rank the pain on

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the scale from not painful at all, zero, to the worst possible pain

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you can imagine. And the first one, we are going to sit to sort of

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medium level. OK? Are you ready? Ouch. So what would you say that

:14:58.:15:08.
:15:08.:15:08.

was? Four. Go. Go. There you go. Six? Probably about three, four.

:15:08.:15:18.
:15:18.:15:20.

Six. Five. Four. 2-3. Ready? OK, go. Probably go three. Now, here comes

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the real no-cebo test. I am going to tell them that I'm cranking up

:15:24.:15:27.

the level to really high, but actually, I'm going to keep it

:15:27.:15:30.

exactly the same. OK, now, I'm afraid I'm going to

:15:30.:15:37.

take it up to very high. OK. Are you ready for this? I am ready. Go.

:15:37.:15:43.

Ooh. So what would you say that was? I would go for a five.

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will go for a five that time, all right. Last one, though, yes? OK.

:15:47.:15:53.

You're definitely ready? Yes. go. I would say five. Knock

:15:53.:15:58.

yourself out, go for it. This really will hurt. Right. Go. So I'm

:15:58.:16:02.

going to go for a seven. Now for the last one, I am afraid I'm going

:16:02.:16:09.

to take it up to a really high Are you ready for this? Go. What

:16:09.:16:14.

would you say? An eight? And eight, right, OK. Probably only one more

:16:15.:16:19.

than the previous one.about five. About six. Well, I have got a

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confession to make. Those last two were exactly the same level of

:16:23.:16:28.

electric shock. Oh! The last two shocks I gave you were exactly the

:16:28.:16:32.

same intensity. Were they exactly the same? They were exactly the

:16:32.:16:37.

same. Wow. Why did it feel a bit more tingly? I went to great pains

:16:37.:16:41.

to tell you that it was going to be more painful. Right. And because

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you thought it was going to be more painful, it was more painful.

:16:45.:16:48.

Definitely felt stronger, yes. definitely felt it was, yes. I felt

:16:48.:16:52.

that a bit more, yes. So that shows that the pain isn't just to do with

:16:52.:16:55.

the pain receptors in your skin, it is also to do with what your brain

:16:55.:16:59.

does with the information. And what is sort of going on is that when

:16:59.:17:03.

you feel more anxious, is like him I do when I tell you it is going to

:17:03.:17:07.

really hurt, then your brain gives out a chemical called CCK for short.

:17:07.:17:10.

And that increases the brain's pain response, making the signals from

:17:10.:17:14.

its pain receptors seem more painful. So it is a very real

:17:14.:17:19.

biochemical effect. Right. It is not just in your imagination, it

:17:19.:17:29.
:17:29.:17:30.

really is more painful. Ouch. Thank you very much, Dr Yan. I find

:17:30.:17:32.

that really interesting, because not only does the placebo -no-cebo

:17:33.:17:35.

effect have an effect on your psychology, it affects you on a

:17:36.:17:37.

physiological basis, very physically, and that means the

:17:38.:17:40.

first time, doctors are having to consider a patient's expectations

:17:40.:17:46.

before they administer a drug or a treatment. That's very new. It is.

:17:46.:17:50.

My advice if you see Yan in the high Street and he has some kind of

:17:50.:17:54.

contraption, with wires coming out, you might want to run. OK, more of

:17:54.:17:58.

Dr Yan now, because here's another one of his puzzles. I have got a

:17:58.:18:02.

50p and 5p. Considerable difference in size. You might like this as an

:18:02.:18:05.

amateur magician, because it is a bit like magic. I have cut a hole

:18:05.:18:10.

in this piece of paper the same size as the 5p. The question is,

:18:10.:18:14.

how do you get the large 50p through the small hole of the 5p?

:18:14.:18:17.

actually know this, I can do this, but I can't tell you, obviously,

:18:17.:18:21.

because of the magicians code and all that. Whatever. You can't tear

:18:21.:18:26.

the paper. If you want to see how you compare with your brain and Dr

:18:26.:18:30.

Yan's massive brain teasing brain, go on the website at /bang to see

:18:30.:18:35.

how it is done. And while you are on that website, check out all of

:18:35.:18:39.

our live dates. Bang is on the road again all summer. This weekend we

:18:39.:18:42.

are going to Bradford for the British science Festival, so come

:18:42.:18:45.

down and say hello. Yes, now it is time for my memory challenge. Why

:18:45.:18:49.

is it I can remember some things and I can't remember other things.

:18:49.:18:51.

So for example, I can still remember my chemistry homework from

:18:51.:18:55.

20 years ago, 25 years ago, when I had to remember the first 20

:18:55.:18:58.

elements of the periodic table, but I can't remember what I have just

:18:58.:19:02.

done with my keys. So I have enlisted the help of a memory

:19:02.:19:06.

champion to get to the bottom of all of this. It is time to go back

:19:06.:19:15.

Ed, I want to know how good you are, so what I have done is I have

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brought a pack of cards. Do you think for example, you would be

:19:18.:19:22.

able to memorise an entire deck, and if so, how long would it take

:19:22.:19:26.

you? I can give it a pop. Maybe if you give me a minute or so. This is

:19:26.:19:29.

a shuffled deck, you reckon you could do this in a minute?

:19:29.:19:33.

Seriously? That is my claim. cards in a minute, OK. I have a

:19:33.:19:36.

stopwatch here. That is a shuffled deck of cards. Thank you very much.

:19:36.:19:46.
:19:46.:19:57.

Ready? I think I am ready. On your How long was that? That was

:19:57.:20:02.

actually under a minute, that was 46 seconds. If you can do this, I

:20:02.:20:07.

will be seriously amazed. It was under a minute. Let's see you go.

:20:07.:20:14.

So, what have we got? We have got the three of spades. And then the

:20:14.:20:18.

the three of spades. And then the queen of clubs. The eight of clubs.

:20:18.:20:24.

And the five of hearts. The two of spades. And after the two of spades,

:20:24.:20:28.

a mildly mis-shuffled part of the pack, which was the king of spades,

:20:28.:20:32.

the queen of spades and the jack of spades. So disappointing shuffling

:20:33.:20:37.

there. Sorry, poor shuffling. the nine of clubs and then the five

:20:37.:20:41.

of diamonds. Then the four of diamonds and the ten of spades and

:20:41.:20:44.

the seven of clubs. Shall we go backwards from here now? Yes. Three

:20:44.:20:49.

of diamonds. And the ace of of diamonds. And the ace of

:20:49.:20:51.

diamonds. And you know what, I have actually got no idea what that last

:20:52.:20:54.

card is. The six of clubs. That is ridiculous. That is utterly

:20:54.:20:58.

ridiculous. Do you have an amazing memory? Are you special?

:20:58.:21:02.

actually, not at all. What I am doing here is I am using my

:21:02.:21:05.

imagination to make those cards extraordinarily vivid in my mind.

:21:05.:21:09.

I'm trying to inject them with a bit of personality and then I am

:21:09.:21:14.

linking them together into a bigger story. If you are interested in

:21:14.:21:17.

coming under my tutelage, it would be a pleasure to take you under my

:21:17.:21:21.

wing. I can reveal to you, they are not fixed, they are just ways of

:21:21.:21:25.

using your imagination and the latent power of your mind. -- of

:21:25.:21:29.

tricks. I want to make it even more difficult. I want to try and

:21:29.:21:33.

remember the entire periodic table of the elements, so from one to 118.

:21:33.:21:37.

Is that possible for someone like me to do and can you teach me to do

:21:37.:21:41.

it? I mean, it is possible, but it is going to take a couple of hours,

:21:41.:21:44.

some imagination and some discipline. Can you help me do it?

:21:44.:21:49.

I would love to. Brilliant. I have got to ask, why on earth do

:21:49.:21:55.

we need to do this in the zoo? Good question. The zoo has got a very

:21:55.:21:57.

interesting space, so lots of good candy for your imagination. We're

:21:57.:22:01.

going to be using the zoo as a memory pallet to store the memories

:22:01.:22:04.

we are going to be putting down for the hundred and 18 elements. --

:22:05.:22:08.

Palace. So for the next couple of hours, you are going to be putting

:22:08.:22:11.

your imagination into overdrive. We better get on with this. Starting

:22:11.:22:14.

with calcium. You know the ones before then? Go over them. Hydrogen,

:22:14.:22:16.

helium, lithium, beryllium, boron, carbon,nitrogen, oxygen, fluorine,

:22:16.:22:18.

neon, sodium, magnesium, aluminium, silicon, phosphorus, so for,

:22:18.:22:27.

chlorine, argon, potassium, calcium. -- a sop up. That is 20. So we are

:22:27.:22:29.

going to basically arrange these memories with bright, visual images

:22:29.:22:34.

around the spaces as we encounter them. Let's try that little ball of

:22:34.:22:40.

what I am ignorantly going to call muesli. Little mouse food. Niobium.

:22:40.:22:44.

Sometimes it is useful saying a word backwards. I am thinking of

:22:44.:22:54.

Obi-Wan. Ni-Obi-One. Niobium. we have molybdenum. If we divide

:22:54.:23:01.

that into two, it will be like Molly and denim. Okay, I have got a

:23:01.:23:05.

niece called Molly, so I'm thinking of my niece called Molly.

:23:05.:23:12.

Is her middle name Bea? No. Can we pretend it is? Yes. Johnny be good.

:23:12.:23:16.

So Molly, Bea and then denim. She is wearing jeans. Molly Bea denim.

:23:17.:23:20.

Then you have got two tin cans and you are going to crawl through the

:23:20.:23:23.

tin cans to see the anti-money - antimony- protesters. When we get

:23:23.:23:28.

to the end, it is tellurium. They are a bit like telescopes. There is

:23:28.:23:32.

a kind of lure to get to the other end. So tel-lure. These things are

:23:32.:23:38.

like telescopes. OK, so tell. And who are we going to meet in the

:23:38.:23:42.

middle? The anti-money. That is right. And now we have a really

:23:42.:23:44.

bizarre set of elements called things like three little pigs, I'm

:23:44.:23:47.

thinking of the three little pigs.I'm genuinely nervous about

:23:47.:23:57.
:23:57.:24:06.

actually leaving here and being Three little pigs forced Bob I am

:24:06.:24:10.

thinking of the Three Little Pigs. Enjoy the process of recall, that

:24:10.:24:14.

is very important. As soon as you get anxious, you begin to panic and

:24:14.:24:18.

you think and you begin to think, that is Cesium. And it's not.

:24:18.:24:28.
:24:28.:24:33.

shall we go and put this to the And so the moment of truth.

:24:33.:24:37.

Hydrogen I shouldn't have too many problems with the first 20 elements.

:24:37.:24:44.

Helium. Chlorine. Potassium. Calcium.

:24:44.:24:48.

It is the other 98 I'm going to struggle with.

:24:48.:24:58.
:24:58.:25:00.

Here we go. Scandium. Titanium. Vanadium. Er, cobalt. I am

:25:00.:25:02.

wandering back through the zoo, replaying my memories.

:25:03.:25:06.

Hello, otter. A strong man fighting a

:25:06.:25:12.

brontosaurus was strontium. OK, I think this is too easy. What

:25:12.:25:15.

I want you to do, I will completely randomise it, this will be much

:25:15.:25:20.

more difficult. I need to know the exact number. I will dive in to

:25:20.:25:25.

begin with on number 80. Number 80 is Mercury. Let's have a look. That

:25:25.:25:35.
:25:35.:25:39.

is correct. How about 118? 118? OK. I am in the pigsty. I'm thinking of

:25:39.:25:44.

the pigs. It is the last pig. The three little pigs going through to

:25:44.:25:51.

the end. The mouse muesli. What is the name

:25:51.:25:58.

of that? Niobium.. And then we went to my niece. She is wearing jeans.

:25:58.:26:05.

In denim. OK, 51 is Oh, God, what is it called?

:26:05.:26:08.

I am in the tunnel with the anti- money protesters.

:26:08.:26:17.

Antinomy. Let's have a look. Very good. So we are down to the last

:26:17.:26:21.

one. You can look if you want to see it. It is 104. What is behind

:26:21.:26:31.
:26:31.:26:38.

104? 104. I feel quite emotional. OK. Rutherfordium. Is that correct?

:26:38.:26:48.
:26:48.:26:48.

There it is. That, that is 118 out of 118. Well done. That is super

:26:48.:26:54.

impressive. I have to say, you know, when we first met today, and you

:26:54.:26:59.

were looking at your deck of cards, I was like, wow. I had no clue that

:26:59.:27:03.

I would be able to do this, genuinely. I genuinely did not

:27:03.:27:09.

think I would be able to do it. Well, you have done stunningly well.

:27:09.:27:15.

Thank you very much. You were amazing.

:27:15.:27:18.

That is impressive. I have finally finished my homework, 25 years too

:27:18.:27:27.

late. Get in. Do you remember them all? Yes. Can I test you? Yes.

:27:27.:27:33.

so what is 111? 111 is roentgenium. Yes. OK, give me the atomic number

:27:33.:27:41.

of francium. Francium is 8 Oh, blimey, 87? Yes, well done. And you

:27:41.:27:46.

still associate bits of the zoo with each element? You kind of do.

:27:46.:27:50.

It makes total sense. You think about the human brain, we are very

:27:50.:27:54.

good at finding our way around the space, we are very visual. So

:27:54.:27:57.

applying what we are naturally good at to our memories makes the

:27:57.:28:00.

memories more vivid. It makes them stand out. It is a brilliant

:28:00.:28:03.

technique. And if you want to find out more about Dallas's amazing

:28:03.:28:06.

memory technique, go to the website, and while you are there, find a

:28:06.:28:09.

link to the Open University and check out their interactive

:28:09.:28:12.

periodic table. Good stuff. That is it for this week. Next week, I'm

:28:12.:28:14.

tracking down an increasingly common and unwelcome guest in our

:28:14.:28:18.

beds. The bedbug. And I am off to Caltech to look deep into space

:28:18.:28:21.

using very interesting techniques. And Dr Yan is handing out bacon

:28:21.:28:24.

The team puts more science to the test. Liz Bonnin investigates new stem-cell research that could change the face of organ transplant surgery, Dr Yan Wong tries out the Nocebo effect (placebo's evil twin), and at a memory boot camp Dallas Campbell discovers how to remember where he left his keys.

The programme is co-produced with the Open University. For more ways to put science to the test, go to www.bbc.co.uk/bang and follow the links to The Open University.