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Streaming video

Title Kuru: The Science And Sorcery / Director: Bygott, Rob
Published Australia : SBS ONE, 2009
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Description 1 online resource (streaming video file) (52 min. 26 sec.) ; 315186693 bytes
Summary Fifty years ago Michael Alpers, an Australian medical researcher, volunteered to work on a new disease that was ravaging the eastern highlands of Papua New Guinea. Called 'kuru' by the locals, this frightening and deadly affliction became Michael's lifelong obsession.As part of SBS's Secrets of the Human Body season, Kuru: The Science and the Sorcery recounts, for the first time, one of the most incredible medical detective stories of the 20th century.When Michael arrives in PNG in 1961 he finds himself in the middle of an epidemic. Kuru is killing over 200 people a year, mostly women and children, but only those from the Fore tribe. The locals believe the shivering, the wobbling, the inability to speak, to move, is sorcery. Michael thinks it's some sort of degenerative brain disease - but how can he prove it, how did it begin, and is it transmissible between humans?This film, which won the 2010 Atom Award for Best Science Documentary, follows Michael's attempts to understand kuru, including convincing the family of Kigea, a sick young girl, to let him autopsy her upon her death. Eventually, Michael finds crucial evidence that kuru is transmissible through the Fore's tradition of eating their dead.Others leap on Michael's discoveries and find an infecting agent, the first new pathogen to be discovered in over 100 years. This research results in two Nobel prizes and turns scientific understanding upside down. (Commissioned by SBS) (Documentary) M CC WS
Notes Closed captioning in English
Event Broadcast 2010-12-19 at 20:30:00
Notes Classification: M
Subject Animals as carriers of disease.
Diseases -- Social aspects.
Fore (Papua New Guinean people) -- Diseases.
Papua New Guinea.
Form Streaming video
Author Alpers, Michael, contributor
Bygott, Rob, director
Davis, Judy, cast