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The Fantastical World of Hormones with Dr John Wass
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A few years back, astronomy was very much in vogue on BBC4. More recently – spearheaded by the excellent Michael Mosley – physiological matters have been enjoying a spell in primetime. Here, Dr John Wass charts the history of endocrinology – that’s hormones to most of us. “It’s a story I’ve wanted to tell all my life,” he announces, with robust enthusiasm.
While there’s not much time devoted to recent advances in the subject, we do get gratifyingly gross tales of Victorian “organotherapists” injecting themselves with elixirs made from various glandular extracts. Guinea-pig semen, anyone? It’s easy to imagine why that craze never quite caught on.
The consultant physician, one of the country's leading experts on hormones, reveals the weird and wonderful stories behind some of the regulatory biochemicals. John explains how juices were once extracted from testicles in the hope they would rejuvenate elderly men, and reveals how Canadian doctor Fredrick Banting discovered insulin. He also looks at how hormones are being used in the battle against obesity.
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