Naked Scientists Podcast

Naked Scientists episode

Tue, 23rd Jun 2015

Bring out your Dead: Plague and Fire

Dance macabre (c) Michael Wolgemut

Tens of thousands of Londoners developed painful, apple-sized, pus-filled boils before dying from the dreadful disease within days. But just as the ordeal of the Black Death seemed to be subsiding, the Great Fire struck the city. But did the conflagration actually save the lives of thousands? In this scorcher of a show, we go in search of the cause of the plague, explore the origins of the Great Fire, and ask whether history might repeat itself?

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In this edition of Naked Scientists

Full Transcript

  • 01:13 - Cause or Cure? Treating the plague

    In the 16th Century, it was believed that bad smells carried the plague, and this led to some weird and wonderful treatments...

  • 13:38 - What was bubonic plague?

    Modern scientific techniques have led to discoveries about the cause of the plague that our ancestors couldn't even have dreamed of...

  • 30:29 - Modern plagues: Ebola

    Although the plague is now not the problem it once was, other infections, like Ebola, are still a huge issue in developing countries.

  • 40:12 - London's burning: the Great Fire

    The Great Fire burned for 4 days and destroyed 13,000 houses. We investigate how it started, why it spread, and how it changed London.



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