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Salford science on screen!

Apr 16, 2018

Catch up with all the programmes on iPlayer
Catch up with all the programmes on iPlayer

A popular BBC series has heaped praise on University of Salford scientists for “bringing science to life”.

Health: Truth or Scare, which is fronted by veteran reporter Angela Rippon and shown on BBC1 and BBC2, has made Salford the go-to place for separating scientific fact from fiction.

Series two broadcast every weekday, from April 16-20, features no fewer than SIX Salford scientists - Chloe James, Patricia Ragazzon, Steve Preece, Chris Bramah, Joe Latimer and Sarah Withers - and includes the biggest public science experiment the series has ever conducted!

Programme-makers originally approached microbiologist Chloe James to explain antibiotic resistance and were so impressed with the cooperation they received, they followed up by posing other contested questions to our sport science team and our health biologists.

Series producer at the BBC Chris Walker said: “Your people really understand the importance of bringing something to life on screen and I hope that when you see the antibiotic resistance film you’ll agree that it tells a potentially very dry and complicated story in a really entertaining way. 

“What makes Health: Truth or Scare different is that it looks into the science behind scare headlines to see if they hold any water or have been blown out of proportion. So getting the scientists on screen to explain the actual facts is the key.”

It’s also a lot of fun – not least getting the legendary Rippon playing a game of pool in the Student Union to illustrate ‘microbe-wars’”

The first programme (aired on Monday 16 April) takes a closer look at whether running can be a harmful for our joints. Dr Steve Preece and physiotherapist Chris Bramah were asked whether there is evidence to support claims that running leads to long-term joint damage and whether it can aid weight loss. 

Steve said: “We looked at Angela’s running gait using our 3D motion capture system and gave her a personalised running programme over six weeks. We then reassessed her after the programme to see the effects on her joints, which was interesting because Angela is over 70 years old and has never really run before.”

“This was a fantastic opportunity for us to showcase our research and demonstrate the benefits of our running performance clinic.”

The team are also setting up a similar running clinic at the Manchester Institute for Health and Performance – one of the University’s key industry partners.

In the same episode, Drs Joe Latimer and Sarah Withers in ELS were posed questions about mouthwash and whether it does more harm than good.  Sarah is asked about links to diabetes and she explains how the condition is regulated by the signalling molecule nitric oxide while Joe swabs the teeth and tongues of local ballroom dancers and considers our microbiome!

A shorter version of the item featuring Steve and Chris was also shown on The One Show on BBC1 with Angela Rippon, aired on Wednesday 11 April and available to view on iPlayer.

Watch out for Joe too on Channel 4’s forthcoming documentary The Great British Germ Hunt where he looks into the benefits and risks around our personal body bacteria.

See the Health: Truth or Scare (Series 2, Episode 1) programme shown this morning at 9.15am for another 29 days on catch up.