SciTech Now Episode 207

Scientists have discovered an unconventional solution to plummeting bee populations: the mushroom; physicist Brian Greene makes science accessible to a wider public through storytelling; Utah’s Hogle Zoo is helping young cancer patients better process their illness; and advanced rescue mannequins are helping train military medical personnel to treat battlefield trauma.

TRANSCRIPT

(MUSIC PLAYS)

COMING UP, AN UNCONVENTIONAL SOLUTION TO PLUMMETING BEE POPULATIONS...

BEES HAVE IMMUNE SYSTEMS, JUST LIKE WE DO.

AND THESE MUSHROOMS, THEY'RE LIKE MINIATURE PHARMACEUTICAL FACTORIES.

THIS IS A REALLY INTERESTING POTENTIAL BREAKTHROUGH.

...STORYTELLING AS A MEDIUM TO EXPLAIN COMPLEX SCIENCE...

THE BRAIN, THE MIND, THE SPIRIT IS MOVED BY STORY.

AND IF THE SCIENCE IS WOVEN INTO THE STORY, IT'S ALMOST A PAINLESS WAY FOR THE SCIENCE TO HAVE A WAY IN.

...THE BENEFITS OF BRINGING THE ZOO TO YOU...

THE ZOO CHANNEL BRINGS THE NATURAL WORLD INSIDE TO CHILDREN WHO MAY BE IMMUNOCOMPROMISED, WHO CAN'T PHYSICALLY VISIT A LOCAL ZOO.

...AND SMART DUMMIES HELP TRAIN MILITARY MEMBERS TO SAVE LIVES.

THE SimMan 3G SIMULATES ACTUAL TRAUMA SCENARIOS THAT THESE AIRMEN COULD FACE IN COMBAT AND HAVE PHYSIOLOGICAL ATTRIBUTES THAT MAY BE MONITORED AND TREATED.

FUNDING FOR THIS PROGRAM IS MADE POSSIBLE BY THE CORPORATION FOR PUBLIC BROADCASTING, LEWIS B. AND LOUISE HIRSCHFELD CULLMAN, SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III, AND CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE PARTICIPATING STATIONS.

HELLO. I'M HARI SREENIVASAN.

WELCOME TO OUR WEEKLY PROGRAM, BRINGING YOU THE LATEST BREAKTHROUGHS IN SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, AND INNOVATION.

LET'S GET STARTED.

ACCORDING TO THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, NEARLY HALF OF ALL HONEYBEE COLONIES ACROSS THE COUNTRY DIED IN THE 2014 SEASON.

THE FACTORS DRIVING THE POPULATION DOWN REMAIN UNCLEAR, BUT TWO SCIENTISTS THINK THEY'RE ONTO SOMETHING.

THEY'VE TEAMED UP TO SAVE COLLAPSING COLONIES USING AN UNCONVENTIONAL REMEDY -- THE MUSHROOM.

[ BEES BUZZING ]

WOW!

VERY NICE.

THESE GIRLS ARE FANTASTIC.

I LIFT THAT LID UP, AND THOSE GIRLS ARE SWARMING ACROSS THERE AND THEY'RE MAKING HONEY AND THEY'RE MAKING BABIES.

ERIC OLSON OWNS MORE COLONIES THAN ANY BEEKEEPER IN WASHINGTON STATE.

HOT DOG!

THERE'S NOTHING GREATER THAN TO OPEN A BEEHIVE AND SEE THEM DOING WELL.

THEY'RE DOING WELL...

LOOK AT THAT!

I'M REALLY TICKLED BY THIS.

...BUT JUST MONTHS AGO, HE OPENED HIS HIVES AND DISCOVERED NEARLY HALF HIS BEES WERE DEAD.

I SPENT 20 YEARS AS A PILOT IN THE AIR FORCE AND MY SHARE OF COMBAT SITUATIONS, AND I NEVER WAS AS LOW AS I WAS WHEN ALL THOSE BEES WERE DEAD.

THAT'S THE LOWEST TIME OF MY LIFE.

IT TURNS OUT THIS MAY BE THE NEW NORMAL.

ACCORDING TO THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, NEARLY HALF OF COLONIES ACROSS THE COUNTRY DIED IN THE 2014 SEASON.

BIG LOSSES HAVE BEEN HAPPENING FOR YEARS, AND SCIENTISTS HAVE YET TO PINPOINT THE CAUSE.

THEY SAY MORE THAN 60 FACTORS -- LIKE PESTICIDES, MALNUTRITION, AND LOSS OF HABITAT -- MAY PLAY A ROLE IN COLLAPSING COLONIES.

IF WE DON'T FIND SOME ANSWER, I AM REALLY CONCERNED ABOUT WHETHER THESE LITTLE GIRLS WILL SURVIVE.

ONE UNLIKELY SOLUTION MAY BE GROWING CLOSE BY... IN THE FORESTS OF WESTERN WASHINGTON.

AH! THERE'S ANOTHER ONE.

ENTER PAUL STAMETS, A PIONEER IN THE STUDY OF MUSHROOMS.

THIS IS A BEAUTIFUL SPECIMEN.

THE WHITE MARGIN HERE MEANS IT'S GROWING REALLY WELL -- WHAT I CALL 'HAPPY MUSHROOMS.'

MAKES ME A HAPPY PERSON, TOO.

I'VE BEEN INVOLVED IN THE STUDY OF FUNGI EVER SINCE I WAS A VERY YOUNG AGE.

MY INITIAL INTEREST WAS MAGIC MUSHROOMS, AND THEN I GOT INTO EDIBLE MUSHROOMS AND MEDICINAL MUSHROOMS.

MY MOTHER WAS MUCH HAPPIER.

[ LAUGHS ]

STAMETS SCOURS THE FOREST FOR RARE TYPES OF FUNGI.

I USE MYCOLOGY AND THE USE OF FUNGI TO HELP CLEAN UP THE ENVIRONMENT AND IMPROVE THE IMMUNE SYSTEM OF ANIMALS.

AND I BEGAN TO THINK, 'WE'VE GONE TO THE MOON, WE'VE GONE TO MARS, AND WE DON'T KNOW THE WAY OF THE BEE?'

ALL RIGHT.

'I BET YOU I COULD DO SOMETHING TO HELP THE BEES.'

STAMETS RECENTLY DISCOVERED A MUSHROOM THAT MIGHT BE ABLE TO TAKE ON ONE OF THE HONEYBEE'S WORST ENEMIES.

IT'S CALLED THE VARROA MITE, WITH THE NAME VARROA DESTRUCTOR.

VARROA MITES BEGAN WREAKING HAVOC ON U.S. BEEHIVES IN 1996.

WE LOST ABOUT HALF THE COLONIES EAST OF THE MISSISSIPPI OVER THAT WINTER.

STEVE SHEPPARD IS AN ENTOMOLOGIST AT WASHINGTON STATE UNIVERSITY.

HE HAS SPENT DECADES TRYING TO UNDERSTAND HOW VARROA MITES CRIPPLE HONEYBEES.

HE SAYS THEY INVADE HIVES AND ATTACH THEMSELVES TO INFANT BEES.

I ALWAYS THINK OF IT AS HAVING SOMETHING ABOUT THE SIZE OF A PANCAKE FEEDING ON YOU.

THEY LIVE OFF BEE BLOOD AND TRANSMIT A SLEW OF VIRUSES TO THEIR HOSTS.

SOME SICKLY BEES LOSE THE ABILITY TO FLY AND GATHER FOOD FOR THE HIVE.

MANY END UP DYING PREMATURELY.

THEY'LL KILL THE COLONY WITHIN A COUPLE OF YEARS UNLESS BEEKEEPERS INTERVENE.

[ HUMMING ]

THAT'S WHY SHEPPARD DECIDED TO TRY A NEW APPROACH.

SOMETHING DOESN'T LOOK QUITE RIGHT WITH THAT.

YEAH, IT'LL NEVER FLY.

HE TEAMED UP WITH PAUL STAMETS, WHO TOLD HIM ABOUT A TYPE OF FUNGUS THAT'S HIGHLY ATTRACTIVE -- AND HIGHLY LETHAL -- TO TERMITES.

SHEPPARD WONDERED WHAT THIS TERMITE-KILLING MUSHROOM EXTRACT WOULD DO TO THE VARROA MITES.

SO WE SHOULD DO SOMETHING WITH THIS.

YEAH.

READY?

HE RECENTLY STARTED TESTING THE PRODUCT ON BEES IN HIS LAB.

SO WE TAKE BEES FROM COLONIES WITH HIGH MITE LEVELS, WE SET UP NUMEROUS CAGES -- SOME WITH FUNGUS.

THEY'RE FINDING THAT THE PRODUCT IS KILLING MITES WITHOUT HARMING BEES.

IT'S CERTAINLY ENCOURAGING SO FAR.

AND IT TURNS OUT THAT'S NOT ALL MUSHROOMS CAN DO FOR BEES.

BEES HAVE IMMUNE SYSTEMS, JUST LIKE WE DO.

AND THESE MUSHROOMS, THEY'RE LIKE MINIATURE PHARMACEUTICAL FACTORIES.

THEIR INITIAL RESULTS SHOW THAT CERTAIN FOREST MUSHROOMS CAN REDUCE VIRUSES IN BEES AND HELP THEM LIVE LONGER.

I THINK I'VE DISCOVERED NOW THAT THE FUNGI THAT ARE ROTTING THE LOGS ARE ABSOLUTELY CRITICAL FOR THE IMMUNOLOGICAL HEALTH OF THE BEES.

THIS IS A REALLY INTERESTING POTENTIAL BREAKTHROUGH IN UNDERSTANDING HOW NATURE WORKS AND HOW WE CO-EVOLVE WITH FUNGI.

THEY PLAN TO EXPAND BOTH EXPERIMENTS BY PARTNERING WITH COMMERCIAL BEEKEEPERS.

ERIC OLSON WAS THE FIRST TO SIGN UP.

I DON'T HAVE TOO MUCH HAIR LEFT, SO I PULLED MY HAIR OUT.

WE JUST CAN'T SEEM TO GET A CONTROL ON THE VARROA MITE.

WE'VE GOT OUR FINGERS CROSSED.

THE FUTURE OF WESTERN HONEYBEE COLONIES AND THE BILLIONS OF DOLLARS OF CROPS THEY POLLINATE MAY DEPEND ON IT.

♪♪

FOR ONE PHYSICIST, MAKING SCIENCE ACCESSIBLE TO A WIDER PUBLIC IS A PERSONAL MISSION.

BRIAN GREENE STRESSES THE IMPORTANCE OF BREAKING DOWN ABSTRACT IDEAS INTO ORDINARY LANGUAGE, AS WELL AS WEAVING THEM INTO BOTH THRILLING AND ENGAGING NARRATIVES.

IN THIS SEGMENT, GREENE TURNS TO THE CLASSIC GREEK STORY OF ICARUS TO UNRAVEL EINSTEIN'S THEORY OF RELATIVITY.

♪♪

UCF CELEBRATES THE ARTS IS A WEEKLONG FESTIVAL THAT INCLUDES MANY ART FORMS.

PART OF ITS MISSION IS EXPLORING WAYS TO MELD SCIENCE AND ART.

FOR BRIAN GREENE, THE EVENT PRESENTED AN IMPORTANT OPPORTUNITY.

UCF HAS A REALLY WONDERFUL PROGRAM THAT IS A WAY FOR THE COMMUNITY TO COME TOGETHER WHERE IT'S NOT THOSE THAT LIKE ART GO TO THE OPERA OR TO THE SYMPHONY, THOSE THAT LIKE SCIENCE GO TO THE LECTURE.

LET'S COME TOGETHER AND GET PEOPLE TO ENGAGE WITH THE SCIENTIFIC IDEAS THROUGH THE ART.

THEN THEY CAN HAVE AN EMOTIONAL EXPERIENCE OF SCIENCE.

AND THAT CHANGES THE WAY YOU THINK ABOUT SCIENCE WHEN IT KIND OF MAKES YOUR HEART BEAT FAST OR, YOU KNOW, MAKES THOSE LITTLE HAIRS ON THE BACK OF YOUR NECK STAND UP, WHEN IT GIVES YOU THAT KIND OF CATCH IN YOUR THROAT.

THAT'S A DIFFERENT WAY OF ENGAGING WITH SCIENCE.

GREENE BELIEVES THAT STORYTELLING IS KEY TO SHARING COMPLEX SCIENTIFIC PRINCIPLES WITH THE GENERAL AUDIENCE.

THE MOST POWERFUL STRATEGY THAT I'VE FOUND FOR COMMUNICATING ABSTRACT IDEAS IS TO NOT ONLY TRANSLATE THEM FROM THE MATHEMATICS, WHICH VERY FEW OF US SPEAK INTO ORDINARY LANGUAGE THAT CAN BE ACCESSIBLE, BUT IF YOU CAN TAKE THOSE IDEAS AND WEAVE THEM INTO A STORY, WEAVE THEM INTO A NARRATIVE, THE HUMAN BRAIN HAS GOT TO ENGAGE WITH STORY DIFFERENTLY THAN ANYTHING ELSE.

I'LL BE ONSTAGE TALKING ABOUT IDEAS, AND I FEEL A CERTAIN ENGAGEMENT, BUT THEN IF I SHIFT INTO STORY MODE, I FEEL AS THOUGH THE AUDIENCE COLLECTIVELY LEANS A FEW DEGREES FORWARD, BECAUSE THE BRAIN, THE MIND, THE SPIRIT IS MOVED BY STORY.

AND IF THE SCIENCE IS WOVEN INTO THE STORY, IT'S ALMOST A PAINLESS WAY FOR THE SCIENCE TO HAVE A WAY IN.

TO REACH MORE MEMBERS OF HIS AUDIENCE, GREENE TURNED TO A CLASSIC GREEK STORY.

HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE FAMILIAR WITH THE ORIGINAL MYTH OF ICARUS?

[ APPLAUSE ] ALL RIGHT, SO, JUST TO MAKE SURE, WHAT DOES ICARUS DO?

HE FLIES TOO NEAR THE...?

SUN.

AND HE...

...CRASHES INTO THE SEA.

SO THE MORAL OF THE STORY IS, IF YOU DON'T DO WHAT DADDY SAYS, THEN YOU DIE.

[ LAUGHTER ] NOW, LOOK, I DON'T KNOW ABOUT YOU, BUT THAT ALWAYS BOTHERED ME FROM THE VERY FIRST TIME I ENCOUNTERED THAT STORY.

AND AS I GOT OLDER AND BECAME A SCIENTIST, IT BOTHERED ME FOR A DIFFERENT REASON, BECAUSE IN ORDER TO MAKE GREAT BREAKTHROUGHS IN SCIENCE, IN ORDER TO PUSH THE ENVELOPE OF UNDERSTANDING, YOU HAVE GOT TO GO AGAINST WHAT YOUR ELDERS TELL YOU.

YOU'VE GOT TO FEARLESSLY GO OUT INTO THE UNKNOWN.

THAT IS WHAT SCIENTIFIC EXPLORATION IS ALL ABOUT.

GREENE COLLABORATED WITH SEVERAL ARTISTS TO TURN HIS CHILDREN'S BOOK 'ICARUS AT THE EDGE OF TIME' INTO A MULTIMEDIA PERFORMANCE THAT DRAMATIZES EINSTEIN'S THEORY OF RELATIVITY.

'ICARUS HEARD THE VOICE OF THE COMMANDER, HIS FATHER, OVER THE ADDRESS SYSTEM.

'ALL HANDS TO STATIONS.

BRACE FOR EMERGENCY COURSE DIVERSION.

WE'RE NAVIGATING TO AVOID AN UNCHARTED BLACK HOLE!'

'A BLACK HOLE?

COOL!''

THEY GO TO THIS PIECE AND KNOW NOTHING ABOUT THE PHYSICS.

YOU WON'T LEAVE BEING ABLE TO DO RESEARCH ON THE GENERAL THEORY OF RELATIVITY, BUT YOU WILL LEAVE WITH A SENSE OF WHAT GOES ON NEAR A BLACK HOLE BY VIRTUE OF JUST GOING FOR A RIDE IN A STORY.

I HOPE KIDS SEE THIS AND LEAVE WITH A RENEWED SENSE OF HOW SCIENCE IS A WONDERFUL STORY OF ADVENTURE.

'PULLING AWAY FOR THE LAST TIME, ICARUS LET OUT A CRY OF VICTORY!

'HA HA!

THAT'LL DEFINITELY BE REMEMBERED!'' [ ORCHESTRAL MUSIC PLAYS ] [ APPLAUSE ]

BRIAN GREENE'S MAIN PROFESSIONAL PURSUIT IS THE ESOTERIC FIELD OF STRING THEORY.

HE'S ALSO PASSIONATE ABOUT INSPIRING OTHERS TO EXPLORE THE INFINITE MARVELS THAT SURROUND US.

I THINK THE WONDER OF THE UNIVERSE IS THAT THERE IS SUCH A WEALTH OF DISTINCT PHENOMENA THAT HAPPEN OUT THERE, FROM FORMATION OF STARS AND GALAXIES TO PLANETS TO ALL OF THE PROCESSES THAT ARE REQUIRED FOR LIFE.

AND THE AMAZING THING IS THAT UNDERLYING IT ALL ARE SOME SIMPLE PATTERNS THAT MATHEMATICS, PHYSICS -- THEY CAN CAPTURE.

AND THERE'S NOTHING TO ME THAT'S MORE THRILLING THAN TO SEE A FEW PATTERNS LAID OUT IN A FEW EQUATIONS AND TO RECOGNIZE THAT WITHIN THAT IS ALL OF THE STUFF THAT WE SEE AROUND US.

IF YOU CAN FEEL THAT, I THINK THERE'S REALLY NOTHING MORE THRILLING THAN THAT.

♪♪

THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF HAVING AN ANIMAL AROUND THE HOUSE HAVE BEEN WELL-DOCUMENTED, BUT WHAT ABOUT A WHOLE ZOO'S WORTH?

UTAH'S HOGLE ZOO IS PARTNERING WITH THE SAN DIEGO ZOO TO HELP YOUNG CANCER PATIENTS BETTER PROCESS THEIR ILLNESS.

THE HOPE IS THAT SEEING ANIMALS GO THROUGH THE HEALING PROCESS CAN HELP.

♪♪

SAN DIEGO ZOO KIDS CHANNEL IS A CHANNEL THAT EXCLUSIVELY SHOWS ANIMAL PROGRAMMING -- INTERVIEWS WITH ANIMAL KEEPERS, LIVE FEEDS, AND SPECIAL SHOWS DESIGNED JUST FOR THIS CHANNEL.

SO, HOGLE ZOO AND SAN DIEGO ZOO ARE PARTNERS WITH THE SAN DIEGO ZOO KIDS CHANNEL.

HOW WE'RE HELPING THEM OUT IS BY PROVIDING MORE PROGRAMMING FOR SAN DIEGO ZOO KIDS.

SAN DIEGO ZOO CAN ONLY FILM SO MUCH ON THEIR BEAUTIFUL LOCATIONS, SO THEY'RE STARTING TO PARTNER WITH OTHER ZOOS, INCLUDING UTAH'S HOGLE ZOO, SO THEY CAN GET MORE STORIES FROM AROUND THE UNITED STATES.

SO, SAN DIEGO ZOO KIDS REALLY LIKES TO FOCUS ON ANIMALS THAT HAVE MEDICAL BACKGROUNDS OR ARE CURRENTLY GOING THROUGH MEDICAL ISSUES, BECAUSE THIS IS WHAT HELPS KIDS CONNECT TO THESE ANIMALS THAT THEY SEE ON THE TV.

SO SOME OF THE STORIES THAT WE GIVE TO THEM AS AN OPTION INCLUDE ANIMALS THAT HAVE HAD MEDICAL PROBLEMS OR ARE CURRENTLY GOING THROUGH SOME MEDICAL TREATMENTS.

I THINK THAT KIDS -- AND ALL PEOPLE -- CAN REALLY RELATE TO THE ANIMALS THAT SURROUND THEM AND THAT LIVE IN NATURAL HABITATS AND AT THE ZOO.

SO IF THEY SEE THAT AN ANIMAL IS INJURED -- LIKE, MAYBE IT BROKE A LEG OR MAYBE IT HAS DIABETES AND MAYBE THAT KID HAS DIABETES -- THEY CAN RELATE RIGHT BACK TO THE ANIMAL AND THEY UNDERSTAND THAT THEY AREN'T THE ONLY ONE FEELING THIS WAY OR FEELING SICK AND OTHER ANIMALS FEEL THAT WAY, TOO.

I THINK THAT HAVING THIS CONNECTION CAN REALLY HELP HEALING AND HELP THEM UNDERSTAND THEIR OWN SITUATION BETTER.

MY NAME IS JOSHUA SCHIFFMAN.

I AM A PROFESSOR IN THE DEPARTMENT OF PEDIATRICS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF UTAH.

I'M ALSO A PEDIATRIC HEMATOLOGIST-ONCOLOGIST AT PRIMARY CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL.

AS PART OF MY COLLABORATION AND PARTNERSHIP WITH THE HOGLE ZOO, I WAS ASKED TO BE ON THEIR ZOO CHANNEL VIDEO.

THIS IS THE CHANNEL THAT THE KIDS ARE ABLE TO WATCH WHILE THEY'RE HOSPITALIZED.

NOW, WHEN I ROUND ON THE PATIENTS AND I WALK IN, THEY SAY, 'HEY, YOU'RE THE ELEPHANT DOCTOR!

I SAW YOU ON THE TV.'

AND IT'S REALLY A VERY FUN EXPERIENCE TO BE ABLE TO HAVE SOMETHING ELSE TO TALK ABOUT WITH THESE PATIENTS BESIDES HOW SICK THEY'RE FEELING AND HOW THE CHEMOTHERAPY'S CAUSING SIDE EFFECTS.

NOW WE CAN FOCUS A LITTLE BIT ON THE RESEARCH AND SCIENCE THAT MAY ONE DAY GET THEM BETTER.

RONALD McDONALD HOUSE PROVIDES A HOME AWAY FROM HOME FOR FAMILIES WHO HAVE A SERIOUSLY ILL OR INJURED CHILD.

THE ZOO CHANNEL BRINGS THE NATURAL WORLD INSIDE TO CHILDREN WHO MAY NOT HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO VISIT A ZOO.

MANY OF THE FAMILIES WHO COME AND STAY WITH US ARE COMING FROM SMALL, RURAL TOWNS THROUGHOUT THE INNER-MOUNTAIN AREA, AND MANY OF THOSE COMMUNITIES DON'T HAVE A ZOO, AND MANY OF THE FAMILIES WHO COME HERE HAVE NEVER BEEN TO A ZOO.

SO FOR THOSE FAMILIES THAT HAVE A CHILD THAT MAY BE IMMUNOCOMPROMISED, WHO CAN'T PHYSICALLY VISIT A LOCAL ZOO, THE ZOO CHANNEL QUITE LITERALLY BRINGS THE NATURAL WORLD AND ANIMALS TO THEM.

THE ZOO CHANNEL CAN BE HEALING, THERAPEUTIC.

IT'S A DIVERSION FOR CHILDREN.

AND IT JUST BRINGS PURE JOY AND CONNECTEDNESS FOR KIDS AND FAMILIES WHO MAY NEED THAT.

MY NAME IS STACIA JONES, AND THIS IS TAYLOR JONES AND MY HUSBAND, BRADEN JONES.

TAYLOR WAS DIAGNOSED WITH LEUKEMIA ON MARCH 31st.

IT WAS REALLY HARD 'CAUSE, YOU KNOW, SHE'D NEVER BEEN IN A HOSPITAL BEFORE, SHE WANTED TO GO HOME, SHE COULDN'T LEAVE HER ROOM 'CAUSE SHE HAD RHINOVIRUS.

AND WE JUST... WE ALL STRUGGLED WITH IT.

EVERY TIME THAT WE WOULD TURN IT TO THAT CHANNEL, SHE WOULD ALWAYS POINT TO THE ANIMALS.

WE'VE ONLY BEEN TO THE ZOO MAYBE ONE TIME.

SHE'D ALWAYS POINT TO THE ANIMALS AND SHE'D BE LIKE, 'WHAT'S THAT? WHAT'S THAT?'

[ LAUGHS ] I'D TELL HER, AND SHE'D TRY TO SAY 'ELEPHANT' OR 'LION' OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT.

SHE REALLY ENJOYED WATCHING THE ZOO CHANNEL.

MY ROLE IN THE SAN DIEGO ZOO KIDS PROGRAM HAS BEEN TO LOOK AT THE INITIAL IMPLEMENTATION OF THE PROGRAM IN A CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL AND A RONALD McDONALD HOUSE.

WE LOOKED AT HOW WELL CHILDREN RECEIVED THE CHANNEL, WHAT THEY LIKED ABOUT IT, AS WELL AS THE REACTIONS OF THEIR PARENTS AND THE CAREGIVERS IN THAT SETTING.

IN SURVEYS RECEIVED FROM 20 INDIVIDUAL CAREGIVERS WHO HAD OBSERVED CHILDREN WATCHING THE SAN DIEGO ZOO KIDS CHANNEL, 95% OF THE CAREGIVERS OBSERVED THAT KIDS APPEARED TO BE ENJOYING WATCHING THE PROGRAM.

84% SAID THAT THE CHANNEL PROVIDED A HELPFUL DISTRACTION, DISTRACTING THEM AWAY FROM THE REASON THEY WERE IN THE HOSPITAL.

AND 100% FELT THAT THE CHANNEL PROVIDED SOMETHING ENJOYABLE FOR THEM TO FOCUS ON ASIDE FROM THEIR VISIT TO THE HOSPITAL.

ONE OTHER THING THAT'S BEEN SO EXCITING WITH THIS PARTNERSHIP WITH THE ZOO IS NOW WHEN I GO IN AND I TALK TO NEW PATIENTS WHO HAVE JUST BEEN DIAGNOSED WITH CANCER AND I SIT DOWN AND I LOOK AT THEIR FAMILIES, I'M ABLE TO TELL THEM, 'HEY, DID YOU KNOW WE'RE ACTUALLY WORKING WITH THE HOGLE ZOO?'

THEIR EYES GET REALLY WIDE, AND THEY GET THESE BIG GRINS ON THEIR FACES.

THERE'S NOTHING LIKE CONNECTING THE ZOO TO PATIENTS AND TO THESE KIDS WHO ARE IN SOME OF THE MOST CHALLENGING TIMES THAT ANYONE COULD POSSIBLY GO THROUGH.

IMAGINE A NEW DIAGNOSIS OF CANCER.

AND TO BE ABLE TO COME IN AND START DISCUSSING THE ZOO AND THAT WE'RE WORKING WITH THE ZOO TO HELP THEM GET BETTER, THERE'S REALLY NOTHING QUITE LIKE IT.

♪♪

IF YOU'VE EVER TAKEN A CPR CLASS, YOU'RE PROBABLY FAMILIAR WITH THE TRAINING MANNEQUIN CALLED RESCUE ANNIE.

TODAY, MUCH MORE SOPHISTICATED VERSIONS OF THAT DOLL ARE BEING USED TO PREPARE MILITARY PERSONNEL TO TREAT BATTLEFIELD TRAUMA.

HERE'S THE STORY.

IS THAT THE KETAMINE?

YEAH.

OKAY, SO JUST GIVE 2cc OF THAT, THEN 100 MILLIGRAMS SHOULD BE GOOD.

OKAY, LET THAT GO, COME UP HERE, GONNA PUT BOTH HANDS ON THE NECK, LIKE THIS.

THESE MILITARY MEDICAL PERSONNEL ARE WORKING HARD TO STOP THE BLEEDING, CLEAR AIRWAYS, AND KEEP THESE PATIENTS ALIVE.

CLEARLY, THESE AREN'T REAL, LIVE PATIENTS, BUT THE ACTIONS OF THOSE TENDING TO THEIR WOUNDS WILL DETERMINE IF THEY SURVIVE THEIR HYPOTHETICAL TRAUMA.

CHECK THE PULSES.

LOCATED AT SAINT LOUIS UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL, THIS IS THE CENTER FOR SUSTAINMENT OF TRAUMA AND READINESS SKILLS, OR C-STARS.

WE BRING IN INDIVIDUALS, GUARD AND ACTIVE-DUTY MILITARY MEMBERS MAINLY IN THE AIR FORCE, TO GIVE THEM TWO WEEKS, HANDS-ON PATIENT-CARE EXPERIENCE.

YOU GOT THE TUBE?

I GOT THE TUBE.

DELIBERATE PRACTICE, HANDS-ON EXPERIENCE IN LEVEL 1 TRAUMA IS KEY IN PREPARING THESE DOCTORS, NURSES, AND MEDICS FOR DEPLOYMENT.

IT IS VERY IMPORTANT, 'CAUSE THE MAJORITY OF MEMBERS OF THE MEDICAL COMMUNITY DO NOT HAVE ANY ACTUAL EXPERIENCE WORKING WITH PATIENTS WHO HAVE BEEN CRITICALLY INJURED OR ARE CRITICALLY ILL.

AIR FORCE MEDICS IN THE GUARD, IN THEIR CIVILIAN WORLD, MAY BE POLICE OFFICERS OR EVEN BANK TELLERS, AND ACTIVE MILITARY MEDICAL PERSONNEL MAY HAVE ONLY WORKED IN CLINICS.

FOR MANY OF THEM, WORKING ON THESE CRITICALLY INJURED DUMMIES IS THEIR FIRST EXPOSURE TO TRAUMA.

AND THESE DUMMIES -- WELL, THEY'RE NOT SO DUMB.

SO, DO THEIR INJURIES MIRROR WHAT THEY MIGHT SEE IN A SITUATION IN AFGHANISTAN?

THIS MANNEQUIN, AS A MATTER OF FACT, HE IS A TBI -- TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY.

THEN WE HAVE A THIRD-COUNTRY NATIONAL CHILD, OKAY?

AND HE'S A FEMUR FRACTURE.

THE SOLDIER ON THE END, HE IS A BURN/BLAST PATIENT.

THESE MANNEQUINS, THE SimMan 3Gs, ARE MANUFACTURED BY LAERDAL, THE NORWEGIAN COMPANY THAT DEVELOPED THE RESCUE MANNEQUINS USED FOR A TYPICAL CPR CLASS.

BUT THE SimMan IS MUCH, MUCH MORE ADVANCED.

SIR, CAN YOU SPEAK?

CAN YOU TELL ME YOUR NAME?

CHECK THE PULSES.

THE SimMan 3G SIMULATES ACTUAL TRAUMA SCENARIOS THAT THESE AIRMEN COULD FACE IN COMBAT AND HAVE PHYSIOLOGICAL ATTRIBUTES THAT MAY BE MONITORED AND TREATED.

THEY HAVE BREATHING, CIRCULATION, AND CARDIAC FEATURES AND VASCULAR ACCESS.

THEY HAVE CAPABILITIES TO BLEED, BLINK THEIR EYES, SECRETE FLUIDS, AND HAVE SEIZURES.

OXYGEN LEVELS CAN BE MONITORED.

THEY CAN TALK.

WHAT?

[ GASPS ] I CAN'T BREATHE.

[ WHEEZING ]

ALL WHILE BEING CLOSELY MONITORED BY MACHINES AND AIR FORCE PERSONNEL.

AS THE PATIENT IS DETERIORATING, IF THEY TAKE THE NECESSARY MEASURES TO CORRECT THE ABNORMALITIES THAT THE PATIENT IS HAVING, WE CAN MAKE THAT PATIENT IMPROVE -- IF THEY TAKE THE NECESSARY MEASURES.

IF THEY DON'T, THE PATIENT'S GONNA CONTINUE TO DETERIORATE, AND THE PATIENT MAY EXPIRE, LIKE THEY DID ON THIS SCENARIO.

HE DIED THREE MINUTES AGO.

WE DON'T TRY TO KEEP THE PATIENT ALIVE TO MAKE THEM FEEL GOOD.

WE CAN'T DO THAT.

'CAUSE THAT'S NOT REAL.

THAT'S NOT REAL.

PATIENTS DIE.

THAT'S JUST THE WAY IT IS.

SAINT LOUIS UNIVERSITY IS ONE OF THREE C-STAR LOCATIONS IN THE COUNTRY.

THE OTHERS ARE LOCATED IN BALTIMORE AND CINCINNATI.

IT'S NEEDED SO MUCH, ESPECIALLY AS WE GET WINDING DOWN FROM OUR AREAS OF ENGAGEMENT.

YOU'RE GONNA HAVE MORE AND MORE INDIVIDUALS WITH LESS EXPERIENCE OF TREATING PATIENTS LIKE THIS.

SO THESE PROGRAMS, THE ONES WE HAVE HERE AND CINCINNATI AND BALTIMORE, ARE SO MUCH MORE IMPORTANT TO KEEP INDIVIDUALS SPUN UP ON THE MOST CURRENT PRACTICE GUIDELINES OF TREATING TRAUMA PATIENTS.

AND THAT WRAPS IT UP FOR THIS TIME.

FOR MORE ON SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, AND INNOVATION, VISIT OUR WEBSITE, CHECK US OUT ON FACEBOOK AND INSTAGRAM, AND JOIN THE CONVERSATION ON TWITTER.

YOU CAN ALSO SUBSCRIBE TO OUR YouTube CHANNEL.

UNTIL NEXT TIME, I'M HARI SREENIVASAN.

THANKS FOR WATCHING.

FUNDING FOR THIS PROGRAM IS MADE POSSIBLE BY THE CORPORATION FOR PUBLIC BROADCASTING, LEWIS B. AND LOUISE HIRSCHFELD CULLMAN, SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III, AND CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE PARTICIPATING STATIONS.