July 15, 2003

In the 1930s, many patients were deliberately swallowing "santized tape worms", convinced it was a marvellous way to lose weight without ever dieting. Although doctors today would never prescibe such a practice, some of the most appalling examples of quackery have been stored for posterity at the Museum of Questionable Medical Devices in Minneapolis. Todd talks with the museum's founders, Bob and Margaret McCoy about the museum and some of the most bizarre products and medical practices and how they were collected. The Museum of Questionable Medical Devices is at the Science Museum of Minnesota.

Most evolutionary scientists believe that the earliest humans were furry, but eventually shed hair to keep cool in hot climates. But now, new research suggests humans became hairless to enhance sexual attractiveness. Todd talks with researcher Walter Bodmer about this study and why hairy humans just weren't sexy. Bodmer is a researcher at Oxford University.

Todd is joined by Doctor Jeffrey Punch to discuss the organ trade. They discuss the growing strain on hospitals from the illegal organ trade, the recruitment of poor and desperate donors and poorly performed transplants. They also discuss how legalization of the organ trade will improve the system. Punch is the surgery director at the University of Michigan Health Center's Transplant Division.