237 episodes

On Breakthrough, a new series from the Prognosis podcast, we explore how the pandemic is changing our understanding of healthcare and medicine. We start with an examination of long Covid, a mysterious new illness that has stumped doctors attempting to treat symptoms that last for months and potentially years. It has changed the way hospitals work and forced healthcare officials to prepare for the next pandemic. Covid has also opened the door to revolutionary technology: messenger RNA vaccines. It’s a technology that never could have been proven so quickly outside the crucible of that first pandemic year, 2020, and it holds big implications for the future of medicine.

Prognosis: Breakthrough itunesu_sunset

    • Science

On Breakthrough, a new series from the Prognosis podcast, we explore how the pandemic is changing our understanding of healthcare and medicine. We start with an examination of long Covid, a mysterious new illness that has stumped doctors attempting to treat symptoms that last for months and potentially years. It has changed the way hospitals work and forced healthcare officials to prepare for the next pandemic. Covid has also opened the door to revolutionary technology: messenger RNA vaccines. It’s a technology that never could have been proven so quickly outside the crucible of that first pandemic year, 2020, and it holds big implications for the future of medicine.

    Part Nine: The Next Pandemic

    Part Nine: The Next Pandemic

    Virus hunters around the globe are already bracing for the next contagion which they fear could prove even more destructive than Covid. These scientists and doctors, drawing from hard-learned lessons from the past, are determined to stop future pandemics even as the current one continues to rage.
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    • 40 min
    Part Eight: The Future of mRNA

    Part Eight: The Future of mRNA

    Covid-19 is just the beginning for messenger RNA vaccines. Researchers are testing shots across a range of diseases, from cancer to malaria, HIV or even multiple sclerosis. There’s no guarantee the technology will work beyond infectious diseases, but if it does, it could transform medicine.
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    • 31 min
    Part Seven: The Vaccine Race

    Part Seven: The Vaccine Race

    Two biotech companies, Germany’s BioNTech and the U.S.’s Moderna, decided in January 2020 to wager their futures on developing a messenger RNA shot to fight Covid-19. What ensued was a head-spinning race to bring a vaccine to market quicker than ever before.
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    • 38 min
    Part Six: Unlikely Heroes

    Part Six: Unlikely Heroes

    The messenger RNA vaccines against Covid-19 seem to have emerged out of nowhere. But they’re based on decades of painstaking work, done in relative obscurity, by researchers who believed in the promise of the technology even if few others did.
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    • 40 min
    Part Five: The Covid Fortress

    Part Five: The Covid Fortress

    On the outside, city hospitals look just as they always have: big glass and steel buildings, an ER entrance with ambulances coming and going. But on the inside, Covid has completely transformed the hospital experience for patients, their families -- and for doctors and hospital staff. Once held in high esteem as the place where doctors performed miracles, hospitals have become more sombre places under the staggering weight of illness and death even as communities increasingly view them through the lens of vaccine misinformation and mistrust.
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    • 32 min
    Part Four: Covid’s Long, Scary Tail

    Part Four: Covid’s Long, Scary Tail

    The loss of the sense of smell affects almost one in every two people who get Covid-19. Usually it resolves within a week or two. But for some, like Dr. Alex McCutchan, smell and taste distortions persist for a year, leaving an invisible illness that disrupts daily life. Scientists like Leah Beauchamp are learning that its significance doesn’t end there. In this episode, Bloomberg’s Jason Gale meets two best friends who are exploring long Covid’s potentially scary, lifelong consequences. 
    Story has been updated to correct Alex McCutchan's name.
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    • 29 min

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