Lecture 3 – Chilling out

Inside us, many chemical reactions are running in order to keep our bodies healthy. But the speeds of these reactions are affected by the temperature of our surrounding environment.

In the third of her Christmas Lectures, Nancy Rothwell reveals how humans and animals alike have evolved to keep their body temperatures constant, even when the temperature of their habitats is changing.

After journeying down to the chilly depths of the ocean to tell us how sharks keep warm, Nancy returns to the warm climes of the Arabian desert to explain why some Bedouins still wear dark robes despite knowing that black absorbs more heat than white.

Brave assistant Rob then jumps into an ice bath to demonstrate how our body will maintain its core temperature, even if it’s cold outside. Plus, we hear how other creatures in the animal kingdom - from the furry chinchilla to the Arctic penguin – are equipped to deal with adverse conditions. 

Topics

Being human

Production date

1998

Lecturer

Dame Nancy Rothwell

Duration

59:18

All lectures in the series