Radio Lab – Rodney Versus Death

Here’s a little story from WNYC’s Peabody Award-winning program, Radio Lab. It’s about death incarnate; more specifically, rabies. Happy Monday!

Anyone who’s ever listened to Radio Lab would have a hard time denying its genius There’s an exclusivity with these shows you don’t find in the more prolific podcasts. They air few and far between, but when they do, they almost always leave an indelable impression. I still cite the one that sort of proved the sky’s not blue.  Plus, the hosts have some amazing NPR names: Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich.

Radio Lab’s a real A-gamer. I can’t think of a single dud. Even the “shorts” can get you to rethink what you assume to be objective truth. And the most recent episode, morbid as it was, stayed true to that model.

Though short by podcast standards (30ish minutes), this one really packed a punch. They delved into the 100% mortality rate associated with the rabies virus once it hits the brain. A couple interesting facts: It seems the mania associated with being “rabid” exists for transmission purposes; and biting is a near-perfect delivery system. The afflicted also have a very difficult time swallowing, even a fear of water, making the host’s mouth a repository for the virus.

They covered one case in particular where a doctor tried an experimental treatment on the deadly virus. I don’t want to spoil this one for you, as Radio Lab’s all about the twist. But there WAS mention of “rooster’s anus cure.” I’ll leave you with that.

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