From burning off that extra piece of pudding to keeping it cool, our bodies are juggling all sorts of chemical reactions to keep us alive and healthy. Over the course of five lectures, Nancy Rothwell takes a closer look at the physiological processes that help our bodies stay in balance, and reveals what can happen when that balance tips the wrong way.

Beginning with a look at our senses, Nancy explains how our perception of the world around us is essential to our survival, and how other creatures in the animal kingdom have evolved similar sensitivities.   

We learn how all our bodily processes are fuelled by energy in the food we eat, and how they are affected by the temperature of our surrounding environment.  

With the help of some animal friends, Nancy reveals how our bodies are trained by the sun and how some creatures know exactly when it’s time to die, before finishing with a look at the astonishing adaptations animals have evolved to cope with life in the extremes. 

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  • Staying Alive: The Body in Balance

    Christmas Lectures Programme cover, 1998

    Image: The Royal Institution

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CHRISTMAS LECTURES 1998 - Staying Alive: The Body in Balance

How our bodies stay alive and adapt to their environment. By Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell

Nancy Rothwell

Image: The Royal Institution