Kuru: A medical detective story
In 1961 Michael Alpers, a young medical researcher from Adelaide, put up his hand to work on a new and strange disease in the Eastern Highlands of Papua New Guinea that seems to target women and children. The local people, the Fore, term the disease kuru; their word for shivering. They believe it is caused by sorcery.
This film traced the remarkable personal journey of Professor Michael Alpers AO, and tells the fascinating medical detective story that led to the discovery of the fatal brain diseases Kuru and Creutzfeldt Jakob Disease(CJD), and the pathogens called prions that cause them.
Host Anton Enus, Director Robert Bygott, and Ben and Professor Michael Alpers AO, talked about Michael’s experiences in Papua New Guinea and the story behind the film that took eight years to make.
Watch videos from the event
Short videos from the movie:
Kuru: The Science and the Sorcery from Siamese recently won Best Documentary Science, Technology & the Environment Award at the 2010 ATOM AWARDS.
Kuru: The Science and the Sorcery Cast: Written & Directed by Rob Bygott; Based on an original idea by Rob Bygott and Ben Alpers; Producers Peter Du Cane & Francesca Hope; Editor Merlin Cornish; Narrator Judy Davis; SBS Executive Producer John Godfrey
In association with SBS.
Related Past Events:
- Skin Deep: Exploring human ancestry
- Lost In Translation: Evidence-based healthcare
- Heartbreak science
- Vaccination Café
- The Silent Epidemic
- Prions: A disease like no other
- Skin Deep, Deeper Science
- Reading Hair Roots in Space
- Survey responses reflect Aussie boozing behaviour
- What is Scurvy?