Learn how fetal surgeons can help repair a birth defect of the spine known as Spina Bifida in this clip from the series TWICE BORN. Spina bifida is a condition in which a hole in the spinal column leaves a section of the spinal cord and spinal nerves exposed through an opening in an unborn baby's back. When expectant mothers and the fetus meet the criteria, surgeons can operate about halfway through the pregnancy to close the hole and minimize the nerve damage. By repairing the hole, doctors hope to improve the quality of the child's life with greater mobility and independence.
Learn about the concept of herd immunity in this video from NOVA: "Vaccines—Calling the Shots." Vaccinations protect communities, not just individuals, as illustrated by the 2013 measles outbreak in Brooklyn, New York. Because a significant portion of the population (95 percent) was vaccinated against measles, the disease was prevented from spreading to the rest of the city. In contrast, in France, where the vaccination rate was 89 percent and the herd immunity was compromised, the disease had a much greater impact. There were 15,000 cases of measles in France in 2011.