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Disease X, the next worldwide pandemic, to be explored in new BBC show

The yet-to-be uncovered virus that could spark the next global pandemic will be at the centre of a new BBC show. The hunt for Disease X will see BBC TV doctor Chris van Tulleken travel the globe to find the origins of the next worldwide pandemic.

In the wake of Covid, the search has all the more urgency. And he will speak to experts about how ready we are if another crisis strikes.

It comes as TV experts Chris Packham and Dr van Tulleken are set to host new science-based shows for the BBC. Among the newly announced factual programmes is a five-part docuseries titled Evolution, where Packham, 63, will guide viewers through the evolutionary journey of various animals using state-of-the-art CGI.

In another programme, virologist van Tulleken, 45, embarks on a global quest to find the origin of the next worldwide pandemic in a one-hour Horizon special named Disease X. The title of the documentary refers to the term used by the World Health Organisation (WHO) for the yet-to-be-discovered virus that could potentially trigger the next pandemic.

The programme will document van Tulleken's journey around the globe as he engages with top experts in virology, epidemiology, vaccinology, and public policy. He will also interact with teams who have continued their work in pandemic preparedness since the Covid-19 outbreak, visiting their labs and disease monitoring centres both in the UK and overseas.

Returning to the BBC is The Secret Genius Of Modern Life, hosted by Dr Hannah Fry, which uncovers the stories behind scientific innovations that are often overlooked. The five-part series will provide exclusive access to tech innovators such as Ring, Bosch, and Philips.

The BBC has unveiled plans for a new Horizon special titled Secrets Of The Brain, which will see Professor Jim Al-Khalili delve into the evolution of the brain. In two hour-long episodes, Al-Khalili will explore how our "left and right brains" were shaped by prehistoric predators, how warm-bloodedness influenced the brain's memory capabilities, and how factors like competition, friendship, nurturing, playfulness, song, and laughter contributed to the development of our brains, reports Wales Online.

Tom Coveney, head of commissioning, science, expressed his excitement about the programme, stating: "In a world where we're bombarded with non-stop news and social media awash with misinformation, good science programmes aren't just important, they're a joyful inspiration. " He continued, "I'm continually amazed and delighted by the work of British scientists and their international colleagues in these programmes: whether working tirelessly to prevent the next pandemic, engineering extraordinary tech to transform our lives, studying the inner workings of our minds, or exploring the origins and endless variety of life on Earth, there's something for everyone."

He added, "It's thrilling to bring our viewers such a range of stories and specialisms, especially with this stellar line up of British presenters; some of the best science communicators on the planet."

The upcoming shows Evolution, Horizon: Disease X, The Secret Genius of Modern Life Series III, and Horizon: Secrets of The Brain are all set to air on BBC Two and BBC iPlayer.

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