Matters of the Heart

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About This Episode

Can someone actually die from having a broken heart? Join Neil deGrasse Tyson and Dr. Daryl Hoffman, a cardiac surgeon from Beth Israel Medical Center in NYC, as they discuss the ins and outs of the physical capacities the human heart has. You’ll hear the personal story of an open-heart surgery from patient Glynn Wood and his friend Claire Schwanheimer, plus a short recording from Brian Malow, the science comedian who reflects his experience through the heart failure of his father. Explore the milestones reached in the cardiothoracic field in the past few centuries, and which animals can be used to create an artificial valve for the human heart. You’ll learn how heavy the heaviest heart in the world is and which animal it comes from. Neil explains how the human heart is affected in space; and how many beats per minute is the norm if the heart doesn’t have to work against the forces of gravity. Additionally, you’ll hear the surprising tale of Burke and Hare, two infamous grave robbers living in Edinburgh in 1828, who stole cadavers to sell to med students – and what they did when the corpses started to run out.

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