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  • Voyage of Darwin’s Beagle – Episode 6: Toolbox of Survival (2009)

    Voyage of Darwin’s Beagle – Episode 6: Toolbox of Survival (2009)

    In Australia the arrival of Europeans profoundly effected the biology of the continent through introduction of non-native species that are reproducing and invading at an unprecedented rate. Australian biologists call it “extinction calamity” since the continent has lost one in ten of its native mammals species in the past 200 years. The effects of climate change is also evident with severe droughts and wild fires. A large fraction of Australian vegetation is serotinous that is adapted to disperse their seeds […]

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  • Voyage of Darwin’s Beagle – Episode 7: Adapt or Die! (2009)

    Voyage of Darwin’s Beagle – Episode 7: Adapt or Die! (2009)

    In this leg of the journey in Australia the theme “On the Future of Species” dominates the episode. Darwin absolutely had no clue on how genetic information from parents were transmitted to the offspring and he was perfectly aware of his situation. On the other hand, while he was writing his book battling with hereditary questions, an Augustinian friar with a scientific mind was carrying out his experimental crosses in a monastery which was going to lay the foundations of […]

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  • Voyage of Darwin’s Beagle – Episode 8: The Ruins of Progress (2009)

    Voyage of Darwin’s Beagle – Episode 8: The Ruins of Progress (2009)

    In this last episode of the series the crew of Stad Amsterdam visits Mauritius island before making a final stop in South Africa where the journey of modern Human ancestors began 200 thousand years ago. San culture in South Africa is the most ancestral Human population finding Like many island ecosystems Mauritius has been impacted by introduced species such as macaques. Species evolved on island systems are more prone to extinction. The flightless bird the Dodo is the icon of […]

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  • Great Transitions: The Origin of Humans – Rob Whittlesey – HHMI (2014)

    Great Transitions: The Origin of Humans – Rob Whittlesey – HHMI (2014)

    What did the common ancestor of Humans and chimpanzees looked like? This is not something we can triangulate simply by looking at a modern chimpanzee and Human. All the evidence points that Africa is the home continent for primates. Paleontologists are working hard to find the fossils that help us understand the key stages in Human evolution. Molecular genetic analysis of modern Human and chimpanzee revealed a very high degree of similarity. Through DNA hybridization experiments it was estimated that […]

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  • Human Bot Fly – Piotr Naskrecki (2015)

    Human Bot Fly – Piotr Naskrecki (2015)

    Piotr Naskrecki achieved what many tropical biologists (including the author of this post) tried but failed multiple times: raising a tropical Human bot fly (Dermatobia hominis). This parasite is frequently covered by major TV channels since it is quite gruesome to the unititiated and most certainly attracts viewers. In my opinion this is the best bot fly documentary ever. In the video Dr. Naskrecki outlines the life cycle very well with the calmness of an entomologist without drama. You can […]

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  • Hi-SEAS Mars Mission Simulations

    Hi-SEAS Mars Mission Simulations

    Onwards Earthlings! Onwards to Mars! Hi-SEAS stands for the Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation. The project is funded by NASA. It is an exploration of Human nature. How will a small group of space travelers cooperate and solve problems external and internal inside a confined habitat? A return mission to the red planet will be long. It will take about six months to Mars, 500 days on the planet, and then another six months home. An interplenatary mission that […]

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  • Aquarius the Reef Base

    Aquarius the Reef Base

    Aquarius is an underwater laboratory and home to scientists for missions up to 10 days long. Aquarius is made to withstand the pressure of ocean depths to 120 feet deep. The idea is not new. The world celebrity diver who developed the Aqualung SCUBA system Jacques Yves Cousteau turned the idea into a reality by the Conself underwater habitation experiment documented in the award winning documentary World Without Sun in 1964. Cousteau captured activities of six crew members living in […]

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  • Göbekli Tepe – National Geographic (2012)

    Göbekli Tepe – National Geographic (2012)

    Discovered by renowned German archeologist Klaus Schmidt (sadly passed away in 2014), Göbekli Tepe changed our view on how recent cultural evolution of humanity migh have unfolded. Civilization as we hypothesized was a sequential progression in the following manner: Agriculture > Sedentary societies > Religion Early documentaries such as The Ascent of Man by Charles Bronowski is an example of the way our thinking was organized. Göbekli Tepe now suggests the order of religion and agriculture may need a chess […]

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  • The Hidden Life of the Cell – BBC (2012)

    The Hidden Life of the Cell – BBC (2012)

    Ebola virus is threatening to spread out of Africa. Zika virus is evolving and circulating in more than 50 countries. At this stage we must inform ourselves and others about viruses. The Hidden Life of the Cell does just that by illustrating a real scenario of adenovirus infection and while doing that introduces major cellular components. The documentary is quite successful in explaining the biology behind events. However, you might also want to see Inner Life of Cell and the […]

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  • International Space Station – ESA (2012)

    International Space Station – ESA (2012)

    As part of the Human Nature series Nature Documentaries would like to draw your attention to the International Space Station. At 350 km (240 miles) above the earth International Space Station is the farthest outpost of humanity. We humans like to experiment on ourselves. That is how we spread all over the world and even reached most isolated islands in the middle of the Pacific ocean. As we discovered new places We invented new ways to live and reproduce. One […]

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  • Damocracy – Todd Southgate (2013)

    Damocracy – Todd Southgate (2013)

    Damocracy is produced by Doğa Derneği, in collaboration with other founding members of the Damocracy movement: Amazon Watch, International Rivers, RiverWatch, Gota D’água (Drop of Water) Movement, Instituto Socioambiental (ISA) and Movimento Xingu Vivo para Sempre (MXVPS). Director is a Canadian environmental documentarist Todd Southgate. Current state of the Xingu River after construction of the Belo Monte Dam. Although one of the main focus of the documentary is the famous historical human settlement Hasankeyf threatened to be destroyed by dam […]

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  • Guns, Germs and Steel – Jared Diamond (2005) episode 1

    Guns, Germs and Steel – Jared Diamond (2005) episode 1

    Guns, Germs and Steel is a landmark Pulitzer prize winning book by Jared Diamond published in 1997. It is a very successful non-racist whirlwind tour of human history. Throughout the book historical and geographical roots of global inequality and resource distribution is explored. This first episode is dedicated to plant and animal domestication in different geographical settings. You can find a great encapsulation of this episode published in Nature Magazine in 2002. There’s also a simplified narrative of the book […]

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  • Harvest of the Seasons – Jacob Bronowski (1973)

    Harvest of the Seasons – Jacob Bronowski (1973)

    Harvest of the Seasons is the second episode of a thirteen-part documentary series called The Ascent of Man written and presented by Jacob Bronowski. The series reached wide audiences for Bronowski’s highly intellectual but simple and convincing analysis. Much of his long monologues were unscripted and were a source of inspiration for creating a template for Carl Sagan’s hugely sucessful Cosmos series. The motto used by Bronowski “A personal view” became “A personal voyage” in Sagan’s. The episode provides an […]

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  • A Tour of a Section of Human Chromosome 11

    A Tour of a Section of Human Chromosome 11

    This video produced by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories takes us on a tour of about 650,000 nucleotides from the tip of the short arm of human chromosome 11. From a distance we can discern 28 genes, denoted by red and yellow blocks. The red exons carry the DNA code for protein, while the yellow introns are noncoding. Also prominent are more than 500 transposons, or jumping genes, denoted by blue and purple blocks. If we zoom in, we can take […]

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  • Nice Guys Finish First – Richard Dawkins (1987)

    Nice Guys Finish First – Richard Dawkins (1987)

    In this BBC documentary Richard Dawkins explores the evolution of cooperation. The problem has been discussed intensely since Darwin’s time and is still being investigated scientifically. Cooperative species are quite successful but rare. Social insects (ants, wasps, bees and termites) make up only 3 percent of animal diversity yet they may constitute up to 50 percent of the total animal biomass in land habitats. Among 43,678 known species of spiders cooperative behavior evolved in only a few. How could a […]

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