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  • The Central Dogma of Biology – Kazufumi Watanabe (2008)

    The Central Dogma of Biology – Kazufumi Watanabe (2008)

    Riken Omics Center from Japan presents a well-crafted animation that summarizes one of the most important subjects of biology since 1958. The central dogma is our first systematic approach in understanding nature of the information flow and manufacture of structures within a living cell. The viewer must be warned that the structures in this animation are artistic representations and in reality they look quite different from space ships. For example RNA Polymerase II is one of the most well-studied enzymes […]

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  • Bacteria Evolution on a MEGA Petri Plate – Michael Baym – Harvard Medical School (2016)

    Bacteria Evolution on a MEGA Petri Plate – Michael Baym – Harvard Medical School (2016)

    The Microbial Evolution and Growth Arena plate (MEGA-plate) experiment designed by Harvard Medical School researcher Michael Baym and his coworkers is an absolutely fascinating demonstration of evolution in action. They were able to visualize with a stunning didacticity (is that a word?) how bacteria evolves resistance to the antibiotic trimethoprim surprisingly fast for the Human time scale. The experiment is reminiscent of a highly simplified 2-D version of a long-term evolution experiment by Richard Lenski of the Michigan State University. […]

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  • Great Moments in Science with Dr Karl – Karl Kruszelnicki – Royal Institution (2015)

    Great Moments in Science with Dr Karl – Karl Kruszelnicki – Royal Institution (2015)

    Dr. Karl Kruszelnicki is an Australian science communicator with an amazing talent for concatenating subjects with a free-associative style. Just watch his whirlwind lecture full of interesting and eccentric facts and learn…

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  • Animations of Unseeable Biology – Drew Berry – TED Talk (2011)

    Animations of Unseeable Biology – Drew Berry – TED Talk (2011)

    Drew Berry introduces us to the fascinating world of molecules. Since the invention of X-ray crystallography our depth of understanding the molecular nature of things have skyrocketed. Year 2012 marked the centennial of the discovery of X-ray chrystallography by the Australian physicist William Lawrence Bragg who shared the Nobel Prize with his father in 1915. The technique was so powerful that since its discovery, it generated 28 Nobel Prizes including the discovery of DNA. the famous X-ray chrystallographical image #51 […]

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  • Decoding the Chemical Language of Nature – Jing-Ke Weng | TEDxBeaconStreet (2015)

    Decoding the Chemical Language of Nature – Jing-Ke Weng | TEDxBeaconStreet (2015)

    Chemical diversity in nature is bewildering. Repertoire of chemicals in plants is especially rich. A great majority (almost all) of the single-compound drugs have been discovered in plants: salicylic acid (Aspirin), artemisinin (anti-malarial), thebaine (analgesic derived from opium) are just a quick few to spell out. All these chemicals are products of specialized secondary metabolic pathways in plants. Chemical compounds forming specialized metabolites protect plants against various abiotic stresses and mediate an array of interspecies interactions, ranging from seduction of […]

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  • How Does the Purple Bacteria Photosynthesize? Beckman Institute-UIUC (2015)

    How Does the Purple Bacteria Photosynthesize? Beckman Institute-UIUC (2015)

    Imagine a time when our young Earth was spinning much faster and days were only 8 hours! Our sun was much cooler and less bright than today. There was no oxygen in the atmosphere. Those were the conditions when first photosynthetic organisms with purple pigments evolved in liquid environments. In this animation we see one such ancestral form of early anoxic photosynthesis taking place in the purple bacteria Rhodobacter sphaeroides in which oxygen is not produced. Life evolved into oxygen […]

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  • Popped Secret: The Mysterious Origin of Corn – Nathan Dappen & Neil Losin – HHMI (2015)

    Popped Secret: The Mysterious Origin of Corn – Nathan Dappen & Neil Losin – HHMI (2015)

    Domestication of plants and animals is a key transformation in recent Human evolutionary history leading to sedentary farming societies. Domestication of Maize particularly followed a different trajectory from the agricultural crops of the old world. This HHMI documentary tells how the ancestral wild grass called Teosinte was domesticated to evolve into Maize. In the old world, most domesticated grasses had a surprisingly similar “first step” that paved the way towards agriculture. In old world grasses including rice, wheat, barley and […]

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  • DNA transcription as the First Step of the Central Dogma of Biology | HHMI (2015)

    DNA transcription as the First Step of the Central Dogma of Biology | HHMI (2015)

    What reads the information stored in our genes? How is it read? DNA transcription is the first step. Transcription is an amazingly beautiful process that take place in every (every!) living cell. In this animation produced by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute – HHMI you can see how a multi-part enzyme called RNA Polymerase II reads and re-writes the information stored in DNA into RNA. This is the first step of the Central Dogma of biology. RNA polymerase is a […]

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  • A Movie of RNA Polymerase II Transcription – Cheung & Cramer (2012)

    A Movie of RNA Polymerase II Transcription – Cheung & Cramer (2012)

    This unnarrated molecular animation by Alan Cheung and Patrick Cramer details the first step of the Central Dogma of biology where the messenger RNA becomes synthesized from it’s DNA template. Enzymes that read information on DNA and produce the RNA counterparts are known as RNA polymerases. There are three types of RNA polymerase enzymes (RNA polymerase I, II and III). Here the working mechanism of type II that reads protein coding genes is shown based on multiple scientific studies spanning […]

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  • How Did Life Begin? – The Economist (2015)

    How Did Life Begin? – The Economist (2015)

    Does life exist outside of our planet? If so, are there intelligent life forms out there? How did life get started on our World? The Economist makes a quick tour of scientists who have been working on such questions. Frank Drake in his famous 1961 “Drake Equation” stated that the number of life-bearing planets must be a function of their host stars. How many planets have formed around those stars, what fraction of those planets are suitable for life, on […]

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  • Molecular Model of a Herpes Simplex Virus Protein – Gökhan Tolun (2014)

    Molecular Model of a Herpes Simplex Virus Protein – Gökhan Tolun (2014)

    According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) every year, 776,000 people in the United States get new herpes infections. Genital herpes infection is common in the United States. Nationwide, 15.5 % of persons aged 14 to 49 years have HSV-2 infection. The virus is also known as common cold sore. Seeing is believing. Researchers from UNC (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) have visualized visualized the structure and action of a key protein in this sexually transmitted virus: […]

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  • How Chameleons Change Color? (2015)

    How Chameleons Change Color? (2015)

    Long projectile tongue, independently movable eyes and rapid color change. Chameleons are indeed very interesting animals (see the detailed account of Aristotle at the bottom of this post). Main video is a concatenation of all five supplementary materials associated with the a study demonstrating color change in Chameleons. You can view them individually below. The following video by The Economist makes a successful summary based on the same material: Reproductively mature chameleon males rapidly switch on bold threatening colors when […]

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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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  • Chromosome Evolution in Plants

    Chromosome Evolution in Plants

    Accidents happen all the time and sometimes living cells fail to divide properly. During cell division the genetic material that was supposed to be distributed equally between two cells may all stay in one of the cells. If this happens in body cells a cancerous tumor may develop or the cell may die. If it happens in an embryo at the very early stages of development at rare occasions these individuals may survive to maturity and may even reproduce to […]

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  • RNA Interference (RNAi) – Nature Reviews Genetics

    RNA Interference (RNAi) – Nature Reviews Genetics

    Welcome to another post of Molecular Nature series highlighting a gene silencing mechanism known as RNA interference. The discovery was made by Craig Mello and Andrew Fire who shared 2006 Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine. Please keep in mind that this video is quite advanced in content and assumes the viewers know about basic molecular biological concepts such as the Central Dogma of Biology. RNA interference (RNAi) is a process used by wide range of organisms to regulate the […]

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