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  • The Lichenologist – Matthew Killip (2017)

    The Lichenologist – Matthew Killip (2017)

    This is the second installment from the filmmaker Matthew Killip following the “-omist/ogist” theme. Evolution of cooperation is a curious subject for biologists. The evolution of cooperation is investigated within the framework of game theory and has been encapsulated in a 1987 BBC documentary called “Nice Guys Finish First” by Richard Dawkins. How do organisms belonging to different kingdoms coordinate to live together? What are the rules of symbiosis? Lichens provide this type of study system where algae and fungi […]

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  • The Anomalies: Acorn Woodpecker – Nate Dappen & Neil Losin (2017)

    The Anomalies: Acorn Woodpecker – Nate Dappen & Neil Losin (2017)

    Acorn Woodpeckers (Melanerpes formicivorus) are quite distinctive from other woodpecker species: They are communal. How did the cooperative behavior evolve? Biologists are working on answers for this curious question. Evolution of cooperative behavior is a matter of game theory and has been encapsulated in a 1987 BBC documentary called “Nice Guys Finish First” by Richard Dawkins. One of the most ubiquitous example for cooperative behavior comes from ants. Why do certain individuals altruistically give up their reproduction and help others? […]

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  • Eagle Cam from Southwest Florida – Ozzie and Harriet

    Eagle Cam from Southwest Florida – Ozzie and Harriet

    Camera-2 Breeding season 2016-17 started with many shaky events. Harriet lost her long time mate Mr. Ozzie. The nest fell down. Harriett and a new young male coded M15 worked together to rebuild. They bonded well. And now they have two eggs in the nest! A pair of bald eagles named Ozzie and Harriet have been coming to this nest located in Fort Myers, FL for the past 6 years. They nest early compared to other pairs between the months […]

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  • Cave of Forgotten Dreams – Werner Herzog (2010)

    Cave of Forgotten Dreams – Werner Herzog (2010)

    Since its discovery in 1994 it was quickly realized that the Chauvet Cave of France harbors one of the most impressive art ever been studied belonging to Aurignacian. The Werner Herzog documentary articulates the findings in his characteristic story telling style. Archeologists had a bitter experience in opening such caves to public. The Lascaux cave paintings have been sadly damaged beyond repair due to increased humidity from visitors breath. Happily we can take a virtual tour of the Chauvet cave […]

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  • Ice Age Art – Arrival of the Modern Mind

    Ice Age Art – Arrival of the Modern Mind

    Starting from the middle paleolithic going back to 100 thousand years Human intellect shows strong signs of complex behavior. Cognitive capacity were in place to track seasons, animal movements and resources spatially distributed over large areas. Here you will find a concatenation of short clips compiled from scholarly resources such as the Nature Magazine, the British Museum, the Khan Academy, the Economist and the National Geographic all featuring great examples of art within the last 40,000 years. These include the […]

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  • Gene Silencing by MicroRNAs – Katharina Petsche (2015)

    Gene Silencing by MicroRNAs – Katharina Petsche (2015)

    Welcome to another post of Molecular Nature series highlighting a gene silencing mechanism known as RNA interference. The animation was produced by Katharina Petsche. 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 […]

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  • Chain Forming Leptogenys Ants from Cambodia – Stephane de Greef (2014)

    Chain Forming Leptogenys Ants from Cambodia – Stephane de Greef (2014)

    The ant behavior described in these observations were first recorded by citizen scientists in Cambodia (see the original recording at the end of this post) where ants have been shown to form chains to transport large prey. The level of cooperation is so striking that myrmecologists scrambled to find out whether it is genuine. Two researchers have successfully documented the behavior by filming them in Angkor Thom, Siem Reap, Cambodia. Self-assembling cooperation in ants is known to take many interesting […]

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  • 48 Cantones: The Mayan Forest – Thomas & Julian Moll-Rocek (2014)

    48 Cantones: The Mayan Forest – Thomas & Julian Moll-Rocek (2014)

    In their documentary, Thomas & Julian Moll-Rocek explore the Mayan Cosmovision. For Meso-Americans this is a worldview that integrates the structure of space and rhythms of time into a unified whole. In Guatemala’s western mountains, in the state of Totonicapán, a large community forest has prospered for centuries adjacent to densely populated valleys. The Mayan forest cover the hills and the mountain ridge. The management of local resources by the Mayan community provides a counter-argument for the ‘tragedy of the […]

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  • Development of a Salamander Embryo – Yale University Department of Anatomy (1920s)

    Development of a Salamander Embryo – Yale University Department of Anatomy (1920s)

    Everyone of us started life from one single cell formed by the fusion of an egg and a sperm. That single cell gave rise to every structure in our bodies. How did that happen? Salamanders are known to be able to regenerate limbs while frogs and lizards cannot. How and why? The time lapsed footage of salamander embryos developing from single fertilized eggs forms the basis of our morphological understanding of animal development. The footage recorded by Yale University researchers […]

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