Best Hhmi podcasts we could find (Updated February 2019)
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The Howard Hughes Medical Institute is a philanthropy that supports biomedical research and science education. As part of its mission to strengthen science education, the Institute presents the Holiday Lectures on Science, an annual series that brings the latest developments in a rapidly moving field of research into the classroom.
 
The Howard Hughes Medical Institute is a philanthropy that supports biomedical research and science education. As part of its mission to strengthen science education, the Institute presents the Holiday Lectures on Science, an annual series that brings the latest developments in a rapidly moving field of research into the classroom.
 
Short documentary films for science education, focused on genetics, biology, earth science, evolution.
 
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Watch the story of how gene therapy restored the sight of a nearly-blind young patient. Told from the perspective of two researchers who spent over 25 years working to develop this breakthrough technology, this short film chronicles their successes and challenges, and illustrates how the method works to treat inherited conditions.…
 
Ecologist Mary Power studies the Eel River in Northern California to figure out the connection between river flows and biodiversity.
 
Ecologist Brian Silliman uses manipulative field experiments to reveal that salt marsh ecosystems are under top down control from consumers and predators.
 
"Trophic Cascades in Rivers" by Mary E. Power, PhD The ecosystem of a river depends on complex interactions between primary producers, grazers, and predators, which in turn are determined both by the traits of the individual species involved and the physical conditions of the river. River ecologist Dr. Mary Power illustrates these principles by ...…
 
"Untangling Salt Marsh Food Webs" by Brian R. Silliman, PhD Coastal wetlands are dominated by a variety of plants adapted to a stressful environment. In the absence of a significant number of herbivores, the growth of these plants was thought to be limited only by nutrient availability. Through experiments, Dr. Brian Silliman revealed that salt ...…
 
"Floods, Droughts, and Food Chains" by Mary E. Power, PhD Many rivers of the world have vast seasonal changes in flow rates. Dr. Mary Power leads us in an exploration of Northern California’s Eel River and how the community of herbivores and predators is affected by changes in river flow. Drought years with no winter floods generate a very diff ...…
 
"Climate Stress and Coastal Food Webs" by Brian R. Silliman, PhD Many rivers of the world have vast seasonal changes in flow rates. Dr. Mary Power leads us in an exploration of Northern California’s Eel River and how the community of herbivores and predators is affected by changes in river flow. Drought years with no winter floods generate a ve ...…
 
"Ecology, Food Webs, and the Chesapeake Bay" with Sean Carroll, PhD, Beth McGee, PhD, Mary E. Power, PhD, and Brian R. Silliman, PhD A discussion of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, its complex food web, and the challenges of conserving and restoring the bay. Followed by a general discussion on ecology with the lecturers and students attending the ...…
 
Keystone species and trophic cascades are fundamental concepts in ecology. This short film tells the story of how these concepts were first established through the pioneering experiments of two young researchers: Robert Paine and James Estes.
 
"Africa's Savanna Ecosystems" by Robert M. Pringle, PhD Savannas cover 20 percent of Earth’s surface and much of Africa. The patterns and processes that occur in this globally important biome illustrate core concepts in ecology.
 
"Patterns in Nature" by Corina E. Tarnita, PhD Regular spatial patterns abound in natural systems. Understanding how patterns arise in ecosystems provides insights into how these ecosystems function.
 
Mathematician-turned biologist Dr. Corina Tarnita describes the importance of termite mounds in a savanna ecosystem.
 
"How Species Coexist" by Robert M. Pringle, PhD Large herbivores in the African savanna coexist by partitioning ecological niches by time, space, and diet.
 
Professor Robert Pringle describes the cutting-edge method of DNA metabarcoding used to reveal how similar animals share resources.
 
"Modeling Populations and Species Interactions" by Corina E. Tarnita, PhD Gorongosa National Park in Mozambique provides several examples for how to model the growth of animal populations and then check the models against actual data.
 
"Communities as Ecological Networks" by Robert M. Pringle, PhD and Corina E. Tarnita, PhD Ecosystems include complex interactions between animals and plants, which can be measured experimentally and investigated using mathematical models.
 
"Conserving and Restoring Ecosystems" by Robert M. Pringle, PhD Two important questions in ecology are "How do we conserve ecosystems?" and "When we try to restore damaged ecosystems, what state do we restore them to?"
 
"The Science of Camera Traps" by Alexandra Swanson, PhD and Roland Kays, PhD A discussion of camera traps and their use in ecological research.
 
"Patterns and Processes in Ecology" with Sean Carroll, PhD, Robert M. Pringle, PhD, Corina E. Tarnita, PhD, Alexandra Swanson, PhD and Roland Kays, PhD The 2015 Holiday Lecture discussion session.
 
Forty years ago in Laetoli, Tanzania, a team of paleontologists discovered a set of 3.6-million-year-old fossil footprints of early hominids —likely our ancestors. The team was led by Mary Leakey, the pioneering subject of this animated feature. The film covers many highlights of her career and her relationship with her research partner and hus ...…
 
In 1938, South African museum curator Marjorie Courtenay-Latimer came across a strange blue fin poking out of a pile of fish. With its fleshy, lobed fins and its tough armored scales, the coelacanth did not look like any other fish that exists today. The coelacanth belongs to a lineage that has remained virtually unchanged for hundreds of milli ...…
 
Our human ancestors in Africa likely had dark skin, which is produced by an abundance of the pigment eumelanin in skin cells. In the high ultraviolet (UV) environment of sub-Saharan (or equatorial) Africa, darker skin offers protection from the damaging effects of UV radiation. Dr. Jablonski explains that the variation in skin color that evolve ...…
 
This animated short tells the story of Alfred Wegener, a German astronomer and atmospheric scientist, who came up with the idea that continents once formed a single landmass and had drifted apart. Continental drift explained why continents' shapes fit together like pieces of a puzzle and why distant continents had the same fossils . During Wege ...…
 
"Learning from Past Extinctions" by Anthony D. Barnosky PhD The fossil record contains evidence of five mass extinctions, when more than 75 percent of species went extinct. Mammals are a key group for comparing past and present extinction rates. Many living species are threatened, but there is still time to avoid a sixth mass extinction.…
 
"Humans, Biodiversity, and Habitat Loss" by Elizabeth A. Hadly PhD Human activities have caused the extinctions of many species in the past, and that is also happening today. Human population growth is driving habitat destruction and climate change, both direct threats to biodiversity.
 
Scientists at Work Anthony Barnosky and Kaitlin Maguire Measure Mammal Extinctions at the John Day Fossil Beds.
 
"Rescuing Species" by by Elizabeth A. Hadly PhD The loss of biodiversity also means a loss of genetic diversity, which is the biological toolkit for adaptation. As populations of animals become increasingly isolated due to habitat fragmentation, assisted migration may be a strategy for preserving genetic diversity.…
 
Scientists at Work Liz Hadly Tracks the Impact of Climate Change in Yellowstone.
 
"Extreme Life of the Sea" by Stephen R. Palumbi PhD Ocean biodiversity is also threatened by human activities. But because the ocean is huge and has highly diverse environments, marine organisms appear to be more resilient than land animals when threatened by extinction and can bounce back with modest conservation efforts.…
 
Ten thousand years ago, corn didn't exist anywhere in the world, and until recently scientists argued vehemently about its origins. Today the crop is consumed voraciously by us, by our livestock, and as a major part of processed foods. So where did it come from? Popped Secret: The Mysterious Origin of Corn tells the story of the genetic changes ...…
 
"Ocean Species Respond to Climate Change" by Stephen R. Palumbi PhD Coral reefs are threatened by many human activities, including global ocean warming from climate change. Some corals can survive unusually high temperatures by virtue of their genetic makeup. These heat-tolerant corals may hold the key to preserving coral reefs into the future.…
 
Scientists at Work Steve Palumbi and Megan Morikawa Investigate Coral Bleaching in American Samoa.
 
The discovery of Archaeopteryx in a quarry in Germany in the early 1860s provided the first clue that birds descended from reptiles. But what kind of reptile? In the last 40 years, scientists have identified many shared features between birds and two-legged carnivorous dinosaurs called theropods.
 
"Dodging Extinction" by Anthony D. Barnosky PhD The current threats to biodiversity are tightly coupled to human demand for power, food, and money. We can avoid a sixth mass extinction by rethinking how we use energy, how we feed the world, and the value we place on intact ecosystems.
 
Paleontologists have studied the fossil record of human evolution just like they have done for other major transitions, including the evolution of tetrapods from fish and the evolution of birds from dinosaurs. In this film, part of the Great Transitions trilogy, Sean Carroll and Tim White discuss the most important human fossils and how they il ...…
 
"Saving Biodiversity" with Anthony D. Barnosky PhD, Elizabeth A. Hadly PhD, Stephen R. Palumbi PhD A sixty minute discussion on biodiversity with the lecturers and students attending the 2014 Holiday Lectures. Moderated by HHMI vice president of Science Education, Dr. Sean Carroll.
 
In 1674, Antonie van Leeuwenhoek looked at a drop of lake water through his homemade microscope and discovered an invisible world that no one knew existed. His work inspired countless microbiology researchers, including HHMI investigator Bonnie Bassler, one of the narrators of this animated feature. Leeuwenhoek was a haberdasher and city offici ...…
 
Growing up near Gorongosa National Park in Mozambique, Tonga Torcida has dreamt of becoming a tour guide at the park. But when he meets and gets to work with ant biologist E.O. Wilson in the park, his views of the world around him—and of his future—drastically change. Torcida decides to pursue a career in science and work to ensure that the par ...…
 
Interview with Charles Sawyers Dr. Sawyers describes how he became interested in science during medical school, and offers advice to science students.
 
Interview with Christopher Walsh Dr. Walsh recalls his childhood as one of eight siblings, discovering science in college, and the role of genomics in studying autism.
 
Interview with Minna Balbas Ms. Balbas discusses her early interest in medicine, her path to becoming a researcher, and her best day in the lab.
 
Interview with Madelen Diaz Ms. Diaz discusses her family's emphasis on academics, how she discovered neuroscience, and describes a typical day in the lab.
 
Interview with Jenny Yawei Yang Ms. Yang describes what it was like growing up in a family filled with medical doctors, discusses her MD-PhD program, and provides advice to high school students interested in science.
 
Dante's Story: Genomics and Hemimegalencephaly Dante is a 10-year-old boy born with hemimegalencephaly—an enlargement of half his brain. This short film describes the decision to remove the affected half of his brain, his progress since the surgery, and how his preserved brain cells helped lead to the discovery of the genetic cause of the condi ...…
 
In his book On the Origin of Species, Charles Darwin boldly predicted that buried deep in the earth would be creatures with features that were intermediate between those of ancestral and modern groups. At the time no such fossils had been found, and Darwin's critics immediately seized on that fact to refute the theory of evolution. But since Da ...…
 
"Sizing Up the Brain Gene By Gene" by Christopher Walsh, MD PhD The human brain is a complex network of cells whose organization and function are controlled by many genes. By working with patients who have developmental brain disorders, Dr. Christopher Walsh and his team have begun to identify genes that are required for proper brain developmen ...…
 
"Cancer As a Genetic Disease" by Charles Sawyers, MD Despite decades of research, cancer continues to be a major cause of death in the United States. The disease is traditionally treated by a combination of surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy, which can have severe side effects. Recent advances in cancer biology have led to the development of ...…
 
"Decoding the Autism Puzzle" by Christopher Walsh, MD PhD Autism is a general term for a spectrum of disorders of brain development that range in severity from mild to severe. Because autism is not a single disease, it has been difficult to identify its causes. Dr. Christopher Walsh describes how recent advances in DNA sequencing technology hav ...…
 
"From Cancer Genomics to Cancer Drugs" by Charles Sawyers, MD Based on early successes with targeted drug therapy, the cancer research community prioritized sequencing the genomes of thousands of tumor samples to identify every gene mutated in cancer. Approximately 140 such genes have been identified to date. They can be classified into three m ...…
 
"Dog Genomics and Dogs as Model Organisms" by Elinor Karlsson, PhD Dr. Elinor Karlsson of the Broad Institute discusses using dogs in genome-wide association studies (GWAS), and the genetic evidence for dog domestication, as revealed by copy-number variations in the amylase gene.
 
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