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Transcendent Man: The Life and Ideas of Ray Kurzweil

Transcendent Man explores the theories of inventor, futurist, and best selling author Ray Kurzweil (The Singularity Is Near), who predicts that in the not-so-distant future, the science fiction behind The Terminator; Blade Runner; Total Recall; The Matrix; and I Robot will become science fact. The film follows Kurzweil as he journeys the world sharing his mind-bending vision of a future in which we merge with our computers.
Clemons (Stacks)

The Joy of Science: Part IV

"These lucid, information-packed lectures convey the excitement of scientific discovery and trace the connections between discoveries over time. In this course, veteran science educator Robert Hazen renders the most complex ideas simple and memorable, without ever being simplistic"
Ivy (By Request)

Triumph of Life: Vol. 1 the Four Billion Year War [electronic resource]

In a battle for survival that lasts 4 billion years, the odds against any one species are incredibly long. And yet, life on the planet is overwhelmingly rich and diverse. Exploring this paradox, this program takes a penetrating look at the process of evolution and the basic force behind it - genes.
2005; 2001

Genetics of Development [electronic resource]

Discusses how organisms as different as flies, fish, and humans share a set of genes, known as a genetic toolkit, which guides development. Presents new perspectives on the remarkable similarity in these molecules and processes and the ethical questions involved in this research.

Infancy and Early Childhood [electronic resource]

The impending birth of a new baby causes a Pennsylvania farm family to review the developmental stages of life and death in their three generations. The commentary of scholars places their experience in sociological and psychological perspective as the development of the new baby exemplifies the developmental "clocks" of infancy and early childhood. Other case studies examine the influence of the child's personality on the family.

The Genetic Code [electronic resource]

Explains how the human body manufactures complex proteins to sustain life and relates how traits are passed on from generation to generation. Investigates the structure and role of the nucleic acids, DNA and RNA.

How the Body Ages [electronic resource]

Asks how and why the body ages. Topics include skin cancer, wrinkles, body composition, loss of strength, height reduction, arthritis, and osteoporosis among others. Differentiates between normal aging processes and diseases associated with aging. Considers the relationship of environment and genetics on the aging process.

Sexual and Asexual Reproduction [electronic resource]

All forms of life, from the simple to the highly complex, possess not only the ability but the instinct to reproduce. This program gives an introduction to the basic biological concepts involved with sexual and asexual reproduction. Starting at the cellular level, the video distinguishes between reproduction that occurs sexually, in an exchange of genetic material between two organisms, and asexually, in which organisms produce offspring with a genetic makeup identical to the parent. Several plant and animal examples are included, as are clear explanations of meiosis and mitosis. The various evolutionary benefits and disadvantages of both types of reproduction are also examined.

My Genes Speak for Me [electronic resource]: Reconciling Nature and Nurture

Conceived with the help of a Nobel Prize-winning sperm donor, a baby girl blossoms into a gifted, highly intelligent woman. Does her talent come solely from heredity? What about the case of female twins, separated at birth, who exhibit astonishing similarities in habit and behavior when they meet later in life? This film explores the possibility that genetics and environment are not diametrically opposed when it comes to human development - instead, the program asserts, they should be seen as complementary. Other case studies involve fatal nutritional disorders that are passed from one generation to the next, as well as Tay-Sachs disease, the genetic disorder notorious for its impact on one particular ethnic group, the Ashkenazi Jewish community. A timely analysis of lingering, probl [...]

The Human Family Tree [electronic resource]

Astoria, Queens, New York is the melting pot of melting pots, with a range of skin tones, heights, weights, hair types, and eye shapes, to say nothing of their beliefs, cultures, languages, and trades. But just how different are we? At a street fair in the heart of Astoria, on a sweltering July day, geneticist Spencer Wells and his team take DNA samples from this amazingly diverse group. These samples will show how a selection of New Yorkers: a waitress, a teacher, a councilman, a fashion model, and a mother, among many others, with ethnic origins as diverse as Thai, Puerto Rican and African - are all connected; that they, like everyone else on the planet, can trace their ancestry back to the same small group of Homo sapiens who began eking out a living in Africa less than 200,000 ye [...]

How to Build an Ancient Man [electronic resource]

All that remains of "Inuk" are a few tufts of tangled human hair dug out of Greenland's permafrost, yet as scientists rebuild the identity of this 4,000-year-old arctic hunter, they rewrite the history of Greenland and the New World's settlement. From these threads of evidence, scientists attempt the impossible: to be the first to reconstruct the identity of a Stone Age human being. In this program, Professor Eske Willerslev and his colleagues analyze DNA using Illumina technology. After washing the sample in bleach, adding enzymes, and baking it, a concentrated sample of almost perfectly preserved genetic material emerges. The team identifies genetic markers that point toward an Asian origin, a finding they claim overturns mainstream theory about how humans populated the Earth. Acco [...]

TEDTalks [electronic resource]: Drew Berry - Animations of Unseeable Biology

We have no ways to directly observe molecules and what they do-and biomedical animator Drew Berry wants to change that. In this TEDTalk, he shows his scientifically accurate (and entertaining!) animations that help researchers see unseeable processes within our own cells.

TEDTalks [electronic resource]: E. O. Wilson - Advice to Young Scientists

The world needs you, badly, begins celebrated biologist E. O. Wilson in his letter to a young scientist. Previewing his upcoming book in this TEDTalk, Wilson gives advice collected from a lifetime of experience-reminding us that wonder and creativity are the center of the scientific life.

Stem Cell Breakthrough [electronic resource]

A breakthrough in creating non-embryonic stem cells has some people calling for an end to the use of embryonic stem cells in medical research. This ABC News report details the scientific discovery that can give skin cells the characteristics of stem cells, and what that means to the future of stem cell research.

Scientists Announce a Rough Mapping of the Human Genome [electronic resource]

In one of the most ambitious and expensive biology projects ever, scientists from around the world have been working for years on mapping the human genome. This ABC News report examines the breakthrough in deciphering the chemical code that controls how the human body is built and how it operates.

Cell Division and Growth [electronic resource]

The cell cycle is a series of developmental and growth events that chart the normal life of a cell. This program uses easy-to-follow animation to illustrate the growth phases of the cell cycle and the processes of mitosis and cytokinesis that follow. The distinct phases of mitosis-including prophase, metaphase, anaphase and telophase-are described in detail. The program also explains meiosis, a variation of mitosis involving the formation of gametes in two stages. Apoptosis, or programmed cell death, is also covered, including the effects of uncontrolled cell division (cancer).

Science Behind the Best Christmas Trees [electronic resource]

Researchers strive to improve the quality of a central holiday symbol.

A New Genetic Map That Could Make Your Skin Crawl [electronic resource]

Very little has been known about the trillions of bacteria and other microorganisms present in our bodies. But now, scientists with the Human Microbiome Project have completed the first microbial map of healthy humans. NewsHour correspondent Jeffrey Brown speaks with Dr. Eric Green, director of the National Human Genome Research Institute. Origina?

DNA Dreams [electronic resource]: China's Genetic Research

What if we could identify the genes for human intelligence? Would a brave new world of perfect people be our future? This program profiles two young scientists at China's BGI, an internationally-renowned genome sequencing center, raising questions about the societal implications of their work. The video follows 18-year-old Zhao Bowen as he seeks a genetic basis for cognitive skill by analyzing the DNA of 2,000 highly gifted children. Bowen's belief is that IQ should be as precisely measurable as length. At BGI's cloning facility, 25-year-old Lin Lin's job is to produce rat-sized pigs that would be marketable as laboratory test animals; she expresses pride in the life she says she created. The film hints at concerns that BGI's research may lead to screening for intelligence in unborn [...]

The Aging Process [electronic resource]

Part of the aging process is inevitable-but only part. This program explains the effects of aging on the human mind and body, explores the "damage" and "cell clock" theories about why cells wear out, and examines the lifestyle habits that affect both longevity and the quality of life; these include exercise, regular checkups for cancer, proper diet, moderate drinking, and no smoking. The program points out that it is never too late to mend one's ways.