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1.

The Hidden Kingdom [electronic resource]: Early Discoveries in Cell Science

It was a businessman, not a trained scientist, who first gained entry to the cryptic world of cells. This program relates the early history of microbiology and genetics, beginning with the story of Antonie van Leeuwenhoek, a 17th-century Dutch textile merchant with a talent for making microscopes. Moving from van Leeuwenhoek's discovery of "animalcules" to Robert Hooke's cork studies and coinage of the term cell, the film then focuses on Joseph Jackson Lister's multi-lens microscope technology, Robert Brown's identification of cell nuclei, and the collaboration of Theodor Schwann and Matthias Schleiden. Robert Remak's groundbreaking findings about cell division form the climax of the episode.
Online
2010; 2009
2.

The Chemistry of Life [electronic resource]: Milestones in Genetics

Cells are, in a sense, just tiny bags of chemicals-so what "instructs" them to divide and function? This program shows how biologists addressed the question during the 19th and 20th centuries. Starting with Friedrich Miescher's discovery of nuclein, or DNA, the film examines Theodor Boveri's work with sea urchins, which clarified the role of chromosomes, as well as Thomas Hunt Morgan's study of inheritance in fruit flies and his introduction of the term gene. The contributions of Frederick Griffith, Maurice Wilkins, and the under-recognized Rosalind Franklin are held up as milestones on the path to the Watson-Crick double-helix model. Walter Gehring's mutation studies are also featured.
Online
2010; 2009
3.

The Spark of Life [electronic resource]: Tinkering With the Genetic Toolbox

From hydras to humans, every organism on Earth can trace its ancestry back to the first primitive cell. Will biotechnology one day create a cell outside of that family tree? This program looks at 21st-century genetic science and its search for the secret of life's creation. Background information highlights the Oparin-Haldane Hypothesis and its vision of a prebiotic soup as well as Stanley Miller's famous experiment, the central role of RNA in protein synthesis, and Herbert Boyer's achievement in gene-splicing. A visit with Dr. Stephen del Cardayre of biotech start-up LS9 reveals ways to remodel an existing cell-while Dr. George Church of Harvard Medical School hints at building one from scratch.
Online
2010; 2009
4.

Epigenetics [electronic resource]: How Food Upsets Our Genes

Why are girls entering puberty at progressively younger ages? Why are the rates of heart attack, cancer, and adult-onset diabetes rising? This program examines growing indications that food affects our genes-a concept vitally important to the science of epigenetics. Viewers encounter a wide range of experiments, case studies, and historical evidence, including Dutch birth records and testimonials from WWII that point to the epigenetic effects of starvation. Findings from animal and human nutritional studies, as well as evidence involving diet habits and environmental threats around the globe, are also presented. DNA methylation, the "on-and-off switch" of the epigenome, and other important concepts are featured.
Online
2009; 2008