Quorum sensing regulates gene expression by a protein phosphorylation cascade that controls transcription.
Prialt does not block the mammalian motor synapse, but blocks the pain pathway in the spinal cord.
Prialt, a drug derived from cone snail venom, paralyzes fish by blocking calcium channels at a motor synapse.
Multiple cone snail toxins attack different molecules of the nervous system and cause paralysis.
Some cone snail toxins chemically hyperactivate neurons and immobilize prey, much like a Taser.
A single transcription factor controls this operon, which contains five genes necessary to produce bioluminescence.
An interview with Dr. Bassler.
The bobtail squid swims during the night to hunt. During the day, it burrows to hide from predators.
Dr. Olivera demonstrates a live specimen of Conus striatus.
This species of cone snail immobilizes its prey in a split second with lightning-strike cabal toxins.
A fish-hunting cone snail strikes its prey with a venomous harpoon, causes paralysis, and eats it.
Larger cone snails produce more venom and are more dangerous to human beings in an accidental stinging.
A worm-hunting cone snail species feeds on fireworms, and is unaffected by the prey's sharp bristles.
A species of fish-hunting cone snail quickly immobilizes its prey and swallows it.
A snail-hunting species of cone snail stings its prey repeatedly, inducing the prey to thrash about.
Unlike a hook-and-line type fish-hunter, a net-hunting cone snail lures its prey into its wide mouth.
Dr. Bassler demonstrates the bioluminescence of a culture of Vibrio harveyi.
An interview with Dr. Michael McIntosh, who discovered the drug Prialt while working as an undergraduate in Dr. Olivera's lab.
An interview with Dr. Olivera.
The Philippines archipelago is rich in marine biodiversity, including venomous octopus and venomous snails.
An interview with Dr. Audra Pompeani, a graduate student in Bonnie Bassler's lab.
Quorum sensing signal molecules have parts that are common between species as well as species-specific parts.
Robotic equipment makes it possible to screen massive chemical libraries in just a matter of days.
An interview with Dr. Lee Swem, a post-doctoral fellow in Bonnie Bassler's lab.
A Taser hyperexcites the nervous system to cause a rigid immobilization of its target.
Fishermen harvest deep-sea species of venomous snails by retrieving a net that had been deployed months ago.
Dr. Jason Biggs of the University of Guam Marine Laboratory discusses the anatomy of cone snails and introduces us to a variety of cone snail species with different tactics to hunt and capture their prey.
What medical secrets do venomous snails hold? How can listening in on bacterial conversations help develop new antibiotics? In four presentations, Dr. Bonnie L. Bassler and Dr. Baldomero M. Olivera reveal how a deeper understanding of nature and biodiversity informs their research into new...
Venomous carniverous cone snails are a rich source of molecules for scientific research and potential drug development.
Bacteria are capable of communicating and coordinating their activities with a molecular signaling system called quorum sensing.
Cone snails have evolved many different toxins for different uses. Total molecular biodiversity may number in the millions.
The quorum sensing system is a target for a new class of drugs that interfere with virulence without killing bacteria.
A discussion on biodiversity, endangered habitats, and how best to preserve the Earth's ecosystems, presented by the lecturers along with Dr. E.O. Wilson and Dr. Eric Chivian.
In this 13-minute Q&A session, Dr. Bonnie Bassler answers questions on quorum sensing and other topics related to bacteria.
In this ten-minute Q&A session, Dr. Olivera answers questions on cone snail behavior, venoms, and biodiversity.
Explore principles of taxonomy by sorting seashells according to their morphological characteristics and constructing an evolutionary tree.
Explore the biology of the symbiotic relationship between the Hawaiian Bobtail squid and bioluminescent bacteria Vibrio fischeri.
Understand how quorum sensing works by reasoning through experiments involving genetically-engineered bioluminescent bacteria.
Construct evolutionary trees by sorting seashells. To accompany the lecture series Exploring Biodiversity: The Search for New Medicines and the Sorting Seashells Click and Learn interactive.
A text transcript of the 2009 Holiday Lectures on Science, Exploring Biodiversity: The Search for New Medicines.
A chapter list to accompany the DVD.
A mini-documentary illustrating the importance of the ocean to the Filipino way of life, and how that close connection helps biodiversity research.