Comparison of the change in BMI for a given height and varying weights.
A dramatic illustration of how hearing happens in the ear.
An overview of how dietary fat gets digested, packaged, and sent to various tissues for storage or energy.
A timeline illustrating the gradual effects of obesity on the body, including diabetes, atherosclerosis, and heart attack.
The job of the human heart—in fact of all vertebrate hearts—is to pump oxygenated blood throughout the cells of the body and to return deoxygenated blood to lungs or gills for replenishment.
The lactase enzyme is produced in the small intestine of infants. It digests lactose by breaking it into glucose and galactose.
Dr. Rosenthal uses a model of a heart and an artery to describe how blockages lead to heart attack and tissue damage.
What do humans, flies, and worms have in common? More than you might think. See how transgenic organisms are engineered, and how they enable researchers to study genetic diseases.
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.
Cone snails have evolved many different toxins for different uses. Total molecular biodiversity may number in the millions.
How a nerve cell gets its identity, sends axons, and makes connections with other cells.
Understanding the neural circuits in the spinal cord that control movement.
The cellular and molecular nature of learning and memory, investigated in simpler sea slugs and more-complex mice.
In four talks, A. James Hudspeth, MD, PhD, and Jeremy H. Nathans, MD, PhD, discuss how sensory information is encoded and transmitted to the brain. They describe the detailed workings of two senses of great importance to humans—vision and hearing.
Dr. Hudspeth will begin by discussing how simple organisms—such as bacteria—have the capacity to detect and react to a stimulus.
Dr. Nathans will discuss how the visual process involves the detection of light by photo-receptors in the retina.
Dr. Hudspeth will explain the basis for the ear’s remarkable ability to detect sound through the hair cell, the sensory receptor found in the inner ear.
Dr. Nathans will complete the lecture series by clarifying what is known about the brain’s ability to process and integrate various elements of the visual system, such as color, motion, and depth.
Finding factors to reverse age-related loss of cell maintenance, and some examples of stem cell therapies.
In the 2004 Holiday Lectures on Science, HHMI investigators Ronald M. Evans and Jeffrey M. Friedman discuss how the body regulates weight by carefully controlling the storage and burning of fat—and how a better understanding of these complex metabolic systems could lead researchers to...
Dr. Friedman introduces the genes and circuits that control appetite, including the key role of leptin.
Dr. Evans describes how fat communicates with muscle and how diet and exercise influence that relationship.
Dr. Evans reviews how PPARs regulate body weight by controlling whether fat is burned or stored.
Dr. Friedman shows how leptin rewires neural circuits, and how population studies may identify obesity genes.
A Q&A session on obesity and related issues, with the lecturers and students attending the Holiday Lectures on Science.
In four lectures, Richard P. Lifton, MD, PhD, and Christine E. Seidman, MD, discuss their groundbreaking work in using genetic and molecular approaches to understand cardiovascular diseases.
The heart acts as a dual pump, sending oxygen-depleted blood to the lungs to be reinvigorated and pumping oxygen-rich blood to vital organs throughout the body.
Molecular genetic approaches have identified genes that, when mutated, cause either increased or decreased blood pressure.
Scientists have pieced together the evolutionary history of the Antarctic icefish. The icefish makes an excellent case study for genetic evolution as both the gain and loss of genes have led to key adaptations.
An overview and comparison of different regenerative capabilities in many different organisms.
The following classroom-ready resources complement The Making of the Fittest: The Birth and Death of Genes, which describes how scientists have pieced together the evolutionary history of the Antarctic icefish. The icefish makes an excellent case study for genetic evolution as...
A simple activity that investigates the importance of antifreeze proteins to icefish survival.
A simple demonstration that uses readily-available materials to simulate how blood pumps through the circulatory system of icefish and other fish.
A dramatic demonstration that simulates how tiny ice crystals would form and grow in the blood of most fish if they ventured into the icy waters of the Antarctic.
Follow human geneticist Spencer Wells, Director of the Genographic Project of the National Geographic Society, as he tracks down the genetic changes associated with the ability to digest lactose as adults, tracing the origin of the trait to less than 10,000 years ago, a time when some human...
A lesson that requires students to read detailed scientific passages and explain how an understanding of specific icefish adaptations might lead to a treatment or cure for human disorders, such as osteoporosis and anemia.
Students simulate a lactose tolerance test.
Students explore the effects of different diets on the evolution of an enzyme that breaks down starch.
Students explore the genetic changes associated with lactose tolerance/intolerance and how the trait is inherited in families.
Students evaluate and discuss several statements about lactose intolerance and evolution before and after watching the film.
An intricate three-dimensional network of blood vessels nourishes the heart.
Are we witnessing a sixth mass extinction? What factors threaten ecosystems on land and in the sea? What are researchers doing to try to conserve biodiversity and ecosystems?
Compare and contrast the anatomy of the heart and the circulatory systems of major vertebrate groups and gain insights into their evolution.
Students interpret the results of two different tests for lactase persistence.