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  • Model Microbiome

    Model Microbiome

    Image of the Week

    A section of the colon of a germ-free mouse colonized with fifteen different species of bacteria characteristic of the human gut.

  • Sharing Germs

    Sharing Germs

    Image of the Week

    Young green iguanas feed on the droppings of their elders in order to collect bacteria that enable them to digest plants.

  • Eating Wood

    Eating Wood

    Image of the Week

    A soldier Dampwood termite (Zootermopsis nevadensis) in a nest gallery.

  • With A Little Help From My Microbiome

    With A Little Help From My Microbiome

    Image of the Week

    Koalas are able to spend most of their lives in the relative safety of eucalypt trees by virtue of a digestive system adapted to eating their leaves.

  • Eat Your Vitamins

    Eat Your Vitamins

    Image of the Week

    Ascorbic acid, or Vitamin C, is an essential component of the human diet.

  • Amylase Copy Number and Diet

    Amylase Copy Number and Diet

    Data Point

    A team of scientists investigated whether there is a correlation between the number of AMY1 gene copies and the type of diet (high-starch or low-starch) of a population.

  • Lactase Film with Quiz

    Lactase Film with Quiz

    Interactive Video

    (14 min 52 sec) Embedded quiz modules test students’ understanding as they watch a short film that explores the evolution of the ability to digest lactose as adults (lactose tolerance) and the genetic changes associated with the trait.

  • Slug Power

    Slug Power

    Image of the Week

    The sea slug, Elysia crispata belongs to a group called the sacoglossans—mostly herbivores that feed, mate and lay eggs on algae.  

  • To Brine, Or Not To Brine?

    To Brine, Or Not To Brine?

    Image of the Week

    Soaking your Thanksgiving turkey in a salt solution (brine) alters the arrangement of muscle fiber protein molecules.

  • How We Get Our Skin Color Interactive

    How We Get Our Skin Color Interactive

    Interactive Video

    (3 min 32 sec) This interactive animation about the biology of skin color provides stop points at which students can further explore the material through additional text and illustrations, videos, questions, and simple interactive widgets.

  • Festive Fat Cells

    Festive Fat Cells

    Image of the Week

    Fat is made up of spherical plump cells supplied by a network of blood vessels.

  • Milk—How Sweet Is It?

    Milk—How Sweet Is It?

    Activity

    In this lab, students test different samples to see which ones contain the lactase enzyme. Also available in Spanish.

  • Pedigrees and the Inheritance of Lactose Intolerance

    Pedigrees and the Inheritance of Lactose Intolerance

    Activity

    Students explore the genetic changes associated with lactose tolerance/intolerance and how the trait is inherited in families. Also available in Spanish.

  • Holiday Lecture 2004 Update—Jeff Friedman

    Holiday Lecture 2004 Update—Jeff Friedman

    Clip

    (3 min 52 sec) HHMI investigator Jeff Friedman provides an update to his 2004 lectures on obesity.

  • Cancer and Cell Fate in the Intestinal Epithelium

    Cancer and Cell Fate in the Intestinal Epithelium

    Animation

    (2 min 17 sec) Disrupting the normal processes of differentiation and maturation of the intestinal epithelial cells can lead to cancer. Also available in Spanish.

  • Lactose Intolerance: Fact or Fiction

    Lactose Intolerance: Fact or Fiction

    Activity

    Students evaluate and discuss several statements about lactose intolerance and evolution before and after watching the film. Also available in Spanish.

  • Got Lactase? Blood Glucose Data Analysis

    Got Lactase? Blood Glucose Data Analysis

    Activity

    Students interpret the results of two different tests for lactase persistence.

  • The Making of the Fittest: Got Lactase? The Co-evolution of Genes and Culture

    The Making of the Fittest: Got Lactase? The Co-evolution of Genes and Culture

    Short Film

    (14 min 52 sec) 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. Also available in Spanish.

  • Lactose Digestion in Infants

    Lactose Digestion in Infants

    Animation

    (53 sec) The lactase enzyme is produced in the small intestine of infants. It digests lactose by breaking it into glucose and galactose.

  • Diet and the Evolution of Salivary Amylase

    Diet and the Evolution of Salivary Amylase

    Activity

    Students explore the effects of different diets on the evolution of an enzyme that breaks down starch.

  • What Is Fat?

    What Is Fat?

    Poster

    The poster from the 2004 Holiday Lectures on Science, The Science of Fat. See how fat is stored and metabolized. (This poster is designed to printed at a maximum size of 29.5" x 23.5".)

  • How The Body Uses Fat

    How The Body Uses Fat

    Click & Learn

    This slide show explores some of the ways the body processes fat, including digestion, transport, conversion, and energy extraction.

  • Molecular Structure of Fat

    Molecular Structure of Fat

    Click & Learn

    This slide show delves into the various molecular shapes that fat can take.

  • Measuring Obesity

    Measuring Obesity

    Click & Learn

    There is no way to directly measure how much fat a living person has. Learn about the various methods used by researchers and fitness advisors to estimate a person’s body fat.

  • Student Discussion Session on Obesity

    Student Discussion Session on Obesity

    Lecture

    (47 min 48 sec) A Q&A session on obesity and related issues, with the lecturers and students attending the Holiday Lectures on Science.

  • Exploring Obesity: From the Depths of the Brain to the Far Pacific

    Exploring Obesity: From the Depths of the Brain to the Far Pacific

    Lecture

    (58 min 29 sec) Dr. Friedman shows how leptin rewires neural circuits, and how population studies may identify obesity genes.

  • Balancing the Fat Equation

    Balancing the Fat Equation

    Lecture

    (58 min 20 sec) Dr. Evans reviews how PPARs regulate body weight by controlling whether fat is burned or stored.

  • Understanding Fat: Syndrome X and Beyond

    Understanding Fat: Syndrome X and Beyond

    Lecture

    (58 min 29 sec) Dr. Evans describes how fat communicates with muscle and how diet and exercise influence that relationship.

  • Deconstructing Obesity

    Deconstructing Obesity

    Lecture

    (58 min 20 sec) Dr. Friedman introduces the genes and circuits that control appetite, including the key role of leptin.

  • The Science of Fat

    The Science of Fat

    Lecture

    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 treatments that curb obesity and improve public health. Awards 2006 Telly Awards; Silver

  • Marathon Mouse

    Marathon Mouse

    Clip

    (53 sec) Dr. Ronald Evans discusses the so-called "marathon" mouse, with a mutation in the PPAR-gamma gene, and its performance on a treadmill relative to a normal mouse.

  • Pima Indians

    Pima Indians

    Clip

    (2 min 36 sec) A clip about the Pima Indian tribe and how environment has affected them.

  • Mouse Activity

    Mouse Activity

    Clip

    (30 sec) Dr. Evans compares the activity of a normal mouse to one with a mutation in a key gene controlling obesity.

  • Leptin Neuronal Rewiring

    Leptin Neuronal Rewiring

    Animation

    (1 min 19 sec) Illustrates how providing leptin to an obese mouse rapidly rewires its hypothalamus neurons.

  • Leptin Feedback Control System

    Leptin Feedback Control System

    Animation

    (1 min 1 sec) Demonstrates how changes in the amount of fat tissue lead to changes in leptin levels and thus changes in appetite.

  • Location of the Hypothalamus

    Location of the Hypothalamus

    Animation

    (34 sec) A 3-D animation that shows the location of the hypothalamus in a mouse's brain.

  • How a Heart Attack Occurs

    How a Heart Attack Occurs

    Animation

    (37 sec) A 3-D animation that shows how plaques form in a blood vessel, leading to blockage and a heart attack.

  • Obesity-Related Health Problems

    Obesity-Related Health Problems

    Animation

    (1 min 44 sec) A timeline illustrating the gradual effects of obesity on the body, including diabetes, atherosclerosis, and heart attack.

  • The Fate of Fat

    The Fate of Fat

    Animation

    (2 min 8 sec) An overview of how dietary fat gets digested, packaged, and sent to various tissues for storage or energy.

  • Body Mass Index (BMI)

    Body Mass Index (BMI)

    Animation

    (1 min 23 sec) Comparison of the change in BMI for a given height and varying weights.

  • PPAR-delta Activation in the Muscle Cell

    PPAR-delta Activation in the Muscle Cell

    Animation

    (1 min 45 sec) The PPAR-delta receptor activates certain genes in a muscle cell, resulting in the burning of fat.

  • PPAR-gamma Activation in the Fat Cell

    PPAR-gamma Activation in the Fat Cell

    Animation

    (2 min 49 sec) The PPAR-gamma receptor activates certain genes in a fat cell, resulting in the storage of fat and changes in hormone levels.

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