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  • Discovering the Wallace Line

    Discovering the Wallace Line

    Activity

    This activity supports the HHMI short film The Origin of Species: The Making of a Theory. Students are presented with a map of the Malay Archipelago and some field notebooks with observations of animals. By plotting which animals are found on which island, the students discover the Wallace Line—a sharp boundary that separates distinct Asian and Australian fauna. 

  • Beaks As Tools: Selective Advantage in Changing Environments

    Beaks As Tools: Selective Advantage in Changing Environments

    Activity

    This classroom experiment supports the film The Origin of Species: The Beak of the Finch. Students collect and analyze data to learn why even slight variations in beak size can make the difference between life and death.

  • Using DNA to Explore Lizard Phylogeny

    Using DNA to Explore Lizard Phylogeny

    Activity

    This activity supports the film The Origin of Species: Lizards in an Evolutionary Tree. Students are guided to sort the lizard species by appearance, then generate a phylogenetic tree using the lizards’ DNA sequences to evaluate whether species that appear similar are closely related to each other.

  • Film Guides: The Origin of Species: Lizards in an Evolutionary Tree

    Film Guides: The Origin of Species: Lizards in an Evolutionary Tree

    Film Guide

    The following classroom-ready resources complement The Origin of Species: Lizards in an Evolutionary Tree. Research on the anole lizards is enriching our understanding of evolutionary processes, such as adaptation by natural selection, convergent evolution, and the formation of new species. Also available in Spanish.

  • Film Guides: The Origin of Species: The Beak of the Finch

    Film Guides: The Origin of Species: The Beak of the Finch

    Film Guide

    The following classroom-ready resources complement The Origin of Species: The Beak of the Finch. By following four decades of research on the finches of the Galápagos islands, the film illustrates how geography and ecology can drive the evolution of new species.

  • Biodiversity and Evolutionary Trees

    Biodiversity and Evolutionary Trees

    Activity

    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.

  • Bacterial Quorum Sensing

    Bacterial Quorum Sensing

    Click & Learn

    Understand how quorum sensing works by reasoning through experiments involving genetically-engineered bioluminescent bacteria.

  • Symbiotic Bioluminescence

    Symbiotic Bioluminescence

    Click & Learn

    Explore the biology of the symbiotic relationship between the Hawaiian Bobtail squid and bioluminescent bacteria Vibrio fischeri.

  • Sorting Seashells

    Sorting Seashells

    Click & Learn

    Explore principles of taxonomy by sorting seashells according to their morphological characteristics and constructing an evolutionary tree.

  • Q&A on Cone Snails

    Q&A on Cone Snails

    Lecture

    (9 min 18 sec) In this ten-minute Q&A session, Dr. Olivera answers questions on cone snail behavior, venoms, and biodiversity.

  • Biodiversity Discussion

    Biodiversity Discussion

    Lecture

    (1 hr 16 min 30 sec) 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.

  • Eavesdropping on Tiny Conspiracies

    Eavesdropping on Tiny Conspiracies

    Lecture

    (58 min 29 sec) The quorum sensing system is a target for a new class of drugs that interfere with virulence without killing bacteria.

  • Biodiversity at a Snail's Pace

    Biodiversity at a Snail's Pace

    Lecture

    (58 min 29 sec) Cone snails have evolved many different toxins for different uses. Total molecular biodiversity may number in the millions.

  • Shedding Light on an Invisible World

    Shedding Light on an Invisible World

    Lecture

    (58 min 29 sec) Bacteria are capable of communicating and coordinating their activities with a molecular signaling system called quorum sensing.

  • From Venoms to Drugs

    From Venoms to Drugs

    Lecture

    (58 min 29 sec) Venomous carniverous cone snails are a rich source of molecules for scientific research and potential drug development.

  • Exploring Biodiversity: The Search for New Medicines

    Exploring Biodiversity: The Search for New Medicines

    Lecture

    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 medicines.

  • Cone Snails: Versatile Hunters

    Cone Snails: Versatile Hunters

    Clip

    (13 min 39 sec) 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.

  • Deep nets to harvest Turrids

    Deep nets to harvest Turrids

    Clip

    (1 min 43 sec) Fishermen harvest deep-sea species of venomous snails by retrieving a net that had been deployed months ago.

  • Philippines Biodiversity

    Philippines Biodiversity

    Clip

    (2 min 8 sec) The Philippines archipelago is rich in marine biodiversity, including venomous octopus and venomous snails.

  • Surrounded by the Ocean: Philippine Maritime Culture, Biodiversity, and Research

    Surrounded by the Ocean: Philippine Maritime Culture, Biodiversity, and Research

    Scientists at Work

    (11 min 56 sec) A mini-documentary illustrating the importance of the ocean to the Filipino way of life, and how that close connection helps biodiversity research.

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