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  • Identifying the Key Genes for Regeneration

    Identifying the Key Genes for Regeneration

    Scientists at Work

    (9 min 55 sec) This video describes how scientists silence different genes in regenerating planaria to study the process of regeneration at the molecular level.

  • How We Get Our Skin Color

    How We Get Our Skin Color

    Animations

    (3 min 32 sec) This engaging animation shows how human skin cells produce the pigment melanin, which gives skin its color. 

  • Cancer and Cell Fate in the Intestinal Epithelium

    Cancer and Cell Fate in the Intestinal Epithelium

    Animations

    (2 min 17 sec) This animation shows how disrupting cellular processes in the intestines can lead to colon cancer.

  • Autism and the Structure and Function of Synapses

    Autism and the Structure and Function of Synapses

    Animations

    (2 min 3 sec) Genes associated with autism affect the structure and function of neuronal synapses.

  • Development of the Cerebral Cortex

    Development of the Cerebral Cortex

    Animations

    (1 min 43 sec) Most of the neurons of the cerebral cortex arise from progenitor cells that undergo repeated cell division.

  • Cloning an Army of T Cells for Immune Defense

    Cloning an Army of T Cells for Immune Defense

    Animations

    (4 min 21 sec) View the animation to see how one type of immune cell—the helper T cell—interprets a message presented at the surface of the cell membrane. The message is an antigen, a protein fragment taken from an invading microbe. A series of events unfolds that results in the production of many clones of the helper T cell. These identical T cells can serve as a brigade forming an essential communication network to activate B cells, which make antibodies that will specifically attack the activating antigen.

  • Dengue Virus Enters a Cell

    Dengue Virus Enters a Cell

    Animations

    (1 min 33 sec) Infection begins when the dengue virus uses receptors on an immune cell's surface to gain entry and release its genome.

  • Prialt blocks motor synapse in fish

    Prialt blocks motor synapse in fish

    Animations

    (2 min 31 sec) Prialt, a drug derived from cone snail venom, paralyzes fish by blocking calcium channels at a motor synapse.

  • Demo: SHH concentration and eye position

    Demo: SHH concentration and eye position

    Clips

    (1 min 22 sec) A reduction in the level of sonic hedgehog (SHH) gene expression can lead to cyclopia.

  • Growth cones in action

    Growth cones in action

    Clips

    (34 sec) The growth cones of two neurons sense and interact with one another.

  • Demo: Electrical measurement of muscle activity

    Demo: Electrical measurement of muscle activity

    Clips

    (2 min 10 sec) A live recording of muscle activity from Dr. Jessell's biceps and triceps muscles.

  • Molecular Mechanism of Synaptic Function

    Molecular Mechanism of Synaptic Function

    Animations

    (1 min 9 sec) This animation shows how neurons send and receive signals to communicate with one another at contact points called synapses.

  • Signal molecules trigger transcription factors

    Signal molecules trigger transcription factors

    Animations

    (2 min 4 sec) Varying concentrations of a signaling molecule activate different transcription factors and determine cell fate.

  • CTL killing a target cell

    CTL killing a target cell

    Clips

    (1 min 17 sec) Video microscopy of a cytotoxic T lymphocyte in action.

  • HIV life cycle

    HIV life cycle

    Animations

    (4 min 52 sec) How HIV infects a cell and replicates itself using reverse transcriptase and the host's cellular machinery.

  • Antigen presentation and CTL

    Antigen presentation and CTL

    Animations

    (2 min 34 sec) How a cell infected by a virus signals cytotoxic T lymphocytes to kill the cell before the virus replicates and spreads.

  • Planarian Regeneration and Stem Cells

    Planarian Regeneration and Stem Cells

    Scientists at Work

    (11 min 47 sec) A mini-documentary discussing the remarkable regenerative capabilities of the planarian, and how HHMI researcher Alejandro Sánchez Alvarado uses them to study the biology of stem cells.

  • Human Embryonic Development

    Human Embryonic Development

    Animations

    (2 min 18 sec) Human embryonic development depends on stem cells. During the course of development, cells divide, migrate, and specialize. Early in development, a group of cells called the inner cell mass (ICM) forms. These cells are able to produce all the tissues of the body. Later in development, during gastrulation, the three germ layers form, and most cells become more restricted in the types of cells that they can produce.

  • Differentiation and the Fate of Cells

    Differentiation and the Fate of Cells

    Animations

    (1 min 29 sec) As a human embryo develops, its cells become progressively restricted in the types of specialized cells that they can produce. Inner cell mass (ICM) cells of the blastocyst can make any type of body cell. Gastrula-stage cells can give rise to the cells of a given germ layer. Later, cells become even more restricted. For example, the pancreatic bud of the endoderm layer can only make the cells of the pancreas.

  • Creating Embryonic Stem Cell Lines

    Creating Embryonic Stem Cell Lines

    Animations

    (1 min 38 sec) The inner cell mass (ICM) cells of blastocyst-stage early human embryos can be removed and cultured. These cells can be grown in the lab indefinitely. Various growth factors cause these cells to develop into a variety of differentiated cells, such as muscle or nerve cells.

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