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Why we explore

Planetary scientist, Professor Andrew Coates, explains why scientists look for the evidence of signs of past life on Mars.  He talks about the history of Mars and the current harsh environment on the planet. This video is part of a series of ten which look at the one of the elements of the European Space Agency’s...

Astrobiology

Dr Claire Cousins and Mark Fox-Powell explain how scientists look at life that exists in extreme environments on Earth, to see what kind of life scientists might see on the surface of Mars.  This knowledge helps scientists plan the best target for a rover.

Professor Cockell takes us through the astrobiology...

Atacama Desert

Astrobiologist Dr. Lewis Dartnell talks from the Atacama Desert about a research trip to find extremophiles that might give scientists some clues as to the kind of life that may exist on the surface of Mars.  Lewis shows how quartz can act as a natural sunscreen to enable cyanobacteria to grow in the dry desert...

How embryonic stem cell lines are made

Use of embryonic stem cells in research has been hotly debated for several years. This animation presents the basics on how stem cell lines are established. 

This resource is part of the Post 16 genetics and genomics collection of...

Cytoplasmic factors

This animation shows how cytoplasmic factors play a significant part in determining how a cell develops. This segment discusses their importance in turning the appropriate genes on and off for proper development.

Used with permission from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Copyright (2006).  All rights...

Polymerase chain reaction (PCR)

This video explains polymerase chain reaction.  PCR is a standard laboratory technique that allows amplification of specific segments of DNA based on complementarity.

Used with permission from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Copyright (2010).  All rights reserved. www.BioInteractive.org.

This...

Cloning 101

The ability to create a clone used to be science fiction. Dr. Ian Wilmut's group changed that in 1997 with the creation of Dolly the sheep. Since then the debate on applying the technique to clone human beings has been ongoing. Based on all the discussion, it may sound like cloning, human...

DNA restriction

The discovery of enzymes that could cut and paste DNA made genetic engineering possible. Restriction enzymes, found naturally in bacteria, can be used to cut DNA fragment at specific sequences, while another enzyme, DNA ligase, can attach or rejoin DNA fragments with complementary ends.

This...

Reading genes and genomes

Dr. Eric Lander takes us on a tour of this remarkable genetic century, describing the rapid advances in DNA sequencing technologies and information science. The 20th century opened with the rediscovery of Gregor Mendel's work on inheritance. By the close of the century, the human genome was almost fully sequenced....

Shotgun sequencing

In shotgun sequencing many copies of the entire genome are "blown up" into millions of small fragments. Each small fragment is sequenced. Powerful computers then assemble the individual fragments into the original configuration. Repeat sequences pose a problem for this approach because their sizes can be much...

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