microorganisms

Studying Extreme Microorganisms: The Origins of Life

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Learn how life on the edge of volcanoes sheds light on the origin of life on earth and the possibility of life on other planets in these videos from NATURE: Living Volcanos. Join Dr. Jeff Marlow and his team as they explore Marum Volcano in the South Pacific. Dr. Marlow discovers life on the edge of Marum which builds a picture of what life might look like on other planets that have more extreme environments than most of Earth. In the accompanying classroom activity, students analyze data from Dr. Marlow’s exploration of the connection between rock formation and the microorganisms that live in the rocks. Additional support materials are available including discussion questions and vocabulary terms.

Where Did Viruses Come From? | Eons

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There are fossils of viruses, of sorts, preserved in the DNA of the hosts that they’ve infected. Including you. This molecular fossil trail can help us understand where viruses came from, how they evolved and it can even help us tackle the biggest question of all: Are viruses alive?

The Quest for Clean Water | How We Got to Now: Clean

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Discover how John Leal found the solution to ridding bacteria from dirty water with chlorine at the turn of the 20th century in this clip from How We Got to Now. Support Materials include a background essay on the history of attempts to rid water of bacteria, teaching tips to foster innovation and bring concepts from this clip into the social studies, science, and math classrooms, as well as pre-viewing and post-viewing discussion questions.

Bubonic Plague

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This video segment from A Science Odyssey recounts the tactics employed by San Francisco's health officials to prevent bubonic plague from reaching America's West Coast. Using physical examinations, quarantines, and deportation, city officials hoped to isolate disease-carrying immigrants from the general population. They also disinfected people and fumigated properties where disease-carrying rodents were thought to exist. Following the 1906 earthquake, medical research began to consider rats, rather than humans, as the vector responsible for transmitting the disease. Scientists in India discovered that, in fact, it was the fleas carried by rats that were ultimately responsible for transmitting bubonic plague from diseased rats to humans.

Mineral Transformations: Demystifying Microbes | Smithsonian Science How

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Find out how microscopic organisms are a solution to pollution. Meet Dr. Cara Santelli, geologist at the National Museum of Natural History. She studies the relationship between minerals and microbes, such as bacteria and fungi. Marvel at how microbes can help clean up metal pollutants from old coal mines. Take a journey from Pennsylvania coal mines to an X-ray diffraction lab. Find out how microbes are little machines for mineral transformations. Understand how microbes are essential to the health of our natural environment.

Should You Be Worried About Zika? | It's Okay to Be Smart

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Mosquitos have been dangerous for, well... forever. So what's new about Zika?

Career Profile: Chemist and Biologist Catherine Drennan

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This video produced by WGBH features Cathy Drennan, Professor of Chemistry and Biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Cathy explains that her research focuses on microorganisms that live off carbon dioxide, one of several greenhouse gases that are widely believed to accelerate global warming. Specifically, Cathy is investigating how a protein inside these microorganisms converts carbon dioxide into energy. Ultimately, Cathy hopes humans might apply what they learn from microorganisms to remove carbon dioxide from the environment.

One Man's Story of Having Ebola | Spillover - Zika, Ebola & Beyond

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Alhassan Kemokai caught Ebola when he was caring for his mother. This video clip describes how Ebola passes from person to person, how it replicates inside the body, and how it causes disease and often death in its human victims.

Invisible Nature: The Glowing Squid

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The Hawaiian bobtail squid can cruise above its prey without casting a shadow—even on a moonlight night—thanks to its relationship with a bacterial partner.

This video was contributed by Annette Heist to bioGraphic, a magazine powered by the California Academy of Sciences to showcase both the wonder of nature and the most promising approaches to sustaining life on Earth.

Testing Lake Coeur d'Alene | Idaho Science Journal

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Tailings from more than a hundred years of mining have inhibited the growth of blue-green algae in Lake Coeur d’Alene. But as efforts to clean up the area’s watershed succeed, it also sets the stage for more blue-green algae growth. Scientific teams from the Coeur d’Alene Tribe and the State of Idaho use all the available tools to study the lake’s water quality.

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