microorganisms

Introduction to an Epidemic | Spillover - Zika, Ebola & Beyond: Part 1

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Learn about Zika, a mosquito-borne virus that hit Brazil in 2015. Over the last few decades, diseases that spill over from animals to humans have been on the rise. Soon after the onset of Zika, epidemiologists noticed an uptick in the number of babies born with microcephaly, a severe birth defect affecting the head. Were the two related? See how epidemiologists studied the unfolding outbreak to determine Zika's origins, and also to determine if the virus was responsible for the babies born with microcephaly.

NOVA scienceNOW | Slime Mold Smarts

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The amazing slime mold Physarum polycephamum, has neither a brain nor a nervous system, but can still make surprisingly sophisticated decisions. See it at work in this video from NOVA scienceNOW. This single–celled life form, known as a protist, explores the world with its tendrils. When it finds food, it retracts all but the one tendril that found the food, leaving a slime trail to guide its growth toward its next meal.

When the Earth Was Purple | Eons

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Besides the blue of the oceans, the dominant color of our planet, as we know it, is green. But imagine a time when the Earth looked a little … purple.

Cheese by the Numbers: 3

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Why does Swiss cheese have holes? Find out in this episode of Cheese Cubed!

What Are Viruses? | Spillover - Zika, Ebola & Beyond: Part 3

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Explore how viruses grow and spread, starting first with a host organism. The more species a single virus can occupy, the more likely it is to last into the future. The strain of Ebola that terrorized West Africa does an especially effective job of infecting the human body.

Could NASA Start the Zombie Apocalypse? | PBS Space Time

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We're just as fascinated as the rest of you with predicting how the ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE will start. One surprisingly real scenario is that it could start in SPACE! Especially given the crazy effects space has on bacteria and viruses, and the difficulty of sterilization.

The Science and Art of Cheese | QUEST

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Discover the science and art or cheese making with this QUEST video produced by KQED. Learn about the chemical functions of various ingredients and explore how cheesemakers use scientific processes to alter the final texture and taste of their cheese. 

HIV Immunity

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Excerpted from NOVA: Surviving AIDS, this video segment showcases the work of Drs. David Ho and Stephen O'Brien. By examining the "outliers" -- in this case, people like Steve Crohn, whose cells repeatedly resisted HIV infection -- Ho and his colleagues found a genetic mutation that prevents the HIV virus from entering the cell. This video segment includes animation of HIV entering a white blood cell through the CD-4 and CCR-5 receptors on the cell's surface. Some individuals have no CCR-5 gene, which means that HIV cannot enter their cells. Scientists are using this new information in the development of an AIDS treatment.

UNC-TV Science | Rapid Test for Bad Bacteria at the Beach

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Beach closings due to harmful bacteria are on the rise. Bio-engineers are trying to apply a reliable method for getting cells to express their DNA in a new way so that the ocean water can be tested rapidly, keeping the public safe.

Zika Transmission | Spillover - Zika, Ebola & Beyond: Part 6

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Zika, unlike Ebola, is less commonly spread by human-to-human contact. Instead, mosquitos are the root cause. Brazil has recently implemented mosquito controls to prevent the transmission several of viral diseases, including Zika. As the world's population grows and spreads geographically, human interaction with new wildlife opens up greater opportunity for zoonotic disease to spread.

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