Let's Talk About Genes

Submitted by Rachel Iredale


"Let's Talk About Genes" is an animated rap produced by 12 and 13 year old children in Wales highlighting some of the key scientific facts that kids their age should know about cancer and genetics.

The Making of the Fittest: The Birth and Death of Genes

Submitted by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute


For life to survive, it must adapt and readapt to an ever-changing Earth. The discovery of the Antarctic icefish has provided a stunning example of adaptation in an environment both hostile and abundant, where the birth of new genes and the death of old ones have played crucial roles. Researchers Bill Detrich, Christina Cheng, and Art DeVries have pinpointed the genetic changes that enable icefish to thrive without hemoglobin and red blood cells and to avoid freezing in the icy ocean.


Good milk/Bad milk



How come milk is popular and considered healthy in some parts of the world, but in other parts of the world it makes people sick? Did some of us evolve to be able to digest milk? Scientists have found out that there is a specific gene involved, the Lactase gene. People with one version of the gene can digest milk, whereas people with another version cannot. Evolutionary biologists Joachim Burger from Germany and Sarah Tishkoff from the USA study this gene in European and African people. They discovered that humans can evolve faster than expected.


The Weak Link: Adult Immunisations

Submitted by Stuart Leo


This 13-minute film, produced by Robert Booy from the National Centre for Immunisation Research & Surveillance (NCIRS) in Sydney, Australia, discusses the importance and need for adult immunisation in the fight against preventable infectious diseases.

Deep-sea snowblower vents

Submitted by Linda Kuhnz for the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute


Deep-Sea Snowblower Vents In the ocean, there are places where it looks like it is snowing. These magical places are near undersea volcanic activity. The snow particles are clumps of bacteria that use chemicals to make food. Chemicals they use include hydrogen sulfide, which is toxic to virtually all other life. Most other ecosystems on earth depend on organisms that require sunlight to create food. Vents release hot water, minerals, and chemicals from beneath hardened lava. The fluid is almost 30 degrees F warmer than the surrounding water. The bacteria live beneath the seafloor and are also released from the vent. These tiny one-celled microbes provide food for many animals. A thick mat of white bacteria builds up; little worms and crustaceans feed on it. Nearby, "black smoker" vents may form when vents spew minerals in water up to 750 degrees F. In time, an amazingly robust community with thousands of animals flourishes here. This video was recorded 480 km (300 miles) west of the Oregon coast at 1,516 m (4,974 ft) depth with the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institutes (MBARI) remotely operated vehicle Doc Ricketts.

Interested in reading more?

Magaizne Cover

Become a Member of

Receive full access to digital editions of The Scientist, as well as TS Digest, feature stories, more than 35 years of archives, and much more!
Already a member?