Category Archives: Since

Years after transatlantic slavery, DNA tests give clarity

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DNA ancestry tests in the last decade have helped some African-Americans reconcile with aspects of their identities that might have been obscured during the transatlantic slave trade. Alondra Nelson chronicles this journey in her book, “The Social Life of DNA: Race, Reparations and Reconciliation After the Genome.” Nelson joins Hari Sreenivasan.

 PBS NewsHour video

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These robots are helping answer a huge unknown about young marine life. PBS Video

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Many mysteries remain about life under the sea, like what happens to marine creatures between life stages of larvae and adulthood. These tiny creatures are extremely hard to track in the open ocean, so one marine ecologist is using robots to mimic the larvae’s motions in order to determine what control they have over their own fate. Special correspondent Cat Wise reports. Video

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Cambridge Vice-Chancellor: Brexit is bad for scientific research. Video CNNMoney News

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On June 23, Britons vote in a referendum on whether to stay in the EU or leave the bloc. Richard Quest is traveling across the UK to hear from the people. He begins in Cambridge to find out why the University’s students, professors and scientists overwhelmingly favor staying in the EU. Video CNNMoney News

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20% of Our Oxygen Comes From a Bacteria

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When you think of bacteria, you might think of the flu, your kindergartner, or the TV remote, but you probably don’t think of oxygen. Get this: Bacteria provide oxygen for about one in five of your breaths. Without these microbes, you, your family, and most importantly the TV remote wouldn’t exist!

These minuscule ocean-dwelling oxygen makers are Prochlorococcus. These little guys are special because they contain chlorophyll, the compound that allows for photosynthesis. For those of you who didn’t pay attention in science class, photosynthesis is a process that converts light energy from the sun into fuel for an organism. A by-product of this activity is oxygen.

Prochlorococcus is believed to be the most abundant photosynthetic creature on the planet and may provide as much as 20 percent of the oxygen you breathe. National Geographic video news

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My genes don’t fit! Living in a salt saturated society. Matthew Bailey

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Our biology is currently out of sync with our environment. By making connections between past and present, Matthew sets out how we came to be in such a predicament, and the consequences for our health.

This talk was delivered at Edinburgh’s iconic Central Hall on Thursday, February 18th 2016 and was a part of series of talks given at the TEDxUniversityofEdinburgh 2016 Conference.

Dr Matthew Bailey is the Director of the Centre for Cardiovascular Science at the University of Edinburgh. He completed his PhD in London, post-doctoral training in Saclay (France) and has worked at Yale. Along the way, Matthew has been picking apart the workings of the kidney, blood pressure, and most recently the role of salt in human physiology.

TEDx video news 2016.

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TIL: Female Lions Are Attracted to Black Manes. National Geographic Video

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It turns out the search for a tall, dark, and handsome mate isn’t limited to dating websites—or even to humans. A lion’s mane will change color in accordance with its nutrition level and overall well-being; a male lion with a darker mane tends to be healthier and have higher testosterone levels. As a result, lionesses find lions with darker manes more attractive, according to biologist and National Geographic grantee Craig Packer.

In one study, a graduate student working with Packer used stuffed toy lions with various mane colors to test female preference. That study found that 90 percent of the time lionesses chose to approach the replicas with darker manes. Nature is so typical—boring, good-looking dudes ruining it for the rest of us. Maybe the remaining 10 percent of lionesses are more interested in a potential mate’s personality qualities? In this week’s “Today I Learned,” Packer explains a bit more about this phenomenon.

National Geographic Video

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