Arthur C. Clarke’s Last Message to Humanity

The world’s best known writer of science fiction, Sir Arthur C Clarke was the first to propose satellite communications in 1945. One of his short stories inspired the World Wide Web, while another was later expanded to make the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey, which he co-wrote with director Stanley Kubrick. He has lived in Sri Lanka since 1956. This is the final video of a remarkable man of optimism and vision for us to  cherish forever:

Steven Pinker: The stuff of thought

In an exclusive preview of his new book, The Stuff of Thought, Steven Pinker looks at language, and the way it expresses the workings of our minds. By analyzing common sentences and words, he shows us how, in what we say and how we say it, we’re communicating much more than we realize 

Craig Venter: On the verge of creating synthetic life

Can we create new life out of our digital universe?” asks Craig Venter. And his answer is, yes, and pretty soon. He walks the TED2008 audience through his latest research into “fourth-generation fuels” — biologically created fuels with CO2 as their feedstock. His talk covers the details of creating brand-new chromosomes using digital technology, the reasons why we would want to do this, and the bioethics of synthetic life. A fascinating Q&A with TED’s Chris Anderson follows .  

Fascinating split brain behavioral experiments

To reduce the severity of his seizures, Joe had the bridge between his left and right cerebral hemisphers (the corpus callosum) severed. As a result, his left and right brains no longer communicate through that pathway. This is an extraordinary insight into the machinary of the mind. Here’s what happens as a result:

JoVE: Youtube for scientists

I have been following JoVE is the Journal of Visualized Experiments, for some time. This very unique “video journal” focuses on publishing videos of experimental procedures in life sciences.

Today I learned JoVE may soon be indexed on Pubmed, which will give it a credibility of peer reviewed scientific journal. Apparently they have also signed agreement with established science publishing companies (Annual Reviews, Springer Protocols, Current Protocols) for joint protocol publication, as in this example.. I think this is extremely useful for scientists or those who want to see actual experiments done. It will be interesting to see how it develops and accepted in scientific community.

Molecular Biology Visualization of DNA (Animation)

This is a very informative animation of how DNA is packaged and replicated within the cell nucleus.  [Youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5UoKYGKxxMI] 

Biohacking and programming DNA

Biological engineering does not have to be confined to the laboratories of high-end industry laboratories. Rather, it is desirable to foster a more open culture of biological technology. This talk is an effort to do so; it aims to equip you with basic practical knowledge of biological engineering.  

The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) song by Scientists for Better PCR

This is “The PCR Song” by “Scientists for a Better PCR”. It was done by the good folks at Bio-Rad to promote their 1000 Series Thermal Cyclers (a pcr machine). This is probably the best geek ad  and will provide laughs to all (especially those who remember when pcr meant dipping your samples in individual waters baths for two or more hours). Enjoy! – 
 

Amazing 3D simulations of science in silico

Computer simulations and visualizations are performing the thought experiments of the 21st century and pushing the limits of human vision and imagination. In silico simulations are probably future of many complex biological experiments.

Hat tip to  reasonable deviations blog.

Cancer Fighting Technology for Brain Tumors

Trilogy Stereotactic Radiation Therapy to treat brain tumors. Trilogy precisely pinpoints the exact location of the cancer and treats it with a highly accurate beam of radiation.

Wonderful Medical Animation Reel

This 3D animation shows various surgical (mostly orthopedic) medical procedures performed to fix the problems in our bodies. Very nice done. 

Why can’t we grow new body parts?

This is an excellent video by Alan Russell, who studies regenerative medicine.

Regenerative medicine is a breakthrough way of thinking about disease and injury by helping the body to rebuild itself. He shows how engineered tissue that “speaks the body’s language” has helped a man regrow his lost fingertip, how stem cells can rebuild damaged heart muscle, and how cell therapy can regenerate the skin of burned soldiers.

This presentation is hosted at TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design). It is a very nice site that hosts talks by world’s greatest thinkers and doers.

Super 3D animation that shows the mode of action of an HIV drug

In this cool animation the mode of action of a novel HIV drug, a protease inhibitor, is explained. Protease inhibitors revolutionized treatment of HIV infection by enabling drug combinations with inhibitors of another HIV enzyme the reverse transcription. Thus, this made it more difficult for virus to develop multiple mutations simultaneously to escape the effects of a single drug.

Amazing chemistry and rational drug design is involved in creating these new drugs.

Rat’s Neurons ( in dish ) learn how to fly a jet

This is a three year old experiment but still remarkable to watch it in action.

It sounds like the stuff of science fiction: a brain nurtured in a Petri dish learns to pilot a fighter plane as scientists develop a new breed of “living” computer. In ground-breaking experiments in a Florida laboratory, however, that is exactly what is happening. The “brain”, grown from 25,000 neural cells extracted from a single rat embryo, has been taught to fly an F-22 jet simulator by scientists at the University of Florida.

3D Medical Animation of Normal Vaginal Childbirth

This fascinating 3D medical animation shows a time lapse view of labor and delivery during normal vaginal birth in a simplified form with only the mother’s skeletal structures and the baby in the uterus. Also shown in detail is dilatation (dilation or dilating) and effacement (thinning) of the cervix during childbirth contractions.

Credit: Nucleus Medical Art

3D Animation of HIV Replication

This is an outstanding 3D animation of HIV replication cycle. I especially loved the entry part, which is like watching a science fiction movie.

The animation is fairly accurate representation of what we know about the this viruses life cycle today, except the part on entry of viral DNA into nucleus. Based on our current knowledge, import of viral DNA into nucleus is not dependent on integrase but other viral and host proteins that are still elusive. Integrase is however necessary for the integration of virus DNA into host genome.

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Fantastic animation that visualizes physiology of the body

This is a wonderful biomedical animation, which seems was created to explain physiology and disease processes to patients and to health professionals. Thanks to Al Fin for finding this animation.

I wonder if in future we can have the HealthTube equivalent of YouTube, where one can watch thousands of animations such as this to understand how biological systems work.