HHMI's BioInteractive - Lecture Series and Informal Talks

HHMI's BioInteractive provides free resources for science teachers and students, including short films, scientific lectures, teacher resources, and interactive features. This page brings a collection of lecture series and informal talks that help us better understand the concepts and current issues in science - especially biology and medicine. They cover various topics: biodiversity, biological clocks, cancer, cardiovascular diseases, Earth history, evolution through natural selection, genomics, HIV/AIDS, human evolution, immunology, infectious diseases, neuroscience, obesity, and RNA.

Medicine in the Genomic Era
Leading medical researchers Charles L. Sawyers of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and Christopher A. Walsh of Boston Children's Hospital explain how advances in genomics are revolutionizing their work, leading to a better understanding of disease and to improved treatments.

Changing Planet: Past, Present, Future
Leading scientists Andrew H. Knoll of Harvard University, Naomi Oreskes of the University of California, San Diego, and Daniel P. Schrag of Harvard University guide us on an exciting exploration of the history of life on Earth and discuss present-day concerns about climate change.

Bones, Stones, and Genes: The Origin of Modern Humans
Leading scientists John Shea of Stony Brook University, Sarah Tishkoff of the University of Pennsylvania, and Tim White of the University of California, Berkeley, guide us on a global exploration spanning millions of years to illuminate the rise of modern humans.

Viral Outbreak: The Science of Emerging Disease
Infectious diseases are a serious threat to world health. They are particularly devastating in tropical countries where infectious agents thrive and where healthcare resources are stretched thin.

Exploring Biodiversity: The Search for New Medicines
What medical secrets do venomous snails hold? How can listening in on bacterial conversations help develop new antibiotics? Dr. Bonnie L. Bassler and Dr. Baldomero M. Olivera reveal how a deeper understanding of nature and biodiversity informs their research into new medicines.

Making Your Mind: Molecules, Motion, and Memory
Eric R. Kandel, MD and Thomas M. Jessell, PhD of Columbia University will help us understand how the nervous system turns an idea into action - from the complex processing that takes place in the brain to the direct marching orders the spinal cord gives to the muscles.

AIDS: Evolution of an Epidemic
Bruce Walker, MD and Bisola Ojikutu, MD, MPH are passionate about fighting the global AIDS epidemic. Walker focuses on vaccine development in the lab, while Ojikutu works in the clinic and focuses on epidemiology.

Potent Biology: Stem Cells, Cloning, and Regeneration
Doug Melton and Nadia Rosenthal are leaders in stem cell research, working primarily with mouse and human tissue. They will discuss where embryonic and adult stem cells come from and the biology of how they supply the cells the body needs.

Evolution: Fossils, Genes, and Mousetraps
Leading evolution educator Ken Miller discusses the controversy surrounding the teaching of evolution, presents compelling evidence for evolution and reasons why "intelligent design" is not scientific.

Evolution: Constant Change and Common Threads
HHMI investigators Sean B. Carroll and David M. Kingsley discuss how Charles Darwin's ideas about evolution ignited a revolution in biology that continues to this day. Darwin's concept of a living world changing over time through natural selection has become biology's major unifying framework.

The Science of Fat
Scientists are unraveling the mechanisms that dictate how the brain and body regulate weight. In four presentations, Dr. Ronald M. Evans and Dr. Jeffrey M. Friedman discuss what the latest advances in genetic and molecular research tell us about why some people are hefty while others are lean.

Learning from Patients: The Science of Medicine
Biomedical scientists can gain essential insights from patients that help move their research in new directions. In four lectures, Dr. Bert Vogelstein and Dr. Huda Y. Zoghbi discuss how their patients have led them to a deeper understanding of the genetic and molecular bases of cancer and neurological disorders.

Scanning Life's Matrix: Genes, Proteins, and Small Molecules
Stuart L. Schreiber, PhD, and Eric S. Lander, PhD, open a window onto the fast-paced world of genomic science and chemical genetics. They emphasize how molecular biology, robotics, and advanced computation, combined with intense teamwork, characterize a new generation of biomedical research.

The Meaning of Sex: Genes and Gender
Barbara J. Meyer, PhD, and David C. Page, MD, explore topics such as the evolution of the sex chromosomes, the genetic cues that affect sex determination, the advantages of studying sex in a worm, human infertility, and ethics.

Clockwork Genes: Discoveries in Biological Time
Four lectures highlight the research of two scientists who have made groundbreaking discoveries elucidating the molecular basis of circadian clocks - the internal timekeepers that govern fluctuations in behavior and physiology on a 24-hour cycle.

2000 and Beyond: Confronting the Microbe Menace
In four presentations, Donald E. Ganem, MD, and B. Brett Finlay, PhD, discuss the latest advances in understanding how pathogens invade the body and how this knowledge is leading to the development of new therapies.

Of Hearts and Hypertension: Blazing Genetic Trails
In four lectures, Richard P. Lifton, MD, PhD, and Christine E. Seidman, MD, discuss their groundbreaking work in using genetic and molecular approaches to understand cardiovascular diseases.

Senses and Sensitivity: Neuronal Alliances for Sight and Sound
In four talks, A. James Hudspeth, MD, PhD, and Jeremy H. Nathans, MD, PhD, discuss how sensory information is encoded and transmitted to the brain. They describe the detailed workings of two senses of great importance to humans - vision and hearing.

The Immune System: Friend and Foe
A wide overview of the immune system, presented by HHMI investigators John W. Kappler, PhD, and Philippa Marrack, PhD.

The Double Life of RNA
In these lectures, Dr. Thomas R. Cech explains the current state of knowledge of RNA in chemistry and in structural and cell biology and discusses the implications of ribozymes.