Splicing and Dicing DNA: Genome Engineering and the CRISPR Revolution

CRISPR: It’s the powerful gene editing technology transforming biomedical research. Fast, cheap and easy to use, it allows scientists to rewrite the DNA in just about any organism—including humans—with tests on human embryos already underway. The technique’s potential to radically reshape everything from disease prevention to the future of human evolution has driven explosive progress and heated debate. Join the world’s CRISPR pioneers to learn about the enormous possibilities and ethical challenges as we stand on the threshold of a brave new world of manipulating life’s fundamental code.

Original Program Date: June 3 2016
MODERATOR: Richard Besser
PARTICIPANTS: George Church, Luke Dow, Josephine Johnston, Ben Matthews, Harry Ostrer, Noel Sauer

How to Make Teaching Come Alive – Walter Lewin

lk given by Prof. Lewin almost every year between 1996 and 2004 during the summer vacation for Science Teachers. This recording is from 1997. He discussed how to uncover the beauty of physics to students. He discusses the perception of seeing color and showed colors by using only black and white slides (the famous Edwin Land demo). He also covered (and demonstrated) Rayleigh Scattering which makes the sky blue and sunsets red. By holding cigaret smoke in his lungs he demonstrated why clouds are white.He uncovers the Physics of Rainbows and creates a rainbow during his lectures and he demonstrates (as he earlier arrived) that the rainbows are nearly 100% linearly polarized. 

James Beacham: How we explore unanswered questions in physics

James Beacham looks for answers to the most important open questions of physics using the biggest science experiment ever mounted, CERN’s Large Hadron Collider. In this fun and accessible talk about how science happens, Beacham takes us on a journey through extra-spatial dimensions in search of undiscovered fundamental particles (and an explanation for the mysteries of gravity) and details the drive to keep exploring. 

Thorium to light up the world : Srikumar Banerjee

This talk was given at a local TEDx event, produced independently of the TED Conferences. Twenty percent of the world’s population have no access to electricity. As people’s aspirations for a better quality of life increases, the demand for energy will also rise. Finding efficient resources that can sustain humanity’s needs is a challenge, especially resources that will maintain the balance in the environment and reduce the possibility of climate change. Srikumar Banerjee presents the advantages of thorium as a cleaner and more sustainable energy source.

Srikumar Banerjee, nuclear scientist and metallurgical engineer, is the Indian Department of Atomic Energy’s Chair Professor at Bhabha Atomic Research Centre. Homi J. Bhabha, after whom the Centre is named, started India’s three-stage nuclear power programme in the 50s. It is one of the best-known efforts to develop thorium-based nuclear power, thorium having greater safety benefits, absence of non-fertile isotopes and higher occurrence and availability. Banerjee’s work provides the basis for analysing the microstructural evolution and radiation stability of structural materials in nuclear reactors.

The Mind after Midnight: Where Do You Go When You Go to Sleep?

We spend a third of our lives asleep. Every organism on Earth—from rats to dolphins to fruit flies to microorganisms—relies on sleep for its survival, yet science is still wrestling with a fundamental question: Why does sleep exist? During Shakespeare and Cervantes’ time, sleep was likened to death, with body and mind falling into a deep stillness before resurrecting each new day. In reality, sleep is a flurry of action. Trillions of neurons light up. The endocrine system kicks into overdrive. The bloodstream is flooded with a potent cocktail of critically vital hormones. Such vibrant activity begs the question: Where do we go when we go to sleep? Based on new sleep research, there are tantalizing signposts. We delved into the one-eyed, half-brained sleep of some animals; eavesdropped on dreams to understand their cognitive significance; and investigated extreme and bizarre sleeping behaviors like “sleep sex” and “sleep violence.”

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