Biology, Environment

There's a tight and surprising link between the ocean's health and ours, says marine biologist Stephen Palumbi. He shows how toxins at the bottom of the ocean food chain find their way into our bodies, with a shocking story of toxic contamination from a Japanese fish market. His work points a way forward for saving the oceans' health -- and humanity's.

In his home of Namibia, John Kasaona is working on an innovative way to protect endangered animal species: giving nearby villagers (including former poachers) responsibility for caring for the animals. And it's working.

In 2004, the Red Sea was welcoming the Cousteau divers, 50 years after the revolutionary images taken by Jacques-Yves Cousteau and Louis Malle in the "Silent World."

Photographer Brian Skerry shoots life above and below the waves -- as he puts it, both the horror and the magic of the ocean. Sharing amazing, intimate shots of undersea creatures, he shows how powerful images can help make change.

From: TEDtalksDirector

Specialist hunting strategies demand particular adaptations of the body, from fearsome teeth to scimitar-sharp claws and tusks. In the natural world there are razors, guillotines, daggers, clubs and spears a galaxy of animal kitted out with an arsenal of weapons to gain a meal. To get close enough, many use stealth, speed and surprise. Besides outright warfare, these weapons are also used in aggressive displays to threaten and intimidate competitors and predators alike.

In the competitive struggle for survival, less powerful animals have developed an ingenious array of strategies to find and kill their targets. Traps, lures and lies may be the best-known tricks to man, but are also skilfully employed by creatures in the animal kingdom. With weapons of deception, animals can disarm and entice prey to their death. Perhaps the oldest weapons employed by animals are projectiles, evolving their own versions of poison-tipped harpoons, chemical missiles and high-powered bullets.

This episode explores the insidious nature of chemical warfare employed by many animals. All manner of snakes, spiders, lizards and marine life have developed venoms, either as weapons of attack or defense.

A Beautiful Documentary in English by Harun Yahya titled "Biomimetics Technology Imitates Nature"
www.harunyahya.com

Google Tech Talks November 21, 2008

Personal Growth Series: Cracking the Neural Code: Speaking the Language of the Brain with Optics

The technological seeds of a Manhattan project-style scientific enterprise, the optical reverse-engineering of brain circuits to crack the neural code, have recently been planted at Stanford.

Thomas M. Jessel, Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, explores the human brain, the sophisticated product of 500 million years of vertebrate evolution, assembled during just nine months of embryonic development. The functions encoded by its trillion nerve cells direct all human behavior. Yet the brain is a biological organ made from the same building blocks as skin, liver and lung. How does the brain acquire its remarkable computational power?

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