evolution

Broadcast (2010) Earth teems with a staggering variety of animals, including 9,000 kinds of birds, 28,000 types of fish and more than 350,000 species of beetles. What explains this explosion of living creatures, 1.4 million different species discovered so far, with perhaps another 50 million to go? The source of life's endless forms was a mystery until Charles Darwin's revolutionary idea of natural selection, which he showed could help explain the gradual development of life on Earth. But Darwin's radical insights raised as many questions as they answered.

Broadcast (2008) At a research site in Fongoli, Senegal, a female chimpanzee breaks off a branch, chews the end to make it sharp, then uses this rudimentary spear to skewer a tasty bushbaby hiding inside a hollow tree. The footage represents an astonishing breakthrough for primate researchers: It's the first time anyone has documented a chimpanzee wielding a carefully prepared, preplanned weapon. (www.youtube.com)

Three part documentary series covering the evolution of human civilisation - from Ice Age hunter-gatherers through to farming communities and large towns. (www.youtube.com)

A medical documentary about depression, a modern epidemic affecting millions of people worldwide. Is depression a disease or a part of normal human evolution? The film tries to find an answer to this question. It also includes a brief introduction of the Freudian hypothesis of suppressed painful memories causing depression. It reflects the dark side of modern life where a competitive environment, unrealistic expectations and an endless desire to excel, leads to feelings of inadequacy. (www.youtube.com)

Broadcast (2011) Dr Alice Roberts reveals how your body tells the story of human evolution. The way you look, think and behave is a product of a 6 million year struggle for survival. We have uncovered the secrets of the atom and travelled to the moon. But how did humans come to be so successful? This series explores the anatomical changes that have given us, and our ancestors, the edge. Everything from the way that we walk, to the shape of our jaw and even the way our thumbs move connects us intimately to the struggles and triumphs of our ancestors.

Genetics deals with the molecular structure and function of genes, gene behavior in context of a cell or organism (e.g. dominance and epigenetics), patterns of inheritance from parent to offspring, and gene distribution, variation and change in populations,such as through Genome-Wide Association Studies. Given that genes are universal to living organisms, genetics can be applied to the study of all living systems, from viruses and bacteria, through plants and domestic animals, to humans (as in medical genetics). (www.wikipedia.org)

Broadcast (2006) Most animals, and even a few plants, move. They swim, walk, run or fly in a wide range of ways, and in this programme we look at how designers of planes, cars and robots have found inspiration in nature. But biomimetics is not just about copying nature, it's about understanding the principles behind nature's success and applying those in new and surprising ways. So exploring the world of cars and planes also gives us some startling new insights into nature as well.

Broadcast (2006) In a stunning six-part miniseries narrated by stage and film actor Liev Schreiber, this Nature series presents a compelling new vision of the epic forces that have shaped every aspect of existence on our planet, in Triumph of Life. More than three years in the making, Triumph of Life combines dramatic storytelling with powerful, groundbreaking scientific ideas in a sweeping story about survival and the survivors - the winners, for the moment at least, in an eternal battle. (www.youtube.com)

Broadcast (2002) As we go through our lives driving cars, exploring the Internet, studying the world around us it is hard to imagine that we're related to Earth's other animals. It's even a stretch to see what connects us with the rest of the chordates, a group of about 50,000 species including the vertebrates like fish, amphibians, reptiles and birds, mammals and ourselves. But indeed, all chordates, from the worm-like amphioxus to Homo sapiens have three common features.

Broadcast (2002) For the first time ever, scientists believe they have gathered substantial evidence that points to a single animal group of creatures that gave rise to all animals, including humans. Researchers such as Cristina Diaz and Mitch Sogin think that the most likely candidate for this "Animal Eve" is a group of creatures that still exist: the sponges. Sponges, members of the phylum Porifera, are considered the oldest living animal phylum. The name Porifera means "pore bearer" in Latin. Sponges are the only animals that if broken down to the level of their cells can miraculously reassemble themselves. These seemingly inanimate creatures are also fantastic pumps, filtering tons of water to harvest a few ounces of food. (www.youtube.com)

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