Scars of Evolution 1
David AttenboroughThe hypothesis proposes that the physical characteristics that distinguish us from our nearest cousin apes - standing and moving bipedally, being naked and sweaty, our swimming and diving abilities, fat babies, big brains and language - all of these and others are best explained as adaptations to a prolonged period of our evolutionary history being spent in and around the seashore and lake margins, not on the hot dry savannah or in the forest with the other apes. The programmes explore the varieties of response to the theory, from when it was first proposed to the present day.
Scars of Evolution 2
David AttenboroughThe second programme looks at the evidence that has accumulated in the last 5 - 10 years which seems to be driving the anthropological herd inexorably down to the water's edge. It includes reports on brain evolution, highlighting the essential fatty acids and nutrients that can only be sourced in the marine food chain; the global coastal migrations of early hominids, including major water crossings 1 million years ago; diving response and voluntary breath-control as semi-aquatic pre-adaptation for speech and some new and intriguing research findings that seem to indicate that water-births may be a very ancient human adaptation indeed.
Self Made Things 1
Jonathan MillerIn this five-part series, Jonathan Miller returns to his roots in medicine and tells the story of how we came to understand reproduction & heredity. Disposing with the idea of an external, perhaps even supernatural, vitalising force, he describes how we have arrived at the picture of ourselves and all organisms as Self-Made Things. Darwinism in the second half of the 19th century gave us a theoretical framework that captured in one stroke the seemingly limitless variety that zoologists, botanists and paleontologists were finding in every dimension in nature.
Self Made Things 2
Jonathan MillerThis week Jonathan Miller looks at the birth of ideas about reproduction and heredity. Starting with the ideas of Aristotle and the early Greeks, he argues that because knowledge of underlying structures such as cells and genes are comparatively recent, it was necessary for thinkers addressing the problem, right through the renaissance, to resort to immaterial agents acting upon the raw substances of fertilization.
Self Made Things 5
Jonathan MillerIn the final programme in the series, Jonathan Miller brings the story of reproduction and generation up to the present. He hears first from Nobel prize-winner Sir Aaron Klug who describes the work done by Crick and Watson in 1953 to identify the chemical structure of deoxyribonucleic acid, better know as DNA, which they represented as a double helix.
Small Worlds - 03 Nanobiotechnology – when atomic engineering meets the life sciences.
Philip BallTo most of us, viruses are the cause of illnesses like flu and measles. But to Angela Belcher of MIT, they’re the ideal building blocks for creating new materials at close to the atomic scale, in the new science of nanotechnology.
The Reith Lectures 2003 - 1 - Phantoms in the Brain
Vilayanur S. RamachandranScientists need no longer be afraid to ask the big questions about what it means to be human with empirical evidence now answering ancient philosophical questions about meaning and existence
The Reith Lectures 2003 - 2 - Synapses and the Self
Vilayanur S. RamachandranHow does the activity of the 100 billion little wisps of protoplasm - the neurons in your brain - give rise to all the richness of our conscious experience, including the "redness" of red, the painfulness of pain or the exquisite flavour of Marmite or Vindaloo?
The Reith Lectures 2003 - 3 - The Artful Brain
Vilayanur S. RamachandranProfessor Ramachandran draws on neurological case studies and work from ethology (animal behavior) to present a new framework for understanding how the brain creates and responds to art. He will use examples mainly from Indian art and Cubism to illustrate these ideas.
The Reith Lectures 2003 - 4 - Purple Numbers and Sharp Cheese
Vilayanur S. RamachandranProfessor Ramachandran demonstrates experimentally that the phenomenon of synesthaesia is a genuine sensory effect. For example, some subjects literally "see" red every time they see the number 5 or green when they see 2.
The Reith Lectures 2003 - 5 - Neuroscience: The New Philosophy
Vilayanur S. RamachandranProfessor Ramachandran argues that neuroscience, perhaps more than any other discipline, is capable of transforming man's understanding of himself and his place in the cosmos.
Christopher O'Toole, 1995This book, and the television series it accompanies, open the doors into a world that we have never seen. We discover the design miracle of insects' bodies; their sophisticated communication systems; their fast and furious reproductive systems, and much more about their strange structures and lives. As this book shows, in their looks and behaviour, insects are as close to an alien lifeform as any we are likely to find in the stars
English in Agriculture
Alan Mountford, 1977This book is aimed at developing a basic knowledge of how English is used for communication in dealing with topics in agriculture. Intended for students who already know how to handle the common English sentence patterns but who need to learn how these patterns are used to convey information and to conduct coherent discussion