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Lecture 8: Regulating Gene Expression

Last time we talked about transcription and translation; but that’s not all that cells do with genes. If you think about all the different cell types in the body, from your brain cells to your muscles, you realize that these cells must be different, right? Well, they all have the same DNA, so where do the differences come from? Well, today we’re going to talk about how cells decide and regulate which genes they express and turn into proteins, and which ones they don’t; on the Full Semester...


Lecture 7b: From Genes to Proteins (Pt. 2)

This is the second episode in our two part series on transcription and translation, that is, how cells produce the proteins they use. Last time we talked about transcription, so we’ve already covered how we use cellular machinery to create edited mRNA transcripts. Today we’re going to be talking about what the cell does with those transcripts once it’s got them, how it goes from mRNA to protein. So let’s talk about translation on the Full Semester Biology Episode 7: From genes to protein...


Lecture 7a: From Genes to Proteins

Today we're going to be talking about the nucleus, and what happens there. We’re talking about how cells use their DNA to produce mRNA that will be translated into proteins. This episode takes us through a short history of genetic thought, transcription, and post-transcriptional modifications. So let’s talk about transcription on the Full Semester Biology Episode 7: From genes to protein Part 1. http://cytochemistry.net/_Media/nucleo3_med.jpeg Trascription image I was talking about during...


Lecture 6: A Tour of the Cell

Today we’re going to have a pretty long episode. I’m going to take you on a nice leisurely tour of the cell. You’ll learn all about the structures that make up cells, what they do, and how they interact. All organisms are made of cells, so we should talk about them! They're the simplest collection of matter that can live, it's the most basic form of life! Join me, for the full semester podcast, episode 6, a tour of the cell.


Lecture 5: Proteins, Enzymes, and DNA

I told you at the start of the semester that we’d be learning about general biology this semester, but here we are at the fifth episode and all we’ve talked about so far is a chemistry! Well today we’re finally getting into the biology. Today we’re going to talk about the building blocks of life, today we’re talking about proteins, enzymes, and DNA. So strap in! Let’s get around to finally discussing some biology! Here’s the full semester biology podcast, episode number 5. Proteins,...


Lecture 4: Functional Chemistry

Today we’re going to finish up talking about carbon and start in on the properties of biological molecules. I know it can seem like I’m dragging on about chemistry and not getting to the biology here, but there are some subtleties in this episode that really make a big difference in the real world, like the concept of enantiomers and functional groups. I think you’ll really like this one, so stick with me!


Lecture 2: More introduction

Hey all, welcome back! Today we're going to be finishing up the introduction to biology by thinking about what science is as a concept, we'll go through some themes that permeate biological science, and we'll end with a description of a field experiment from a paper I read recently. Presenter: Evan Kristiansen Music: Mike Enwright Contact Email: FullSemesterPodcast@gmail.com


Lecture 6: Sexual Selection

Today we're talking about sexual selection. A word to the wise, I definitely use the words penis and sex in this podcast, and I talk with candor about sexuality in the animal kingdom. If you have sensitive ears around when you listen to this, maybe consider skipping this one until only mature ears are listening. Sexual selection is one of the three "additional" forms of selection we'll be discussing this semester, and it's one of the most fascinating. How do animals know who their ideal...


Paper 3: Locust Biogeography

Today we're talking about Lovejoy et. al. 2006 paper about Locusts called "Ancient Trans-Atlantic Flight Explains Locust Biogeography". The big question they were investigating was which one of two competing hypotheses for the global dispersal of Locusts was correct, from the old world to the new world or vice versa. It turns out that the species you find here in the Americas seem to be closely related to the ones in Africa and the Middle East based on morphology. So the question that this...


Lecture 3: Phylogenetics

This is the third lecture podcast for the semester. Today we're going to talk a bit about phylogenetics, and what we mean when we say that things are related. I'm going to give you a fair warning here though, this is a very visual subject and I highly encourage you to look up a youtube video, powerpoint, or a written lecture that covers the topic. I'm going to do as well as I cab verbally, but it's nowhere near a complete treatment, so you really should explore the topic on your own. I can...


Paper 2: "Unpredictable Evolution"

This is the second scientific article we're reading this semester, and it's a paper by Grant and Grant from 2002 called "Unpredictable Evolution in a 30-year study of Darwin's Finches". It's a very interesting paper that points us to some very important insights about natural selection and evolution. One of the biggest things that we fight with as ecologists or evolutionary biologists is our ability to control variables so that we can focus our investigation. In the case of this paper,...


Paper 1: "Evolution and Tinkering"

This article is Franscois Jacob's 1977 article in the journal science titled "evolution and tinkering". In this article we explore a really foundational concept in Evolution, that of constraint. The author highlights the fact that constraint is not only biological, but it also applies to our thinking about how evolution works. He demonstrates this by showing how the action of an "engineer" doesn't apply very well to evolution, but rather that we should think of evolution as a "tinkerer"...