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Extremely sensitive to shifts in temperature, the ochre sea star is considered a "keystone species" for monitoring the effect of changing air and ocean temperatures on California's marine life. Eric Sanford of the UC Davis Bodega Bay Marine Lab puts these beautiful creatures to the test, using their appetite for mussels as the yardstick.

Three fascinating talks on unraveling the mystery of the genome are presented here. Dr. Eric Green, the director of the National Human Genome Research Institute offers an update on the human genome and medical genomics; Dr. Gary Firestein, director of UC San Diego's Clinical and Translational Research Institute explains how we are more than our genes; and Dr. Razelle Kurzrock, the director of the Center for Personalized Cancer Therapy at the Moores Cancer Center looks ahead to the future of genomics and cancer medicine. This program is presented by the Center for Ethics in Science and Technology in San Diego. Recorded on 10/21/2014.

By the age of 40, nearly all people with Down syndrome have the plaques and tangles associated with Alzheimer's disease. Michael Rafii, MD, PhD joins William Mobley, MD, PhD to discuss why this occurs, the prevalence and progression of Alzheimer's disease, potential treatment models and current research affecting this predisposed population.

Across Africa, a new scramble for natural resources is underway, and Cameroon is in its crosshairs. Thomas Smith, Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at UCLA, describes how the best science available is being leveraged to identify new protected areas in the face of resource extraction and climate change. He also describes the unique effort to build the Center for Integrative Development in Central Africa. Finally, he discusses a new initiative in Cameroon to reduce global emissions by avoiding deforestation in Cameroon, using emissions fees paid by climate gas emitters in the developed world. Recorded on 04/30/2014.

Conversations host Harry Kreisler welcomes Svante Pääbo, Director of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, for a discussion of his intellectual journey. Svante Pääbo highlights both the opportunities and obstacles that characterized his 30 year quest to uncover the genome of Neanderthal Man. In the course of his reflections, he elucidates the nature of scientific inquiry and highlights the possible long-term implications of using genetic research to understand the genome of human ancestors and thereby understand the uniqueness of humans. Svante Pääbo was the 2014 Foerster Lecturer at Berkeley. Recorded on 09/10/2014.
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