The Domestication of Animals and Human Evolution

8232What can the changes that made cuddly pets from steely predators tell us about ourselves? What do differences such as pointy ears or floppy ears, a long snout or a short one, a protruding jaw or a child-like face, or the timing and pace of brain development tell us?

These are just a few of the characteristics that a convergence of views in the study of animal domestication may tell us about our own evolution as a species in the more distant past. Specifically, it has been suggested that a number of the unique anatomical, neural, developmental, social, cognitive and communicative traits that define our species may be attributable to selection for lack of aggression and to a process of self-domestication.

Join another fascinating exploration of ourselves as this symposium brings together researchers from a variety of research backgrounds to examine these concepts and to elucidate further the possible role of domestication in human evolution.

Watch CARTA – Domestication and Human Evolution.

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UCTV’s Top 20 of 2014

TOP-20The end of the year seems synonymous with top ten lists. We couldn’t quite limit ourselves to only ten out of the hundreds of programs we premiered in 2014 so we expanded it to twenty to give you more of a taste for the amazing diversity of topics and presenters on UCTV. From the Congo to the oceans, the brain to human evolution, business competitions to medical breakthroughs – there truly is something for everyone.

20. 1761Can You Hear Me Now? Coping with an Increasingly Noisy Ocean
Explore how ocean noise varies across the Pacific Ocean and what it may mean for whales, fish, and other animals that rely on sounds for their survival.

19. 1761Reversing Paralysis – Health Matters
Is it possible for damaged nerves to be rewired? Justin Brown, MD joins host David Granet, MD to discuss how patients suffering from paralysis due to nerve injuries can regain function as well as future implications of this novel technique.

18. 1761Big Bang – UC Davis Business Competition 2014
66 teams competed in the UC Davis 2014 Big Bang competition. Aspiring entrepreneurs were awarded cash prizes aimed at helping get ideas from academia into the real-world market.

17. 1761Challenges to Conserving the Congo Basin Rainforest: Climate Change and the Second Scramble for Africa
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.

16. 1761The Brief History and Future Development of Earth System Models: Resolution and Complexity
Warren Washington, a member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and an internationally recognized expert on atmospheric science and climate research, describes the research that led to the 2007 Nobel Prize.

15. 1761Confronting Climate Change: A Political Reality Check
NextGen Climate Founder and President Tom Steyer discusses the urgency and complexity of mitigating climate change.

14. 1761Listening in the Deep – Using Sound to Study Animals We Cannot See
Simone Baumann-Pickering details how patterns of echolocation are allowing scientists to document the natural acoustic behavior of a species, and determine if those natural patterns are being disturbed by man-made noise.

13. 1761From Genes to Biology in Autism Spectrum Disorders
The last several years have ushered in a new era in the genetics of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This lecture will review this recent progress and address the next steps in moving from the systematic discovery of ASD genes to a fuller understanding of the neurodevelopment processes that underlie social disability.

12. 1761Understanding the Down Syndrome Program: From Science to the Family
Recent estimates place the prevalence of Down syndrome at 1 in 691 births, making it the leading known genetic cause of intellectual disability. This presentation provides an update on what is known about Down syndrome, its impacts on the individual and the family, and possible treatments.

11. 1761Innovation Crossroads: Creating a Policy Climate for Global Innovation in San Diego
The Atlantic’s Steve Clemons joins Paul Jacobs of Qualcomm, Greg Lucier of the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute and US Rep. Scott Peters (D) for a panel on attracting more investment in the technology sector to spur more innovation.

10. 1761Do 4.2 Million Children Really Need Ritalin? An Integrative Approach to ADHD – 2014 Update
Dr. Sanford Newmark specializes in the integrative and holistic treatment of children with autism and ADHD. He combines conventional medicine with nutrition, behavior management, and various complementary modalities.

9. 1761Sports Concussion Evaluation and Treatment
What is a sports related concussion, how is it evaluated and treated, and how many concussions is too many?

8. 1761UC San Diego Founders’ Symposium 2013
Passion for their work is evident as six of UC San Diego’s young innovators share their latest research as part of UCSD’s celebration of its Founders. Speakers include Eric Allen, Jamie Alexandre, Jessica Graham, Dana Velasco Murillo Morgan Nunn Martinez and Jacopo Annese.

7. 1761Development of the Brain’s Functional Networks
Review methods used to study functional interactions and networks with rs-fcMRI and how these methods have been used to define developmental changes in network functional connectivity.

6. 1761Getting Serious About Climate Change – Charles David Keeling Annual Lecture
UCSD School of International Relations and Pacific Studies Professor David Victor, internationally recognized leader in research on energy and climate change policy on creating more effective strategies for protecting the planet.

5. 1761Lessons Learned in the Electric Brain
Michael Okun, MD discusses the processes and prospects for deep brain stimulation (DBS). Learn why we apply electricity to the brain, how DBS works, and how we can use DBS to treat conditions such as Parkinson’s Disease.

4. 1761What’s Next for the Food Movement? – with Michael Pollan
What does the future hold for the food movement? Join Former U.S. Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Kathleen Merrigan and author and UC Berkeley Professor of Journalism Michael Pollan in conversation with reporter and Journalism faculty member Linda Schacht.

3. 1761Medical Radar: Next Generation Life Saving Medical Devices
Learn about efforts to build new medical tools in the hope of saving lives in remote places. Hear about new efforts to build medical tools to determine life threatening traumatic injuries to the head and torso by using the Micropower Ultrawideband Impulse Radar (MUIR).

2. 1761Neurologic Mysteries
How the neurologic examination is a particularly vital tool to understanding which part of the nervous system is being affected and how this guides the diagnostic and therapeutic planning.

1. And the Number one program of 2014 is… Well, actually it’s two series of programs from CARTA – both of which were extremely popular this year.

1761CARTA – Birth to Grandmotherhood: Childrearing in Human Evolution
From the moment of birth, human infants require an inordinate amount of care and, unlike our nearest living relatives, remain dependent on a variety of caretakers during an unusually long maturation period followed by extraordinary adult longevity. How did such a distinctive pattern of development evolve?

1761CARTA – Male Aggression and Violence in Human Evolution
In the last few decades, new sources of evidence have continued to indicate that male violence has played an important role in shaping behavior in the human lineage. This symposium takes a fresh look at the causes and consequences of variation in aggression, both between and within species.

Watch these and other popular programs on UCTV.

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Your Eyes Are An Important Part of Your Health

8232If you want to learn about all things eye-related from nationally recognized speakers involved in one of the most active vision science programs in the country, this series is for you!

Learn more about:

How the eye works – or doesn’t

Diabetes and the impact on vision

Cataracts and the surgery to treat them

Glaucoma – the leading cause of blindness

Explore new discoveries in eye health and disease and integrative approaches to care – through the eyes of leading faculty from UCSF’s Department of Ophthalmology.

Watch Looking Ahead: Examining Eye Health and Disease.

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Michael Pollan: “Don’t buy any cereal that changes the color of the milk.”

8232This year, renowned journalist, author, and food intellectual Michael Pollan received the 2014 Nierenberg Award for Science in the Public Interest.

“Michael Pollan has shown that an English major can do great service to science in the public interest,” said Walter Tschinkel, one of many who introduced Pollan. “Science very much needs writers like Michael Pollan to bridge the gap between scientists and the wider public… to make science meaningful, relevant, and accessible… and just perhaps to influence people and public thinking about important social, philosophical and scientific issues.”

After receiving his award, Pollan sat down with KPBS News Editor, Tom Fudge and talked about everything from the lesson Pollan learned from a woodchuck, to the carbon problem, his love of food, and how to feed the world.

The problem of getting carbon back into the soil:

“I think the future, the next set of important gains come not from [seed] breeding, but from understanding the soil microbiome and manipulating that environment.”

His relationship with food:

“I enjoy food now more than I used to… I think I’m less self-conscious about my eating than a lot of my readers are… and I think I’ve made a certain number of people that you probably know insufferable.”

Healthy eating:

“Eating well is easier if you have some money, and that’s one of the real tragedies of the food system we have – that the cheapest calories are so unhealthy.”

One of Pollan’s “Food Rules:”

“Don’t buy any cereal that changes the color of the milk.”

The difficulty of political change:

“It’s very much in the interest of political leaders to have our food be cheap even if it’s unhealthy. When you get spikes in food prices, you get political restives, you get riots, you get revolutions. And every political leader understands this. So they’re willing to put up with a lot of negative side effects of cheap food, as long as the price stays down. And this, in a way, is the biggest impediment to changing the food system.”

Feeding the world:

“The goal is for the world to be able to feed itself. The idea that we grow all the grain and dump it on the rest of the world is incredibly arrogant.”

“There’s plenty of food. We’re now growing 2800 calories per person per day… That’s for everybody living on the planet. We still have a billion who are hungry. So quantity is not the problem with feeding the world. We have to look at equity. We have to look at who controls the land. We have to look at diet. We have to look at waste.”

Watch more of this enlightening interview: An Evening with Michael Pollan: Nierenberg Award 2014.

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Mythbusting – German Women Under Hitler

8232It wasn’t just the men who carried out the Hitler-directed atrocities against humanity in World War II. As historian Wendy Lower explains, women also willingly committed horrendous crimes and in most cases, paid no price for their actions.

In this chilling presentation, Lower debunks the fantasy that German women were somehow too busy bearing children to engage in the “big world of politics and war.” It’s a fascinating talk, and one that’s likely to stay with you long after it’s over.

Watch Hitler’s Furies on The UC San Diego Library Channel.

Library Channel

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