In this episode of OnBeyond, meet UC San Diego biologist Bill McGinnis, the new Dean of Biological Sciences at UC San Diego. McGinnis is a renowned biologist best known for his 1983 discovery that genes involved in embryonic development are identical in different species, from bugs to humans.
Hear what this cutting edge scientist has to say about where the biological sciences are headed at UC San Diego, from brain activity mapping to mathematical modeling of biological systems. McGinnis talks about his past, his passions, and what he hopes to study more thoroughly in the future.
Next, this episode of OnBeyond explores what is so special about California’s comfortable climate. Only a small portion of the Earth’s landmass is conducive to a Mediterranean climate like that of California, and 40% of these Mediterranean areas are already heavily populated. A mere 1/8 of the entire world’s Mediterranean areas have been preserved.
On the surface, it might seem like an ocean without sharks would be a more enjoyable place. But, these predators play a very important role in the ocean ecosystem and they need our protection just like many other ocean dwelling creatures.
Sharks have been at the top of the food chain for hundreds of millions of years, but today their populations are in danger because of human activities, such as overfishing and finning (this is when people catch sharks, remove the fins, and dump the carcass overboard).
Andrew P. Nosal, Ph. D, Birch Aquarium’s new DeLaCour Postdoctoral Fellow for Ecology and Conservation, shares his shark expertise and explains that all sharks are not the evil villains seen in movies, but are essential in maintaining a balanced ocean.
When you hear the word “drone,” what first comes to mind?
Most people usually think of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) operated by the military in order to spy on citizens and drop bombs on unsuspecting targets.
Lucien Miller, CEO of Innov8tive Designs, explains that the first drone, called the Kettering Bug, was flown almost a hundred years ago, in 1918. Early drones like this were essentially torpedoes with wings, unguided aircraft that dropped bombs with little target accuracy. It was these types of UAVs that have led people to fear the term drone and the destruction associated with them.
But today, drones and UAVs are rapidly gaining commercial popularity as UAV systems are becoming available at prices non-military budgets can afford. Miller says modern UAVs are becoming so small, they can be purchased for as little as $400. And now their uses extend far beyond covert military operations, such as search and rescue missions, endangered species protection, and infrastructure inspection, just to name a few.
Keith McLellen, CEO of ROV Systems joins the show to discuss the risks that come with the benefits of drones, the biggest concern being an increase in aerial surveillance and an invasion of privacy.
We’ve been to the moon and we’ve explored remote corners of our universe. What is next in our quest to unlock the secrets of our solar system?
Hear from Charles Kennel, chair of the National Academy’s Space Science Board and former Scripps Institution of Oceanography director, as he reviews NASA’s past accomplishments, present projects, and anticipated goals in “The Future of Human Space Exploration.”
To see more programs on Astrophysics and Space Science, visit our archive.
Shots are extremely important for infants in order to ensure the prevention of illness when their newborn immune systems are so vulnerable. Hear from Dr. Lisa Stellwagen, clinical professor of pediatrics and medical director of Newborn Services at UC San Diego, in this episode of Health Matters to learn about what vaccines a newborn needs.
It’s also important for children to be up to date on vaccines before starting school, as children with vaccine-preventable illnesses can be denied attendance. The Vaccines for Children program has been federally funded to provide free vaccines to children of low-income families. Learn about recommended and mandatory vaccines for children in “Safety of Childhood Vaccines.”
Remember that shots are not just for kids. People of all ages need to keep track of their immunization record to be sure that they are protecting themselves from deadly diseases. Dr. Lisa Winston of UCSF’s Division of Infectious Diseases explains the need for different vaccines at different stages of life in “Vaccines for Adults and Adolescents.”
If you are planning to go on an exotic vacation, watch “Travel Medicine-Health Matters” as you might need to get extra vaccines before you expose yourself to unfamiliar pathogens.