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Take an inside look at renowned superconductivity researcher Brian Maple's lab, uncover some of the unknown secrets of the Black Widow spider, find out just how close our Neanderthal cousins really are and more on this edition of OnBeyond.

Beth Shapiro, Professor of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology at UC Santa Cruz, explains her work on using ancient DNA to infer evolutionary history and processes. She is the MacArthur Award-winning author of "How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction," which considers the feasibility and desirability of bringing back passenger pigeons, steppe bison, mammoth and other currently extinct species. This program is presented by the Institute for Practical Ethics in the Division of Arts and Humanities at UC San Diego.

Most people are part-Neanderthal, the closest extinct human relative. Svante Pääbo explores human genetic evolution by analyzing preserved genetic material from the remains of ancient organisms, including Neanderthals. What can we learn from the genomes of our closest evolutionary relatives? Pääbo is an evolutionary anthropologist and pioneer of paleogenetics and the director of the Max Plank Institute of Evolutionary Genetics. He was awarded the 2018 Nierenberg Award for Science in the Public Interest. Recorded on 10/03/2018.

Sooner or later, the food requirements of nine billion people with increasing appetites for seafood must be addressed. Although aquaculture may supply the majority of the global 'seafood', most aquaculture is fed meal from wild caught fish, such as sardine and anchovy. To estimate the distributions and abundance of these and other small fish off the west coast, NOAA Southwest Fisheries Science Center routinely conducts "acoustic-trawl" surveys. David Demer will briefly describe the vessels, instrumentation and methods that are used to conduct these surveys, and provide a virtual tour of the world-class facilities in La Jolla that are used to develop the next generation of autonomous, ocean-sampling technologies. Join us to learn more about this exciting technology and be part of a discussion about possible ethical challenges.

Nature has provided the inspiration for many of today's most important medicines, yet the need for new drugs to treat diseases such as cancer and antibiotic resistant bacterial infection remains high. Paul Jensen describes how he and other researchers are tapping into the world's oceans – home to a majority of its biodiversity – as a relatively new resource for natural product drug discovery.

At the 24th meeting of the Parties to the UN Climate Change Convention, governments completed the so-called Paris Rulebook, the set of guidelines for implementing the Paris Climate Change Agreement, and attention is shifting to implementation of measures that cut greenhouse gas emissions. Mark Radka, Chief of the Energy and Climate Branch at UN Environment, describes how the UN works with countries, companies, and people to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases. Recorded on 04/08/2019.

Tony Wynshaw-Boris, MD, PhD describes his lab's efforts to use mouse and IPSC models to find commonalities that give insight into the complex disorder of autism.

Marius Wernig, MD, PhD, discusses how his lab has worked to convert non-neuronal cell types (lymphocytes, pluripotent stem cells, fibroblasts, hepatocytes, lymphocytes) to neurons. The lab is now working on identifying the molecular mechanisms underlying induced lineage fate changes, the phenotypic consequences of disease-causing mutations in human neurons and other neural lineages.

California's recent drought has highlighted the need for a reliable source of water. Peter Stricker of SeaWell presents a reverse osmosis (RO) system to address climate-driven drought which is an entirely new approach to water supply. The SeaWell buoy is a self-contained floating vessel, moored to the sea floor, with seawater intake and brine diffusion outfall. It contains reverse osmosis equipment, electric power and water piping, and can permeate water at a rate of 950–3,800 acre-feet/year. The implementation plan is to deploy pilot SeaWell Buoys at a water cost already below the cost of State water,initially partnering with water districts to deploy five water portals. Landing sites could be chosen based in previously disturbed areas, such as decommissioned oil receiving facilities and sanitary district outfalls. These deployments will augment new water reuse projects, and share siting and infrastructure. Recorded on 05/16/2019.

The ALERTWildfire camera network across California provides rapid confirmation of emergency wildfire 911 calls, situational awareness, and in the worst-case scenarios real-time data to help sequence evacuations. Join Neal Driscoll to learn how the great state of California is using technology to help firefighters and improve public preparedness during wildfire disasters. Recorded on 09/09/2019.

Tomorrow Today reveals the secret behind a charismatic voice, goes on the hunt for meteorites and continues our series retracing Alexander von Humboldt's journey to the Americas.

As brain organoids become more widely used in research, concerns about the development of consciousness arise. Christof Koch discusses how we determine and define consciousness and how we look for the underlying physical signatures of consciousness. Recorded on 10/04/2019.

Metals are vital to life functions. We have iron zinc and copper in us – but in the ocean is different. We know that organism evolve against the chemical constraints of their environments and Allison Butler looks at what kind of metalloenzymes are present in marine organisms.

Recorded on 07/22/2019.
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