Genetic Engineering
Episode 31 of Redefining Reality

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What Genetic Information Can Do
Learn how DNA and RNA serve as the digital medium for genetic information. Also see how shared features of different life forms allow us to trace our origins back to an organism known as LUCA--the last universal common ancestor--which lived 3.5 to 4 billion years ago.
Genetics & DNA – The Genetic Theories of Aging
No organism lives forever. The length of time animals and humans live is influenced by their genes. Scientists have made astonishing discoveries concerning the role of genetics in determining life span and this holds promise of extending the lives of animals and humans. This program explains Genetics, DNA and genetic…
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Take a look at how our genes influence the aging process. Professor Polk explores several theories for why we age and eventually die, then delves into the genetic mechanisms involved in aging. Find out how replication damages cells and why there is a limit to the number of healthy replications…
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Heating, Ventilating, and Air-Conditioning
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Genes and Identity
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The mechanism that drives evolution was not discovered until long after Darwin's death. Follow the clues that led researchers first to the cell nucleus, then to chromosomes and genes, and finally to the DNA molecule as the agent of heredity. Close by weighing the role of genetics in determining human…
Water Treatment and Distribution
Learn how raw water from nature is treated to make it safe for drinking. Then trace the distribution system that supplies water under pressure to users. Professor Ressler demonstrates two crucial technologies in this system: the flocculation chamber and the water tower.
Solid Waste Disposal and Recycling
Compare the three main methods of dealing with the 700,000 tons of solid waste generated every day in the U.S.: landfill, incineration, and recycling. Explore the distinction between recycling, which is practical with many metals, and down-cycling, which is the fate of most plastics.
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Electrical Power Transmission: The Grid
Study the technological marvel called the grid--the system that transmits electricity from its point of generation to users. Learn why electrical transmission lines come in threes, why AC power is used instead of DC, and the reason transmission voltages are so high.
The Building Envelope
Now that your house is framed, it needs a building envelope that can shed rainwater and melting snow, and also keep precipitation from entering through the foundation. Learn about the five integrated layers of protection: shingles and cladding, drainage plane, insulation, vapor barrier, and drywall.
The Drivetrain
Follow the transfer of automotive power from the gearbox through the driveshaft to the differential and drive-wheels. Study working models of the universal joint and differential. Also explore the design of front-wheel drive, and peer inside an automatic transmission to expose the miracle of its smooth operation.