Saturday, March 25, 2017

Ted Talk Review: Prosanta Chakrabarty Clues to prehistoric times, found in blind cavefish

Ted Talk Review: Prosanta Chakrabarty Clues to prehistoric times, found in blind cavefish

Who: Dr.  Prosanta Chakrabarty (bio)

Title: Clues to prehistoric times, found in blind cavefish

Watch it: Ted2016 (https://www.ted.com/talks/prosanta_chakrabarty_clues_to_prehistoric_times_found_in_blind_cavefish)

Details: 

Length: 4:49

30 Subtitle Languages

Related Ted Talk Reviews: 
Michael Shermer: Why people believe weird things
Carrie Nugent Adventures of an asteroid hunter

Related Book:
Prosanta Chakrabarty A Guide to Academia: Getting into and Surviving Grad School, Postdocs and a Research Job

Key Terms: 
Ichthyology: The study of fish

Ted Talk Review: Prosanta Chakrabarty Clues to prehistoric times, found in blind cavefish

 Prosanta Chakrabarty is an ichthyologist, evolutionary biologist, and natural historian at Louisiana State University and the Museum of Natural Science.  The study of cavefish offers new clues about evolution and geological time. Dr. Chakrabarty brings to light new species of cavefish that deepen our understanding of the evolution of sight, and the history of geologic time. The many species of cavefish have adapted to cold, dark environments, and over many generations have lost their sight and eyes. Humans, fish along with pretty much all vertebrates have extraordinarily similar eyes, so the implications of studying fish who have evolved to lose their eyesight are much broader than one might think. Subtle differences in the evolution of different species of cavefish can be traced back in their genetic components related to vision.  Studying these fish can help us understand human blindness with the hope of one day discovering information that could help the blind. 

Cavefish are also integral to studying geologic time. Living deep underground, cavefish are often secluded from the outside world, living in one specific cave system. Comparing the DNA of cavefish to others of their species can indicate important events in geologic time. Prosanta discovered a species of cavefish in Madagascar called Typhleotris mararybe who's closest relative is found in an Australian cave system 6,000km away. Furthur genetic testing uncovered that these two species were separated about 100 million years ago when the continents starting drifting apart. Through DNA, scientists can more accurately pinpoint past geologic events like the separating of the continents. 

Cavefish can help scientists learn more about biology, evolution blindness and geologic time. This Ted Talk is an excellent tool to use in teaching evolution, biology, earth science and geography. The interdisciplinary nature of the talk is an excellent example of interconnectedness among the sciences. 


For more information check out Prosanta Chakrabarty's book.

A Guide to Academia: Getting into and Surviving Grad School, Postdocs and a Research Job

Resources:
https://www.ted.com/talks/prosanta_chakrabarty_clues_to_prehistoric_times_found_in_blind_cavefish
https://www.ted.com/speakers/prosanta_charkrabarty



No comments:

Post a Comment