Bones, stones, and genes : the origin of modern humans


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Publication Details Click to collapse Cite/Export

  • Creator produced by Sutherland Media Productions, Inc. for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute ; producer, Dennis WC. Liu
  • Format Videos, Slides, Films
  • Contributors
  • Publication Version 1.0. Chevy Chase, MD : Howard Hughes Medical Institute, [2012] ©2012
  • Series
  • Physical Details
    • 2 videodiscs (309 min.) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in
  • OCLC ocn789353895
  • Credits
    • Executive producers, Robert Tjian, Sean B. Carroll; producer, Dennis Liu


  • The first lecture, presented by Dr. Tim White, professor of integrative biology at the University of California-Berkeley, broadly introduces the topic of human evolution and methods of investigating evolutionary questions, ranging from physical anthropology to genetics. The second lecture, presented by Dr. Sarah Tishkoff, professor of genetics and phylogeny at the University of Pennsylvania, explores the genetics of human origins and adaptation. By studying the genes of present-day Africans, Tishkoff is able to trace the migration paths of groups across Africa, tracking genetic, cultural, and environmental adaptations. Tishkoff uses lactose tolerance as an example of how humans are still genetically adapting. The third lecture, presented by Dr. John Shea, professor of anthropology at Stony Brook University, examines the connections between stone tools and the evolution of human behavior. By analyzing tools using both archeological and geological techniques, Shea is able to hypothesize about the complexity of various societies. Shea also looks at the link between tool use in chimpanzees and our own evolution. The final lecture, presented by Tim White, surveys the field of paleoanthropology. White discusses his work in the Middle Awash Valley and his discovery of Ardipithecus ramatus. Video clips include examples of stratigraphic principles in the field of paleoanthropology, methods of making stone tools, ways of classifying stone tools, comparisons of chimpanzee and human tool use, and methods of extracting and cleaning fossils. Disc 2 contains "click and learn" computer exercises, animations, two discussion sections with lecturers, and "meet the scientist" interviews with lecturers and graduate students working in physical anthropology.


  • "October 2011."
  • DVD.
  • Includes English and Spanish subtitles.


  • Disc 1. Lecture 1. Human evolution and the nature of science / Tim White. Lecture 2. Genetics of human origins and adaptation / Sarah Tishkoff. Lecture 3. Stone tools and the evolution of human behavior. / John Shea. Lecture 4. Hominid paleobiology / Tim White. -- Disc 2. Interviews and discussion session
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