Everyday DNA Summer Entertainment Guide
Written by: Sarah Sharman, PhD, Science writer
Illustrated by: Cathleen Shaw
Oh, summer. Here in the south, the days are long and hot. There is only so much time you can spend in a lake or pool cooling off. Defeating that new video game and piecing together puzzles rendering the likenesses of the Eiffel Tower or a sprawling poppy field might only peak your attention for so long. When a Netflix binge seems like your only remaining option, look no further than this curated guide of educational but entertaining blog posts and podcast episodes to help you beat the summer heat.
For the Jurassic Park fanatics
In this blog post, you’ll learn how on earth it is possible for genetic testing companies to return results indicating how much Neanderthal DNA your genome contains. Bonus: It also features bonus audio from HudsonAlpha’s Tiny Expeditions podcast!
For the true crime enthusiasts
In this blog post, we dive into the many ways that DNA is helping law enforcement solve crimes. Bonus: This post also contains information about how a Huntsville-based company is doing its part to help make DNA testing accessible for more victims and their families.
For all the “cat ladies” out there
Tiny Expeditions Season 1, Episode 2: How wild is your housecat?
In this episode of Tiny Expeditions, you will discover why dogs come in all kinds of shapes and sizes, while house cats are all basically built the same. Bonus: you’ll find out how some cats turn out “glittery”.
For team man’s best friend
Tiny Expeditions Season 1, Episode 1: What do wolves owe dogs?
In this episode of Tiny Expeditions, you will learn how a one-in-a-billion change in DNA alters the appearance of some very striking wolves. It turns out dogs evolved from wolves but wolves have also benefited from dogs.
For the Stranger Things superfans
Ghosts and other supernatural beings are prevalent in pop culture but did you know that they also show up in our ancestry? Okay, you got me. This blog post isn’t about real ghosts. However, it does tell a fascinating story about “ghost” species that do not exist in the fossil record but do show up in the genomes of living species.
For the environmentally friendly
It has become apparent that we must find new ways to feed our growing population in an equitable and healthy way, without harming our planet any further. In this blog post, you’ll learn about a growing movement that aims to sustain our ways of life on Earth while protecting Earth’s ability to meet our needs today and in the future.
For the house divided
Tiny Expeditions Season 2, Episode 1: Will science emerge as the real champion in a football rivalry gone bad?
In this episode of Tiny Expeditions, we dig into a football rivalry gone bad that ultimately led to the poisoning of iconic live oak trees. You’ll learn the fate of the poisoned trees and how they inspired a project to increase equity in science education.
For all the history buffs out there
Tiny Expeditions Season 3, Episode 1: The Story of Humanity Written in Your DNA
If you are fascinated with genealogy and tracing your family tree back hundreds of years, then this episode of Tiny Expeditions is for you. Learn how genetic testing technology is helping people create more robust family trees.
For everyone who wants to travel to a galaxy far, far away
In this blog post, you will learn about some of the challenges of growing plants in space and how the solutions to these challenges also have applications here on Earth.
For when you can’t satisfy your sweet tooth
In this blog post, you will learn about the history of chocolate and how scientists are ensuring that our modern-day chocolate treats stay around for many years to come.
Tiny Expeditions Season 2, Episode 5: What happens when you put plants in space?
Hold onto your seats! In this episode of Tiny Expeditions, we blast off on a journey to the International Space Station and learn how scientists are trying to grow plants in space to feed future inhabitants while also improving plants back on Earth.
Tiny Expeditions Season 2, Episode 2: Can science save your favorite candy bar?
In this episode of Tiny Expeditions, we journey into the world of chocolate and peanuts to learn how scientists are trying to save our favorite candy bars by protecting the plants that produce the tasty ingredients that make up these sweet treats.