At TEDxYouth@Manchester, genetics researcher Dan Davis introduces the audience to compatibility genes — key players in our immune system’s functioning, and the reason why it’s so difficult to transplant organs from person to person: one’s compatibility genes must match another’s for a transplant to take.

To learn more about these fascinating genes, watch the whole talk here»

(Images from Davis’s talk, Drew Berry’s animations, and the TED-Ed lessons A needle in countless haystacks: Finding habitable worlds - Ariel Anbar and How we conquered the deadly smallpox virus - Simona Zompi)

Cloning a woolly mammoth? Might not be as crazy as you think.

Geneticist Hendrik Poinar is working on bringing the woolly mammoth back from the dead. In a talk at TEDxDeExtinction, he explains how scientists are extracting DNA from the remains of woolly mammoths preserved in permafrost.

From his talk:

If you had asked me ten years ago whether or not we would ever be able to sequence the genome of extinct animals, I would have told you, “It’s unlikely.” If you had asked whether or not we would actually be able to revive an extinct species, I would have said, “Pipe dream.”

But I’m actually standing here today, amazingly, to tell you that not only is the sequencing of extinct genomes a possibility, actually a modern-day reality, but the revival of an extinct species is actually within reach…

To learn more about the effort to sequence the woolly mammoth genome, watch the whole talk here»

Happy Halloween! We may not have tricks or treats here at TEDx, but we do have something really cool — a TEDx Talk on the bat genome!

Bats are a little spooky, but, biologically, they are pretty spectacular. For example, did you know that one fifth of all mammals are bats and bats are the only mammal that can fly?

As the director of The Centre for Irish Bat Research, Emma Teeling knows a lot about these fascinating creatures, and in the talk at TEDxDublin below, she shares her knowledge, revealing how the bat genome can actually give us great insight into ourselves.

Check out Teeling’s entire talk below:

(Photos — Row 1: afagen; Row 2: Lee Carson, James Niland)