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A new AE-BKH documentary series

“Symbiotic Life” is a new on-line initiative of the Academia Europaea-Barcelona Knowledge Hub (AE-BKH), fruit of its partnership with Science into Images, a scientific dissemination project led by biologist and science filmmaker Rubén Duro, who is also the Hub’s webmaster and social media manager.

This initiative consists of several short documentaries on different examples of symbiotic relationships existing in nature, presented in a visually striking format. These videos present rarely seen images of microscopic organisms and are of great academic and research value.

However, the general public will also enjoy these educational and entertaining videos, as brief accompanying explanations subtitled in English provide non-experts with the tools necessary for fully appreciating the beauty and scientific interest of the images projected. Thus, the main objective of “Symbiotic Life” is two-fold: to disseminate scientific research in a novel format, in line with the AE-BKH’s overall mission; and to give support to a distinctive feature of the AE-BKH, which places special emphasis on symbiosis both as a driving concept of evolutionary biology and as a figurative term to describe the connections between seemingly different academic fields, such as the natural and exact sciences, the social sciences and the humanities.

The initial five videos included in the “Symbiotic Life” documentary series are:

  • Microbial mats. Structure, composition and functioning of microbial mats, the first ecosystems on Earth, and the driving force for the existence of life on our planet.
  • Earliest Sex. Conjugation of a protozoan, as an example of one of the first manifestations of sexual activity in the eukaryotic world.
  • Living together. Gut symbionts of termites as an extraordinary example of how symbiosis among very different organisms such as bacteria, protozoa and animals enables a uniquely efficient use of resources.
  • Living biofilms. Microscopic life in a biofilm as an example of how the activity of one type of organisms –in this case, bacteria– can create ideal living conditions for another.
  • Beauty and the Beast. The budding of the common jellyfish as an example of asexual reproduction.

All five videos are available for viewing on the AE-BKH “Barcelona-in-Action” channel on Vimeo.

Microbial Mats
Living together
Living Biofilms
Earliest Sex
Beauty and The Beast