Published on May 22, 2021
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This 1960 color educational film from Encyclopedia Britannica Films (Unit 5 in their biology program) serves as an introduction to DNA, covering its molecular structure and its role in human growth, reproduction, and the transmission of hereditary traits (TRT 15:34).

Leader: “Central Washington State College.” Opening titles (0:06). A colorful model of a double helix encircles a transparent post. Pan to reveal our host, Dr. George Beadle of the California Institute of Technology in an office library setting. He addresses two youths in sweaters (0:35). Photomicrography of a single cell unfertilized human egg, and that of a sea urchin in comparison (1:35). The youths listen respectfully (2:11). The nucleus of an egg cell with titles overlaid: “Chromosomes” and “Genes” (2:33). Dr. Beadle produces a gray mouse from a glass tank, lifting it by its tail (3:01). A mouse sniffs at the air in closeup. An albino mouse is added to the frame (3:09). Three mice drink water from a dish, surrounded by pellets (3:43). A middle-aged albino woman smiles (3:56). Title card: “I Can Not Produce Pigment.” Morse code appears below each word (4:16). Title card: “Deoxyribonucleic acid” (4:44). Dr. Beadle brings the DNA model to his desk. Closeup on its double helix of red, white, green, and black metal hexagons (4:50). An illustration of a ladder-like structure is labeled alphabetically. “A” is linked to “T” and “C” is linked to “G” along the “rungs” of the ladder (5:23). The albino woman speaks (6:54). The youths in closeup as they continue listening (7:27). An open book of text. Pull back to reveal many stacks of hardcover volumes piled high (7:55). Photomicrography of a cell nucleus (8:08). The young man appears stumped, but the young woman explains mitosis (8:22). A cell divides and multiplies by the process of mitosis in time-lapse photography (8:38). The young woman looks downward (9:29). The illustration of the ladder separates at the middle into two halves. New halves appear to form two complete strands. The animation repeats, slowly, in closeup (9:41). Disconnected cell units dance, matching A’s to T’s and C’s to G’s (10:23). Dr. Beadle holds up a molecular model. He tries to join two halves together, but one half falls away. A matching half fits and holds shape (11:06). Dancing molecule fragments repeat the process of completing strands in limited animation (11:53). A typist works at a red typewriter among piles of disorganized books. She types, “I have now copied one thousand volumes without making a single significant typographical errot.” She winces (12:33). The young woman smiles gently (13:00). Title card: “Mutations'' (13:14). A cell with normal hemoglobins is circled. A cell with defective, sickle cell hemoglobins is shown (13:31). Dr. Beadle dryly concludes his presentation (14:50). End titles (15:22).

The film features photomicrography provided by the University of Chicago.

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This film is part of the Periscope Film LLC archive, one of the largest historic military, transportation, and aviation stock footage collections in the USA. Entirely film backed, this material is available for licensing in 24p HD, 2k and 4k. For more information visit http://www.PeriscopeFilm.com


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