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The strange case of the cyclops sheep - Tien Nguyen

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In the 1950s, a group of ranchers in Idaho were baffled when their sheep gave birth to lambs with only one eye. Mystified by these cyclops sheep, they called in scientists from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to investigate. What happened? Tien Nguyen describes how, decades later, one team of biologists stumbled upon the answer.

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TED-Ed Original lessons feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed original? Nominate yourself here »

Meet The Creators

  • Educator Tien Nguyen
  • Director Anton Bogaty
  • Animator Anton Bogaty
  • Associate Producer Jessica Ruby
  • Content Producer Gerta Xhelo
  • Editorial Producer Alex Rosenthal
  • Narrator Addison Anderson

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Additional Resources for you to Explore
Find the story of the cyclops sheep in the rancher’s field interesting? Here is a link to more about the story. The scientific article: Cyclopamine: From Cyclops Lambs to Cancer Treatment is also a great resource that describes how a rancher’s field in Idaho led to a skin cancer treatment. How exactly did scientists get from one-eyed lambs to targeted skin cancer drug? What is the name of that plant that was so toxic to sheep and other organisms? Visit this link to find out.

Fascinated by the hedgehog signaling pathway? Here is another visualization of this pathway in the fruit fly.

For more about genes and exactly what they do, watch and learn more from this TED Ed lesson by Carl Zimmer: Where do genes come from? This TED Talk: Your genes are not your fate will also provide more insight into exactly what genetic inheritance is all about. There is a collection on everything Genetics from TED-Ed at this link.


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About TED-Ed Originals

TED-Ed Original lessons feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed original? Nominate yourself here »

Meet The Creators

  • Educator Tien Nguyen
  • Director Anton Bogaty
  • Animator Anton Bogaty
  • Associate Producer Jessica Ruby
  • Content Producer Gerta Xhelo
  • Editorial Producer Alex Rosenthal
  • Narrator Addison Anderson

Share

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