It’s that time of year again!

The Royal Institution announces its 2013 online video advent calendar inspired by 'Life Fantastic'.


The 2013 Ri online advent calendar, the second year for this project, will be an ambitious video journey through the human genome.

Inspired by this year’s ‘Life Fantastic’ CHRISTMAS LECTURES with Dr Alison Woollard we will release a different video each day between 1 December and Christmas Eve, working our way through the 23 pairs of human chromosomes and the mitochondrial DNA that make up the building blocks of human life.

Highlights of the 2013 Ri advent calendar will include a video featuring the well known broadcaster and geneticist Dr Adam Rutherford who will explore what ‘junk’ DNA is, a light-hearted look at male baldness with former Christmas lecturer Prof Mark Miodownik, and a visit to Alison’s lab at the University of Oxford to learn more about the genetic control of ageing.

The calendar will raise awareness of several rare and not so rare genetic disorders such as Alkaptonuria (AKU) as well as other more well known diseases with a hereditary link such as breast cancer and the importance of blood donation. Through interviews with patients, viewers will be able to listen to their personal stories and better understand the reality of living with such a disorder. We will also reveal the genetic secrets behind these conditions and highlight the latest genetic research carried out by scientists to help prevent, treat and manage them.

We will explain Nobel Prize winning science, take a trip to the zoo and, last but not least, no chromosome calendar would be complete without a feature on ginger hair.

The chromosome videos will be released at at 00.01 each day and in the style of a traditional advent calendar, visitors to our online version will have to search for the correctly numbered video before they can watch it. The videos will also be promoted on Twitter via @ri_science using the hashtag #Riadvent and on the Ri’s Facebook page. All content will accessible to an international audience.

More information

Each of the Ri advent videos will be published on our Youtube Channel and can be easily embedded on websites from here.

For more information on the content of this year’s calendar or if you are interested in featuring all or any of our videos on your website or blog, please contact Rob Cawston

More information on this year’s CHRISTMAS LECTURES can be found here:

Previous CHRISTMAS LECTURES can be viewed on the Ri channel here:

Our supporters

The 2013 Ri online advent calendar is supported by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC).

The 2013 ’Life Fantastic’ CHRISTMAS LECTURES are supported by the Wellcome TrustCell Therapy Catapult and BBSRC