Urging Caution During a Genomic Revolution: A Conversation with Caltech’s David Baltimore

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Required fields are marked * 0 commentsShareShareTweetSharePin it Community Newscenter_img faithfernandez More » ShareTweetShare on Google+Pin on PinterestSend with WhatsApp,Virtual Schools PasadenaHomes Solve Community/Gov/Pub SafetyCitizen Service CenterPASADENA EVENTS & ACTIVITIES CALENDARClick here for Movie Showtimes First Heatwave Expected Next Week Pasadena Will Allow Vaccinated People to Go Without Masks in Most Settings Starting on Tuesday Business News Community News Science and Technology Urging Caution During a Genomic Revolution: A Conversation with Caltech’s David Baltimore By KATHY SVITIL Published on Wednesday, June 3, 2015 | 4:50 pm David Baltimore. Credit: Bob PazEarlier this year, an elite group of scientists and ethicists—including Nobel Laureate David Baltimore, president emeritus and Robert Andrews Millikan Professor of Biology at Caltech—convened in Napa, California, to discuss the scientific, medical, legal, and ethical implications of genome engineering technology.Such technologies—chief among them a now-widespread genetic tool known as CRISPR-Cas9, known colloquially as “DNA scissors”—allow scientists to make precise edits to the genome, or the entire genetic script, of an organism. By essentially rewriting genomes, researchers can, in weeks rather than years, create animal strains that mimic human diseases to test new therapies; easily knock out genes in the cells of animals and humans to test their function; and even change DNA sequences to correct genetic defects. Such edits can be made in both body cells and in germ-line cells (sperm and eggs), to alter heritable genes.We recently spoke with Baltimore about these new technologies and the issues they raise.What was your motivation for participating in this conversation in January about the uses of genome engineering technology?I was most concerned about the ability to carry out germ-line modifications of humans using this technology. Other issues came up—modification of the general biosphere, somatic gene therapy as opposed to heritable gene therapy—but I think those things are less concerning at the moment.What is the big issue with human germ-line modification?The big issue is how simple it is, at least conceptually, to modify cells—embryonic stem cells as well as somatic cells. The major concern is the potential for off-target effects: If you carry out the germ-line modification of a gene that you have identified as of concern, how do you know that, somewhere else in the genome, there hasn’t been an alteration which you didn’t plan to do but that has occurred anyway? Most of the genome is not coding—it doesn’t code for anything. So you wouldn’t necessarily see a protein change. But that change would become heritable generations into the future. You want to be pretty sure that that is not happening.We know that people have put a lot of effort into minimizing such off-target effects. Whether they have been minimized enough is a very important safety consideration.Are you and your colleagues concerned about the potential for using this technology to create “designer” babies?I think the thing to do is to distinguish between the long-term concern about modifications that are heritable but made for reasons that are “cosmetic,” and a situation in which a modification is made in order to ameliorate a serious human disease.The example that I find most compelling is Huntington’s disease. It involves a mutation in the genome that most people don’t carry; the few people who do carry it suffer very serious deleterious consequences that only become apparent with age. Ridding the genome of that modified gene seems to me to be an unalloyed good. Therefore, the question becomes, do you need to use genome alteration technology to accomplish that end or is there some other way to accomplish that? But the end seems to me to be something almost everybody would agree is a good.But there are situations that are not that clear-cut . . .Exactly. You go from, on one side, Huntington’s disease, and on the other side, the desire for a more intelligent child. One is easy, it can be fixed by changing a single gene. The other is much more complicated. Intelligence certainly isn’t determined by a single gene. It is multigenic—the result of many genes. One is a pretty straightforward medical decision; the other is an issue which is very culturally bound. So those are the two poles, and then there is everything in between.For the in-between situations, that is just a judgment call?Yes, it is a judgment call.Who makes the decisions in those cases?Society, in the end, will make those decisions. The problem that I think everybody has with it is that although society has the ability to make decisions like that, it is a big world. And you could imagine things being done in other jurisdictions, where we don’t have control.How do we manage that?My personal thought is that the best we can do is to make absolutely unambiguous the consensus feeling of society. Because the scientific community is an international community, we do have the ability to at least provide moral guidelines.Any kind of modification that involves something as elusive as intelligence is a long way off. We don’t understand it well enough to make modifications today, and so to an extent we are trying to establish a framework that will serve the world well into the future. That is a big order, and whether an international meeting can grapple with anything as profound as that, we will see.Where do you see this technology in 10 years? 100 years?That is a good distinction—10 years versus 100 years. The latter is very hard to think about, because we have really no idea what scientific advances are going to be made in the next 100 years. About all we can be sure of is that they will be impressive and maybe revolutionary, and will present us with a very different technological landscape in which these questions will evolve.In 10 years, we certainly are likely to know the outline of what we are likely to see, and it is not going to be a whole lot different from what we are seeing today. I would guess that in 10 years, we would understand multigenic traits better than we do now. I do suspect that people will be gratified that at this time we began the basic considerations, because the problems will get more difficult rather than easier.Forty years ago, you were one of the organizers of the influential Asilomar Conference on Recombinant DNA, which laid out voluntary guidelines for the use of genetic engineering—the same type of guidelines you and your colleagues are advocating for now with genome engineering. What was the original inspiration for convening the Asilomar Conference?It was the advent of recombinant DNA technology that drew our attention. We all worked in the biological sciences. We recognized that recombinant DNA technology was a game changer because it was going to allow scientific investigation of the questions that heretofore had been unavailable. In some ways, many of us had designed our careers around the inability to do this kind of work, and, suddenly, we were going to be able to do things that we had only previously dreamed about, if we had considered them at all.But at the same time, there seemed to be potentially problematic aspects to it, in particular the ability to modify organisms, mainly microbial organisms, in ways that could have given the organisms the ability to be a danger to human health.Actually, we simply did not know whether that was a realistic concern or not. As we talked to other people, we discovered that no one knew. So it seemed like a good idea to take a breather and to give consideration to these concerns of potential hazards in an international meeting that would be convened in the United States.Was there some thought that if you tried to self-regulate you could avoid governmental regulation?It wasn’t a matter of avoiding governmental regulation. It was that we thought that we—the scientific community—were uniquely capable of putting in perspective these new capabilities. The answer might have been to have legislation. In fact, as our thinking progressed, we realized that the very best situation would be to avoid legislation because legislation is very hard to undo. We wanted to be sure we would have the flexibility to respond to inevitably changing scientific perspectives.In retrospect, do you think Asilomar was a success?It worked out very close to how we hoped it would. That is, as we learned more, we became more comfortable with the technology; as we investigated potential hazards, we saw less and less reason to be concerned; and we had a built-in flexibility in the system to allow it to evolve in the context of newer understanding.Are you aware of any situations where scientists did not follow the rules?To my knowledge, that has never happened. EVENTS & ENTERTAINMENT | FOOD & DRINK | THE ARTS | REAL ESTATE | HOME & GARDEN | WELLNESS | SOCIAL SCENE | GETAWAYS | PARENTS & KIDS Get our daily Pasadena newspaper in your email box. Free.Get all the latest Pasadena news, more than 10 fresh stories daily, 7 days a week at 7 a.m.last_img read more

Costa Rica Keeps up Fight against Narcotrafficking

first_imgBy Geraldine Cook/Diálogo July 31, 2020 Costa Rican Ministry of Public Security Michael Soto Rojas took part in the Central American Security Conference (CENTSEC) 2020, which was held virtually for the first time, on July 14. Diálogo spoke with Minister Soto about the conference and Costa Rica’s role in the fight against narcotrafficking.Diálogo: What is the importance of Costa Rica’s participation in CENTSEC?Costa Rican Ministry of Public Security Michael Soto Rojas: CENTSEC allows us to listen to our colleagues and ministers who are responsible for security, about the strategies that their security forces use to confront the coronavirus pandemic. This is important, because we listen to the good practices that they carry out, so that we can take what we think might be useful to us based on our reality, and implement it. Our participation is also important, because we have an issue that is central to our relationship with U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM), which is the fight against narcotrafficking.Diálogo: Do you think that narcotraffickers are taking advantage of the global pandemic to carry out illicit drug operations?Minister Soto: Each country’s security services are very involved in supporting the pandemic, especially with health services, without neglecting territorial security and vehicle movement restrictions, among other responsibilities, but criminal organizations can take advantage of this to make movements, especially involving drugs.In Costa Rica, we’ve strengthened our land borders with Nicaragua and Panama, and we’ve deployed our vessels to the maritime border with Panama. We are starting to see more alerts regularly, as we normally did before the pandemic. It seems that criminal structures are desperate to take their products north. Here’s where coordination between countries is important, and we have combined operations with Colombia, the United States, and Panama to deliver positive results.Diálogo: Costa Rica delivered historic results in drug seizures during the first quarter. What are these results due to?Minister Soto: Costa Rican security forces have strengthened and there is team coordination in the regional field. The results are positive because of this teamwork and the training that different U.S. security forces have provided throughout the years. We’ve also shared training in Colombia and Panama. When I look at SOUTHCOM’s data on the Southern Triangle, I see that as teamwork, because many times, for example, we begin a pursuit in Panama, and we carry out the interdiction.Our successes are also due to improvements to air and maritime resources, especially in interception. Last year’s results for example, were historic for cocaine and marijuana seizures, totaling nearly 40 tons, and right now we are close to 25 tons.Diálogo: What sort of combined operations does Costa Rica carry out with regional countries and the United States to defeat transnational organized crime?Minister Soto: Costa Rica takes part in different operations, such as Orión, led by Colombia, and other U.S.-led operations, in addition to our own. These operations are coordinated through the Joint Operations Center, which works 24/7 with members of different police forces in the country and coordinates information exchange with other countries.Diálogo: What training does the Drug Control Police (PCD, in Spanish) carry out to confront narcotrafficking?Minister Soto: The PCD is a criminal investigation police force that can identify a transnational criminal structure with branches in the country. It coordinates closely with Panama, Colombia, and other countries at the international level, including Europe.Diálogo: What actions is Costa Rica taking to support the population during the pandemic crisis?Minister Soto: During the pandemic, security forces have taken on a supportive approach for health and social services, citizen security, and general assistance. For example, we distribute food, we support humanitarian assistance in general terms with our boats and aircraft to move patients, and we help to isolate some communities that experience a cluster of infection.last_img read more

How to be a hero

first_img continue reading » Kevin Brown What does it mean to be a hero?Many people believe heroes are ordinary people who do extraordinary things, says Kevin Brown, a motivational speaker who addressed the 2019 CUNA Lending Council Conference Wednesday in New Orleans.“But we’re not ordinary,” he says. “The day you were conceived, you were dropped off at the pool with 100 million other kids. We’re all unique, but somewhere along the way we’re convinced that we’re ordinary.”Heroes, Brown says, are people who help others with no strings attached.“Heroes are those who choose not to be ordinary,” he says. “Too many people and leaders make ordinary choices every day. Heroes doing things differently than everyone else.”center_img ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Such a simple and great gastro story, which shows us what kind of tourist product we must have throughout the year

first_imgSuch a simple and great tourist story, which shows us what kind of tourist product we must have throughout the yearIndigenous dishes from the island of Krk, from lamb, cheese, prosciutto, fish or some other island specialties, all from domestic production and family farms, and of course everything is perfectly complemented by ingredients that are impossible on Krk, and that is Krk olive oil which is one of the highest quality oils in the Mediterranean and in the end everything is rounded off with a drop of original, top quality žlahtina.Indigenous, local and excellent rounded gastro tourism story in collaboration with local family farms. This is the tourism we must strive for – authenticity, organic food, cooperation with small family farms and small producers, and certainly quality. What is missing is an upgrade of the whole story, that restaurants that use local ingredients from the island of Krk and from Croatia are branded through one labeling and label, which guarantees the use of food in cooperation with small producers.Thus, this story would be year-round, and restaurants would have added value and certainly more customers and turnover, and we would have better and more sustainable tourism. More on restaurant certification soon.In any case, well done to the island of Krk.List of restaurants This year, Krk Food Fest continues its gastronomic adventure in the third edition!Many books have been written about the quality of life alongside Mediterranean cuisine and the delights it offers, with all the beauty of colors brought about by the nature of our indigenous environment. These books “come to life” from August 31 to October 7, when tourists on the island of Krk can enjoy the Days of Krk delicacies.This time, the masters of the kitchen of thirty Krk caterers will have the opportunity to show their most creative side using the extremely rich gastronomic period, which brings them figs, grapes, wine, olives, fish, seafood and many other delicacies… From Malinska, through Krk, Vrbnik, Klimna and Punta all the way to Baška, about thirty Krk restaurants, bistros and taverns, will offer you the best versions of dishes composed of true Krk delicacies.Well done for such a rare synergy at a tourist destination.Krk is known for its many specialties such as Krk cheese, prosciutto, lamb, šurlica, olive oil and žlahtina. But this time, the menus will include many other foods that we can find on the island and which, along with the already well-known ones, will merge into a new gastronomic story. By the way, this is just an extension of the whole gastro story told by the island of Krk, from the Days of Krk delicacies there are also Days of šurlica and asparagus, Days of lamb and cheese, Days of figs, Days of seafood, Days of wine of the island of Krk, Good Food festival festivallast_img read more

Sai Praneeth knocks out Lin Dan in sensational opening round of the Denmark Open

first_imgAdvertisement jpz2nNBA Finals | Brooklyn Vsg99Wingsuit rodeo📽Sindre Ebjaacut( IG: @_aubreyfisher @imraino ) gj952Would you ever consider trying this?😱2kk1Can your students do this? 🌚188viRoller skating! Powered by Firework Denmark Open 2019 saw P.V. Sindhu defeat Gregoria Mariska in the opening round to keep her record 5-0 against the Indonesian. There was another good but unexpected news for the Indian contingent at the tournament.Advertisement World Championships bronze medallist B Sai Praneeth also made it to the second round beating the legendary Lin Dan 21-14 21-17 in a 35-minute opening round clash. It was the first time that Praneeth has secured a victory against Lin Dan.Advertisement Hyderabad born Sai Praneeth will be facing Ken Momota of Japan, the current number 1 in the next round. The Indian shuttler will be looking to take revenge for the loss in Basel in the World Championships.Pashupalli Kashyap failed to go past the first round losing 13-21 12-21 to Thailand’s Sitthikom Thammasin in the men’s singles.Advertisement Advertisementlast_img read more

Wuhan Open tennis tournament slated to go ahead in 2020

first_imgImage Courtesy: AFPAdvertisement 3yzNBA Finals | Brooklyn Vs8zr5Wingsuit rodeo📽Sindre Ep71tr( IG: @_aubreyfisher @imraino ) 4q7Would you ever consider trying this?😱55pwCan your students do this? 🌚8qrx9Roller skating! Powered by Firework World sports was suspended due to the novel Coronavirus pandemic for the past few months. In accordance to normalcy in a number of countries who have been on the path to recovery, there have been a slow resumption of sports, especially football such as Bundesliga, Serie A and La Liga, all of which comign back into action. However, chance of hosting a sporting event right in Wuhan, the city which was the epicentre of the COVID-19 crisis in China? the 2020 Wuhan Open has just been confirmed!Advertisement Image Courtesy: AFPThe Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) Tour has just released its updated schedule for the  2020, and in addition to a number of events through the months of August and September, the global organising body of women’s tennis has confirmed the 2020 Wuhan Open to take place in October.The Wuhan Open has been scheduled to be held from 19th to 25th October, in the same city which had seen a casualty of almost 4000 due to the virus. However, several factors and regulations regarding the safety of players, travel relaxations and government approvals can have an impact on the proposed schedule in the near future.Advertisement “It’s hugely symbolic”, Brenda Perry, the co director of Wuhan Open recently stated. “I’m thrilled for all my colleagues and friends in Wuhan, and what this will mean to the city and the people of the city,” Perry said in an interview with AFP, “They went through what seemed to me one of the most stringent lockdowns in the world.”Advertisement The 62 year old further emphasised on the strict lock down that Wuhan had went through, and the recovery process afterwards had her confidence to host such an event in the city.“I would be the very first person to put up my hand if I thought it was not safe to be going there,” Perry added.After a gap of five months, tennis will restart on 3rd August with the Palermo Ladies Open in Italy.“Having assessed the global outlook for travel in the latter half of the year, working with our medical experts on providing the safest environment possible, and working through the diverse operational challenges for running events safely in the context of COVID-19, the WTA is pleased to release a calendar for the remainder of the 2020 season,” Steve Simon, the CEO and Chairman of WTA said after the calendar release.Followed by the Palermo Open, the 2020 Cincinnati Masters will start on 21st August in New York, just before the start of US Open on 31st August.If you like reading about MMA, make sure you check out MMAIndia.com Also follow India’s biggest arm wrestling tournament at ProPanja.comAlso read-Mohammad Shami: There is no jealousy within the Indian pace bowling attack!Here is how Prithvi Shaw is helping people affected by Cyclone Nisarga Advertisementlast_img read more

GAWU responds to APNU/AFC supporter

first_imgDear Editor,Known APNU/AFC supporter, Mr Abel Seetaram, in a letter appearing in the December 12 Guyana Chronicle, was allowed to use that newspaper’s letter columns to pursue a maligned and falsehood-filled attack on our Union. It appears that the letter signer has friends in high places. But that is entirely another story.The GAWU, when considering the utterances written under Mr Seetaram’s hand, debated whether it really should take the time to offer a response. The individual, who is known for his escapades, cannot be even deemed a political featherweight. We, nevertheless, decided to pen this response though knowing that the individual is really no more than a mere hanger-on but his sentiments will likely be read by the Chronicle’s readership and his fiction may well be deemed as the truth.The ‘letter writer’ begins his missive by denouncing the recent protests by sugar workers which, in his little mind, he contends have been politically influenced. Maybe the individual, who may not have even signed his letter, should have prefaced his letter with “once upon a time”. We hate to burst the bubble he lives in but the actions by sugar workers were only fuelled by the atrocious treatment they have received at the hands of the coalition government. Certainly, any rational human being would react in the same manner.We wonder how Mr Seetaram would react were he in the shoes of a sugar worker. How would he feel that he could not afford to buy something nice for his house or to even just add a fresh coat of paint to brighten up the home for the holidays? How would he feel that he could not afford to buy a nice meal for his family or not even a little gift for his children? These, Mr Seetaram, or whoever is the real author, are feelings of the sugar workers at this time. It is now the fifth Christmas they are enduring since their rates-of-pay have remained unchanged. This is their new reality and is apparently is the ‘good life’ they were promised.It is next said that GAWU lost its voice during the PPP/C Administration. It seems like the RDC Councillor has the tendencies of an ostrich and he has probably hidden his head in the ground all that time. The GAWU has never ever lost its voice. Our advocacy on behalf of our membership had never ceased. Of course, when it comes to sugar, we did not have to contend with a heartless bunch as we have now. But our voice allowed workers’ pay and conditions-of-work to be improved. Our voice saw many workers becoming homeowners and sending their children to high school and beyond, a cherished dream for many. Our voice saw justice and fairness prevailing and our voice spoke up on behalf of the industry. So, no Mr Seetaram, we haven’t ever lost our voice but it is because of our voice that you and your ilk are upset that we continue to speak up and speak out?We are told that our voice was not heard when two estates were closed supposedly under the PPP/C Administration. Of course, we have addressed this matter on several occasions, and given what we know of Mr Seetaram, we believe, our time can be better spent than re-hashing what we have explained before.On the NIS, Mr Seetaram, sugar workers know too of our advocacy. Over the years, we have probably represented thousands of workers in regards to the different problems they encounter with the Scheme. At this very time, we are pursuing many matters with the NIS’ local and central offices. Just recently, the NIS agreed with our request to have central engagements with a view to addressing matters more quickly. Similarly, we have continued to actively represent workers’ grievances. Our representation has been successful on several occasions. As a responsible Union, we cannot ignore the workers’ matters which are so germane to our work.Mr Seetaram next criticises, without any foundation, our Union’s leadership. We want to say that the election of the GAWU leadership is done by the Union’s membership through delegates present at our Congresses— which are held in keeping with our Constitution. Certainly, we want to believe the Councillor understands this process. Not too long ago, Mr Seetaram’s own party had elections where certain persons were elected. Of course, we did see concerns being expressed about whether the process was really democratic. We want to tell the letter writer that our Union upholds genuine democratic practices, unlike what Mr Seetaram may be accustomed to.Mr Seetaram, in the letter, also referred to promises to Guyanese. But while he talks about commitments, he apparently does not remember what his colleagues told sugar workers. He does not remember that they said sugar is too big to fail. He fails to recollect that workers were told that the coalition “will not, in any way, close the sugar industry”. We are sure he has forgotten about the twenty per cent pay rise promised. So he should not even be talking about promises.It is clear as day Mr Seetaram and his political colleagues are upset by our reminder of their commitments and our consistent advocacy on behalf of the nation’s sugar workers. The reality is that the shabby and discriminatory treatment that has been meted out to this group of Guyanese cannot be condoned. Did Mr Seetaram and company really expect us to remain silent by these anti-worker practices? Of course, no doubt, our regularly raised voice is what irks them so much. They want to be seen without damnable records when really, they are wolves in sheep clothing.Yours faithfully,Seepaul NarineGeneral SecretaryGAWUlast_img read more

Mars Annually Pops Its Polar Cork

first_imgA unique geological phenomenon has been found on Mars.  Every year, when the southern polar cap heats up, carbon dioxide gas forms underneath a layer of translucent ice.  This gas levitates large portions of the ice cap until it finds weaknesses, and bursts out at over a hundred miles an hour in spectacular fumaroles (see artist’s rendition at Jet Propulsion Laboratory).  The escaping gas carries fine particles of soil and sand upward, that get splayed outward in fan-shaped deposits hundreds of meters long, all pointing in the direction of the prevailing wind.    Planetary scientists studying the images from the THEMIS infrared camera aboard the 2001 Mars Odyssey had long been puzzled by the dark spots, fans and spider-shaped markings around the vents till they came up with this model.  The findings were published in Nature this week.1  The authors noted that this model will have an impact on the way polar cap deposits are interpreted:The erosion and vertical stirring of surface materials under seasonal slab ice may have significantly altered the metre-scale sedimentary structures in the polar-layered deposits in a manner similar to bioturbation on the Earth.  This erosion and redeposition of the surface material on vertical scales of a few metres may have produced sedimentary structures that reflect this modification process, rather than the initial depositional environment.  If so, this process may present major complications to the interpretation of the sedimentary record observed in upcoming Polar Lander observations, and must be considered in relating this record to the climate history of Mars.What this means is that in this case, layering does not represent a time sequence.  Since every year the same layers are eroded and redeposited, they cannot be used to infer either geological or atmospheric history.1Kieffer, Christensen and Titus, “CO2 jets formed by sublimation beneath translucent slab ice in Mars’ seasonal south polar ice cap,” Nature 442, 793-796(17 August 2006) | doi:10.1038/nature04945; Received 4 April 2006; Accepted 30 May 2006.Yellowstone, eat your heart out.  What a sight it must be to look out over the south polar cap and see jets of dirty gas roaring upward hundreds of feet into the atmosphere every few hundred yards.  It might be even more dramatic to see the geysers of Enceladus, discovered last year (see 11/28/2005).    Imagine if scientists for the upcoming polar lander mission measured these layers carefully, correlated them with other Martian strata, and came up with a detailed model of the climate history of Mars.  They would be wrong, according to this model.  Interpretations of data are not the same as data.  Sometimes, weird processes can be at work to scramble the data, misleading humans that were not present when the formations were made.  These authors mentioned bioturbation on earth, wherein underground organisms, with their burrowing and tunneling, carry fossil material upward or downward from its initial location (see 05/21/2004).    Many times, scientists can recognize these effects and account for them in their models.  This new Martian process, apparently unique in the solar system, however, was unrecognized till now.  In this case, the effects take place in the present and can be observed.  (One wonders, offhand, whether this process could continue for billions of years.)  On Earth, much of the history cannot be reconstructed except by fallible inference from complicated data.  Peter Sadler said in the aforementioned 2004 article that cryptic signatures of bioturbation or reworking can go unrecognized by scientists, yet have significant effects on deposits – and by extension, on their interpretations.    Undoubtedly different physical effects take place on Earth deposits used to infer past geological and climate history.  But by definition, one cannot know all the unknowns.  Let this instance be a lesson that new discoveries can blow holes in the best of scientific models.(Visited 7 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

How To Make How-To Videos and YouTube Tutorials

first_imgImage via Shutterstock.Brainstorming an idea for your client’s how-to video can be a lot of fun. When you sit down to discuss this with your client, bring a list of potential ideas to the table. Click here for a list of 41 Awesome Ideas for How-to Videos.Step 3: Learn the How-To Process Yourself and Write It DownAt this point, you and your client have decided on a topic (or perhaps several) for a how-to video. The next step is to create a process document that includes step-by-step instructions on “how to do X.” Think of this as a written guide for how to complete the process. A novice should be able to follow the steps and successfully complete the process.Video via My New Roots.Take the preceding video, “How to Make Nut Milk,” for example.Step 1: Pick a Nut. Here’s a list of commonly used nuts:AlmondsMacadamiaBrazilCashewsPecansSesame SeedsHemp Seeds Image via Shutterstock.Before approaching your client about producing a how-to video, take a moment to evaluate whether or not they will benefit from it. The size of the business and the industry doesn’t matter, but things like target market and social media activity do. For example, consider the following client scenarios. Which company would benefit most from a targeted, engaging how-to video?Client #1: ACME Plywood CompanyTarget market: wholesale lumber distributorsSocial media/web presence: no social media presence, dated website shares only company contact information How-To videos are in demand. Learn how to secure clients and take advantage of this growing medium.Top image via Seth Doyle.The how-to video is changing the landscape of online video, and we, as filmmakers, no longer have to limit ourselves to old-school 30-second television ads. Since 2014, searches related to “how to” content on YouTube grew 70% year-over-year.Social media platforms like YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook have opened the doors to new and engaging types of content — content that builds relationships with our clients (and our client’s clients) and offers true value to our customers.Image via Google.Endlessly engaging and effective at generating and nurturing leads, how-to videos are cheap to produce and offer immense value to our corporate video clients and their customers. Companies like Columbia, Starbucks, and Google are producing value-laden, branded how-to videos for their customers in return for brand loyalty and higher marketing ROIs.In this post, I’ll walk you through my process for producing a value-laden and entertaining how-to video for your corporate video client (with tips, techniques, and a few free pdfs along the way).Let’s dive right in.The Three Types of How-To Videos (and When to Use Them)The EntertainerVideo via Carmel Gatchalian.The Entertainer is a top-level video marketing tool. It’s most effective during the interest-building phase of your client’s sales funnel (e.g. “I really enjoyed that video! I’m going to visit the company’s website to learn more”).Done effectively, the how-to video entertains your audience while also showcasing company culture. Rack up a bunch of views and shares by uploading these to your client’s social media pages.The TeacherVideo via Huckberry.The Teacher is most effective during the learning phase of your client’s sales funnel, and many companies (like Columbia) will offer entire how-to video libraries that cover concepts related to their products.The teacher can describe a process, a simple task, or even more theoretical subjects. Vimeo’s Video School offers several how-to videos related to film production that take this approach.The Process(er)Video via KORDUROY.The Process(er) does exactly what you might think. It walks your audience through a step-by-step process. It’s most effective at educating your client’s target market on subjects that relate to the client’s products or services.  Of the three types of how-to videos, the process(er) offers the most tangible value to the viewer (e.g. “I didn’t know how to do X. Now I know how to do X.”)This guide will focus on how to create this type of how-to video.So, let’s get to it.Step 1: Determine If Your Video Client Will Benefit Step 5: Acquire Props and Find a Suitable Location and Onscreen Talent Step 4: Use the How-To Process Document to Create a Shot List Image via Shutterstock.Use your how-to process document and shot list as a guide during post-production. To simplify the editing process, you could slate each shot using the following slate structure:Line 1: Title of production (e.g. How to Make Nutmilk).Line 2: Step of the process (e.g. Step 8: Pour the milk into the jug).Line 3: Take # (e.g. Take 1, take 2, take 3, etc.).Add onscreen text to highlight the critical points of the how-to process. Rule of thumb: less is more. Remember that many viewers will be watching this on their mobile devices, so be sure to account for that by increasing the font size and testing a draft on your mobile phone.Add music to create a complete viewing experience. Keep your target audience in mind — what might they find entertaining? Your music should match the tone and quality of your footage.Step 8: Deliver the Finished Product to Your Client and Wrap the ProjectHere are the export settings that I use for delivering most of my how-to videos:Codec: H.264Resolution: 1920 x 1080VBR, 2 passTarget Bitrate: 12Render at maximum depthRender at maximum qualityOnce you and your client are pleased with the final result, export a master copy and provide them a final as well. Have a brief meeting to discuss what platforms you’d like to use to share the video.That’s it. How-to videos are a new and often untapped medium that businesses can take advantage of to stand out. Give your own production company or freelance video business an edge by offering this service to your clients.Do you have tips for producing how-to videos? Let us know in the comments. Step 2: Measure out 1 cup of nuts/seeds.Step 3: Cover with water.Step 4: Soak for 8 hours.Step 5: Drain and rinse.Step 6: Add to a blender and add 4 cups of water. Blend.Step 7: Line a jug with a nut milk bag or cheesecloth.Step 8: Pour the milk into the jug.Step 9: Squeeze the milk from the cheesecloth.Step 10: Pour into a clean bottle and cap the lid. Refrigerate for 3-4 days. Client #2: Jill’s Collegetown Coffee CafeTarget market: all ages, with an emphasis on nearby 18-30 year-old college studentsSocial media/web presence: 2-3 posts/week on Instagram and Facebook, sleek website that is mobile responsive Image via Shutterstock.After you develop your shot list, it’s important to get started right away.Begin pulling together the three elements you’ll need to complete your shoot. Other than your equipment, you’ll need the following:Props are the items your viewer needs to complete the process. If the how-to process requires specific tools, ingredients, or implements, add a sequence to your shot list that highlights each tool or prop, as you can see here in How to Make a Mint Julep.Your filming location depends on the subject of your how-to video. If the location is crucial to the completion of your process, it could limit your options. For instance, if you’re filming a video on How-To Check Your Tire Pressure, or if your client wants a video on How to Pack the Car for a Camping Trip, your location will require access to a vehicle (e.g. garage, driveway, parking lot, etc.).The Talent is the person carrying out the action on camera. You’ll need to find someone — a friend, relative, your client (or even yourself) — to provide instruction in your how-to video. Image via Shutterstock.After you’ve documented the how-to process, you’ll need to create a shot list that illustrates the primary action of each step. This is the difference between telling the audience how to do something, and showing them how to do it.Click here for the shot list for “How to Make Nut Milk.” A few rules to follow when creating a shot list for a how-to video:Focus on the action (the subject should take up 60-80% of the screen area).Film in a well-lit area (natural light through nearby windows will work 90% of the time).Vary your shots between overheads, close-ups, and medium shots. The rule of thumb here is to get close to the action.(Optional) Integrate your Text Overlays into your shot list to save time in post-production. Most how-to videos include onscreen text that helps the viewer understand the process. However, in some cases onscreen text may not be necessary. Step 6: Start Filming As Soon As Possible — Use Your Shot List As a Guide Image via Shutterstock.Your equipment kit should be light — there’s no need for huge studio lights, for example. Ninety percent of my how-to content uses natural light, and the other ten percent uses a single LED.At a minimum, your equipment kit should include the following:A camera and power sourceZoom lens (my Canon 24-70mm works great)TripodExternal monitorLED light or reflector with stands and sandbagsUse this Production Checklist to make sure you’re ready to go.Set up each shot and film according to your shot list. Keep a notepad and pencil nearby to jot down your favorite takes. Backup your footage, and begin post-production.Step 7: Edit Your How-To Video According to Your How-To Process Document In this example, Client #2 would benefit more from a how-to video than Client #1, due to Client #2’s active social media and web presence. Any client who actively promotes their brand on social media platforms is a good candidate for a how-to video.Furthermore, how-to content works best as a complement to existing and well-defined sales funnels. In their market research with Oracle Marketing Cloud, Vidyard — a video marketing company — found that best-in companies engage their clients with video throughout their entire sales funnel. This approach to video marketing mimics in-person interaction and guides a potential buyer through the purchasing experience.Step 2: Brainstorm How-To Ideas with Your Client’s Target Market in Mindlast_img read more