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Showing blog posts tagged with "SciCafe"

Chris Filardi

From Beaks to Genes: Chris Filardi on Island Birds and Biology

Q&As

Chris Filardi is the director of Pacific Programs at the Museum’sCenter for Biodiversity and Conservation. He has spent his career studying island birds and their unique ecologies, from working with indigenous communities to conserve island ecosystems to tracking the foraging behavior of Palm Cockatoos. At the upcoming SciCafe on Wednesday, April 4, Filardi will talk about how the genomic revolution and increased access to islands have changed how these systems are studied. He recently answered a few questions about the role islands play in understanding speciation, or how new species arise.

Tags: Center for Biodiversity and Conservation, Q&A, SciCafe

Podcast

Podcast: SciCafe: Adventures in Superstring Theory

Podcasts

Theoretical physicist Dr. S. James Gates, Jr. uses mathematics to understand string theory and superstring theory, candidates for a single, unified theory of the universe. In this talk from a recent SciCafe, Dr. Gates describes the basics of string theory and talks about the discovery of computer codes—like those used in web browsers—embedded in the equations of superstring theory.

The SciCafe took place at the Museum on January 4, 2012.

Podcast: Download | RSS | iTunes (49 mins, 59 MB)

Tags: Podcasts, SciCafe

Podcast

Podcast: SciCafe: The Virus Hunters

Podcasts

Highly publicized diseases like Ebola and swine flu are only some of the many viruses that spread from animals to humans. In this talk titled “The Virus Hunters” from a recent SciCafe, join virologist Nathan Wolfe and computational biologist Daniel Janies as they discuss their efforts to track infectious agents in animals before they reach people.

“The Virus Hunters” was introduced by Mark Siddall, a curator from the Museum’s Division of Invertebrate Zoology. The SciCafe took place at the Museum on February 1, 2012.

Podcast: Download | RSS | iTunes (1 hour, 7mins, 80 MB)

Tags: Podcasts, SciCafe

southern copperhead_250

Using Snake Venom Protein to Fight Cancer

Q&As

While “snake oil” is shorthand for false cure, snake venom may have real healing power. At March 7’s SciCafe, From Poison to Panacea: Using Snake Venom to Combat Cancer, University of Southern California biochemistry professor Frank Markland will share his research on a protein found in snake venom and how it’s being used to combat cancer in the lab. Below, Markland answers a few questions about his research.

How are you using snake venom in cancer research?

Frank Markland: We injected contortrostatin, a protein found in southern copperhead snake venom, directly into the mammary glands of mice where human breast cancer cells had been injected two weeks earlier. Not only did the injection of this protein inhibit the growth of the tumor—it also slowed angiogenesis, the growth of blood vessels into the tumor that supply it with nutrients and allow the tumor to grow and spread. The protein also impaired the spread of the tumor to the lungs, one site where breast cancer spreads effectively.

Tags: Q&A, SciCafe

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