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A Historical Tour of Aphrodisiacs with Francine Segan

Q&As

In honor of the approaching Valentine’s Day, the Museum will host food historian Francine Segan on Wednesday, February 8, for Aphrodisiacs: Myth or Reality?, featuring stories and tastings of foods considered to have seductive properties throughout time. Below, Segan unravels the histories behind a few food items thought to have a strong connection to passion.

Why were oysters, scallops, mussels, and other types of seafood hailed as aphrodisiacs?

Francine Segan: Aphrodisiacs were named for Aphrodite, the goddess of love. According to ancient Greek legend, Aphrodite was born from the sea and arrived onshore transported on either an oyster or scallop shell. So oysters and all sorts of shellfish were thought to be aphrodisiacs.

Tags: Food, Q&A

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Dimitar Sasselov on the Exoplanet Revolution

Q&As

In the past year, scientists have discovered an astounding number of planets beyond our solar system. On Monday, February 6, Harvard astronomer Dimitar Sasselov will discuss these “exoplanets” and the possibility of discovering life beyond Earth at February’s Frontiers in Astrophysics lecture. Sasselov recently answered a few questions about the search for other worlds.

Have discoveries of exoplanets within the last few months changed any of our views on the potential for life beyond our solar system?

Tags: Exhibitions, Exoplanets, Q&A

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Lab Confidential: Conserve and Protect

Research posts

Each of the 41 intriguing images in Picturing Science: Museum Scientists and Imaging Technologies tells a fascinating story about research or conservation projects. Here’s the third in a series of four snapshots.

For the past year, a 7-foot-tall totem of an eagle has towered over the well-ordered tables of the Museum’s Objects Conservation Lab, the special department within the Division of Anthropology charged with protecting its collections for future study.

Tags: Anthropology

Podcast

Podcast: The Human Genome and Human Health: Will the Promise Be Fulfilled?

Podcasts

When scientists cracked the human genome ten years ago, expectations were high that the genetic revolution would cure cancer, Alzheimer’s, and other diseases. Now scientists are re-evaluating the potential of genetic knowledge for human health based on scientific progress in the past decade. In this podcast from the fall, join the discussion with some of the country’s top geneticists as they present their views on the triumphs, disappointments, and controversies that have arisen in genetic therapy in the healthcare field.

Tags: Podcasts

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