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Humans have always relied on plants for food, clothing and medicine. Today, traditional plant use continues and thrives — even in urban environments, where pharmaceutical medicines are widely available.
In this podcast from a recent SciCafe, Dr. Ina Vandebroek leads an ethnobotanical tour from the Bolivian Amazon to New York City. Join the discussion as Dr. Vandebroek traces the importance of medicinal plants among indigenous peoples and immigrant communities.
The next SciCafe, “Robots Inspired by Nature and Beyond,” takes place on April 6, 2011. Learn more about this popular after-hours series featuring cocktails and conversation about cutting-edge science topics.
The talk was recorded at the Museum on March 2, 2011.
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Advance tickets are now available for The World’s Largest Dinosaurs, the major new exhibition opening at the Museum on April 16. Focusing on a uniquely super sized group of dinosaurs — the sauropods, which ranged in size from 15 to 150 feet long — the exhibition draws on the latest research to understand how these giant animals breathed, moved, ate, and survived.
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From tweetups to touring the Museum using AMNH Explorer, The New York Times features the Museum’s digital efforts in a special section out today.
Writing about social media, Jennifer Preston focuses on two recent Museum tweetups that offered participants behind-the-scenes tours of the collections and looks at two exhibitions, Brain: The Inside Story and The World’s Largest Dinosaurs, which opens April 16.
A separate article about smartphone apps praises AMNH Explorer for taking “full advantage of the latest technology” by using the Museum’s wi-fi network to pinpoint a user’s location. “The app’s distinguishing feature is both ingenious and pragmatic,” writes Sam Grobart. “In addition to exhibitions, the app can point visitors toward cafes, gift shops and—an especially valuable feature for those traveling with children—bathrooms.”
And in a story about how a small computer called an Arduino has revolutionized exhibition design, Nick Bilton points to interactive exhibits at the Museum, including one in Brain: The Inside Story that tests a person’s ability to draw a shape while looking only at a reflection.
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There are now nine more dinosaurs to explore using the Museum’s Dinosaurs app for iPhone and iPod touch, which this week added new chapters with detailed species profiles, photos and renderings, stories about specimens’ discoveries, and more.
The new chapters include a look at Mamenchisaurus hochuanensis, the sauropod known for its exceptionally long neck. With an adult length of 60 feet, including a 30-foot-long neck, and height of 11 feet at the shoulder, Mamenchisaurus is the largest dinosaur discovered in China to date. A life-sized model of this colossal animal is at the center of the upcoming exhibition, The World’s Largest Dinosaurs, which opens at the Museum April 16.
The app update also includes links to dinosaur videos on the Museum’s YouTube channel and recent podcasts. Learn more about the app here and download it for free from iTunes.
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Can the entire universe be explained with a single, unifying theory? This is perhaps the most fundamental question in all of science, and it may also be the most controversial.
The 2011 Isaac Asimov Memorial debate, moderated by Hayden Planetarium Director Neil deGrasse Tyson, featured a compelling discussion with six of the world’s leading voices on the subject: Dr. Katherine Freese, professor of physics at the University of Michigan; Dr. Jim Gates, professor of physics at the University of Maryland-College Park; Dr. Janna Levin, professor of physics and astronomy at Barnard College; Dr. Marcello Gleiser, professor of physics and astronomy at Dartmouth College; Dr. Brian Greene, professor of physics and mathematics at Columbia University; and Dr. Lee Smolin, theoretical physicist at Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics.
Click below for a video or to download a podcast of the debate, which took place at the Museum on March 7, 2011.