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Locally Sourced Science

LSS 62: Science in the Streets

One doesn’t have to go far to find the strong scientific roots and influences that run through Ithaca, with many different groups bringing science-outreach to as many people as possible in various unique ways.

In this show Esther Racoosin visits the 2019 National Science Olympiad Competition, that took place at Cornell University on Saturday, June 1st.  She speaks with Cornell alumnus and longtime Science Olympiad volunteer Bill Wellnitz about why the event is so unique.  She also speaks with team coaches, parents and students who participated in the event.

This year’s Ithaca Festival had the theme Full STEAM Ahead — a play on words with the acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math. The festival included a “Discovery Tent” with STEAM-themed activities for children, sponsored by local groups. Patricia Waldron stopped by the tent to talk with exhibitors and kids.  

Additionally, Master Beekeeper David Hopkins joins LSS to provide us with important information about bees as the swarm season gets underway.

Finally, Candice Limper sheds light on the Ithaca Generator with an interview with Béline Bergamote, who describes what all they have to offer and some fun things that can be done in their facilities.

Contributors: David Hopkins | Esther Racoosin | Patricia Waldron | Candice Limper

Producers: Cecil Barnett-Neefs

Music: Show Theme by Joe Lewis, Cêcê Giannotti. Pianoman Play Sofa Again by Lobo Loco licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 License.

LSS 61: Dogs and their diseases (part 2)

We follow up with our four-legged fluffy friends in this week’s episode. To start the show Liz Mahood interviews Dr Rory Todhunter of the Cornell College of Veterinary Medicine. Dr Todhunter is a leading researcher of canine hip dysplasia and osteoarthritis. Liz interviewed him about how these diseases are inherited, how they can be mitigated, which breeds are most susceptible, and more.

Carrying on with canine genetics, Esther Racoosin speaks with Dr Adam Boyko about analysing the genetic data collected from thousands of dogs to better understand the role between genes and canine traits and diseases. Then, Candice Limper brings us the Science History of dog domestication, and how they have evolved from their ancient ancestors into the animals we know today.

To round things off Luisa Torres brings us the Science Calendar to bring you up to speed with the local goings-on with scientific events.

Contributors: Liz Mahood | Esther Racoosin | Candice Limper | Luisa Torres | Nova & Leo

Producers: Patricia Waldron | Cecil Barnett-Neefs

Music: Show Theme by Joe Lewis, Cêcê Giannotti. Music by Bluedot Sessions

LSS 60: Dogs and their diseases (part 1)

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In the first part of series about our canine friends LSS explores dog diseases. Starting with an inteview of Dr. Scott Coonrod of the Baker Institute for Animal Health by Liz Mahood. Dr. Coonrod focuses his research attention on cancer in dogs, in particular, hemangiosarcoma, a common and often untreatable form of canine cancer.

Is the second part of the show Candice Limper talks to Robert Alexis Lopez-Astacio, a first generation graduate student from Puerto Rico studying parvovirus in Dr. Colin Parrish’s lab. Robert shares his story of getting into research, what drives him to do science and how he found his way to Ithaca.

Contributors: Luisa Torres  | Esther Racoosin | Liz Mahood | Candice Limper

Producer: Esther Racoosin

Music: Show Theme by Joe Lewis and Cêcê Giannotti.

LSS 59: Fun with the Fungi

The fungi edition features Luisa Torres interview with Dr. Teresa Iturriaga and Robert Dirig of Cornell Plant Pathology Herbarium. They discussed the collection of preserved fungi samples, photos of mushrooms and lichens and pathologic specimen. This organization has been at Cornell University since the 1800s.

If anyone is interested in checking out the collection of specimen the herbarium is open by appointment only. Prior to your visit contact Teresa Iturriaga at cup-herbarium@cornell.edu.


In the short segment, we learn about how baker’s yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) is able to survive under stress conditions and how these same survival mechanisms are being utilized in other microbes pathogens.

Vandana Raghavan: Ph.D. Candidate on the brink of defending her thesis


Eric Alani: Cornell University Professor

Contributors: Luisa Torres  | Esther Racoosin | Liz Mahood | Candice Limper | Cecil Barnett-Neefs

Producer: Cecil Barnett-Neefs

Music: Show Theme by Joe Lewis and Cece Giannotti. “Funky Energy Loop” Kevin MacLeod (freepd.com). Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 1.0 License