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Posts published in “podcast”

LSS 82: Women in Science 2

While this is another episode celebrating woman scientists, first we talk about the importance of handwashing and Ignac Semmelweis the father of handwashing.

Breast Tumor Cells

As you know, this month we are recognizing Women scientists, and the contributions that they are making to help us understand the diverse world around us and the worlds inside us. 

We recently spoke with Dr. Mingming Wu, Professor of Biological and Environmental Engineering in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.  Dr. Wu uses engineering and physics principles to understand biological processes.  She is interested in the forces that are exerted on cells, or by cells, when they move inside the body.  

In January of this year, Dr. Wu and colleagues published a study exploring how breast cancer tumor cells move inside the body.  The group created a device that could be used to study how breast cancer cells respond to the presence of a chemokine, a hormone released by lymph node immune cells that can attract tumor cells in the body. 

At the AAAS meeting in 2018, we interviewed Dr. Amelia Safi, who talked about the use of antibiotics in the dairy industry.

Mark Sarvary of Locally Sourced Science interviewing Dr. Amelia Safi after her talk at the AAAS annual conference

Lastly, we dedicated a segment to Tu Youyou, who won the “Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine” in 2015.

Show Producer: Mark Sarvary

Interviews: Mark Sarvary & Esther Racoosin

Profile of Tu Youyou: Liz Mahood

Music: Joe Lewis

LSS 81: Women in Science I

In today’s show, you’ll hear an interview from Cornell undergraduate Rosemary Glos.  She spoke with Cornell Professor Chelsea Specht, the Barbara McClintock Professor in the School of Integrative Plant Science, where she studies the evolutionary biology of plants. In this interview, Dr. Specht talks about the value of the many natural history collections at Cornell.

Later in the show, you’ll hear a report on Ithaca College’s annual Women in Math day.  Esther Racoosin covered the February 8th event, where female high school students learned about the many reasons why they might want to consider majoring in math in college.

Janani Harihanan presents a profile of Dr. Janaki Ammal, the first woman scientist to receive a Ph.D. in Botany in the United States.

And Liz Mahood presents the Science News.

Image Credits: Cornell University, image of Dr. Chelsea Specht. Esther Racoosin, image of Ithaca College Women in Math publicity.

Show Producer: Esther Racoosin

Interview of Cornell Professor Dr. Chelsea Specht: Rosemary Glos

Profile of Dr. Janaki Ammal: Janani Harihanan

Science News: Liz Mahood

LSS 80: Darwin and co-Evolution

Each year, around the time of Charles Darwin’s birthday on February 12, the Paleontological Research Institution, also known as PRI, presents a week-long festival of events called “Darwin Days”.  The theme of this year’s celebration was “The Power of Pollination”!   

Darwin’s Star Orchid

To learn more about Darwin’s observations of flowers and the insects that pollinate them, Locally Sourced Science contributor Esther Racoosin attended one of the Darwin Days events.  It was a presentation, titled “Pollination and Coevolution:  Love Story or Arms race” by Cornell Professor Anurag Agrawal.  At the beginning of today’s show, you’ll hear about Darwin’s thoughts on co-evolution and Dr. Agrawal’s research on the topic.

Acanthurus lineatus, the striped surgeonfish

Later in the show, you’ll hear an interview produced by Cornell undergraduate Alejandro Schmieder.  He spoke with Cornell Assistant Professor Esther Angert about her research on a type of bacteria, Epulopiscium, that lives inside the gut of tropical surgeonfish.  Angert talks about how those two organisms have perhaps co-evolved to develop a symbiotic relationship that allows them to survive changing conditions in the ocean.

And, lastly, you’ll hear our science events calendar for the week.

Image Credits: Paleontological Research Institution, Anurag Agrawal, Cornell University Dept. of Microbiology

Show Producer: Esther Racoosin

Interview of Cornell Professor Esther Angert: Alejandro Schmieder

Science Calendar: Esther Racoosin

LSS 79: The Pale Blue Dot -Anniversary & Astronomy Special

In this episode, we celebrate two significant anniversaries! This month is the 3rd anniversary of Locally Sourced Science, and we celebrate it with a new music and voice introduction by Joe Lewis. We also celebrate the 30th anniversary of the famous photograph of planet Earth taken from the farthest point ever. This photo that Carl Sagan titled “The Pale Blue Dot” was taken by Voyager I on February 14, 1990.


To celebrate this anniversary, Mark Sarvary spoke with Lisa Kaltenegger, director of the Carl Sagan Institute, and with writer and director Nick Sagan, Carl Sagan’s son. Kaltenegger talks about the Voyager 1 mission, the Pale Blue Dot picture, and the Carl Sagan Institute. Nick Sagan spoke to us about the legacy of his father, who was both a scientist and a storyteller.


Sagan wrote in his “Pale Blue Dot” book: “That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. … There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world.”


Image Caption

This narrow-angle color image of the Earth, dubbed ‘Pale Blue Dot’, is a part of the first ever ‘portrait’ of the solar system taken by Voyager 1. The spacecraft acquired a total of 60 frames for a mosaic of the solar system from a distance of more than 4 billion miles from Earth and about 32 degrees above the ecliptic. From Voyager’s great distance Earth is a mere point of light, less than the size of a picture element even in the narrow-angle camera. Earth was a crescent only 0.12 pixel in size. Coincidentally, Earth lies right in the center of one of the scattered light rays resulting from taking the image so close to the sun. This blown-up image of the Earth was taken through three color filters — violet, blue and green — and recombined to produce the color image. The background features in the image are artifacts resulting from the magnification.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL

Producer: Esther Racoosin

Interviews: Mark Sarvary

Science News: Liz Mahood

Science Events Calendar: Esther Racoosin