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Locally Sourced Science

LSS 74: Fiber Science

With the season’s chilly weather requiring people to wrap up warm, it seems like a good time to talk about fibers and fabric. In this episode, first, you’ll hear Liz Mahood present a history of the creation and production of synthetic fibers. To learn more about this intriguing science history, see the links below.

Later in the show, Esther Racoosin interviews Dr. Mike Haaf, Professor of Chemistry at Ithaca College. Dr. Haaf recently published a research article in the journal Coloration Tech. It is titled, “In situ fabric coloration with indigo synthesized in flow”. The co-authors of the paper are Ithaca College graduate Katrina Piemonte, Dr. Tyler McQuade of Virginia Commonwealth University, and Lucy Cotton and Richard Blackburn of the University of Leeds in the UK.

In his paper, Dr. Haaf  and collaborators describe a new method for synthesizing indigo dyes. The method allows for direct coloration of cotton fabrics without using a typical vat dyeing process that is used in the garment industry to dye denim jeans.

Dr. Mike Haaf (right) of Ithaca College (Photo: Ithaca College)

Finally, we hear Meaghan McElroy present the science events calendar for the week.

Links to articles about the history of synthetic fibers:
https://www.herculite.com/blog/the-history-of-synthetic-fabrics
https://startupfashion.com/fashion-archives-history-synthetic-fiber
https://www.thoughtco.com/history-of-fabrics-4072209
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synthetic_fabric
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rayon
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nylon
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spandex

Producer: Esther Racoosin

Interview of Dr. Mike Haaf: Esther Racoosin

History of the creation of synthetic fibers: Liz Mahood

Science Events Calendar: Meaghan McElroy

Music: Show Theme by Joe Lewis, Cêcê Giannotti.

LSS 73: Science at the Museum

First, you’ll hear Patricia Waldron’s interview of Denise Nicole Green, Assistant Professor in the Department of Fiber Science and Apparel Design and Director of the  Cornell Costume and Textile Collection .
Green talks about the “Fashion & Feathers” exhibit currently on display in the Human Ecology Building. The collection features fashions constructing using feathers, designs inspired by birds, as well as matching bird specimens from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, and the Cornell University Museum of Vertebrates. The exhibit can be seen in the Human Ecology Building, level T display cases. For more information see the Fashion & Feathers event website.

Various Fashion & Feathers exhibits (Photos: Patricia Waldron)

Next, Esther Racoosin speaks with Bryan Danforth, Chair and Professor in the Department of Entomology at Cornell University, about the exhibit Bees: Diversity, Evolution, Conservation, currently on display at the Museum of the Earth at the Paleontological Research Institution in Ithaca. Danforth and Dr. Robert Ross of PRI are the curators of the exhibit. Helaina Blume of PRI is the designer and creator of the exhibit. Bees! Diversity, Evolution and Conservation was created with grant support from the National Science Foundation, or NSF and the Tompkins County Tourism Program. For more information, go to: the Paleontological Research Institute website.

Bees Exhibit, complete with bug building (Photo by Jon Reis)

Finally, we hear Liz Mahood’s presentation of the Science News for the week. Patricia Waldron produced the interview of Dr. Denise Green; Liz Mahood produced the science news, and Esther Racoosin produced the interview of Dr. Bryan Danforth.

Contributors: Patricia Waldron | Esther Racoosin | Liz Mahood

Producer: Esther Racoosin

Music: Show Theme by Joe Lewis, Cêcê Giannotti.

LSS 72: Three Billion Birds, Wizarding Science and the Value of Sleep

Western Meadowlark (www.3billionbirds.org/)

In today’s show, we speak with Dr. Kenneth Rosenberg, Applied Conservation Scientist at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and American Bird Conservancy. He talks about his study, published on October 4 in the journal Science, “Decline of the North American Avifauna”. The paper describes the cumulative loss of billions of breeding individuals across a wide range of species and habitats. For more information, go to www.3billionbirds.org.

Ace, the red-tailed hawk (Esther Racoosin)

Later in the show, you’ll hear about our visit to some of the science exhibits that took place Saturday, October 26 at Wizarding Weekend in Downtown Ithaca. We will also check in with Dr. Gina Mason, a former member of the Locally-Sourced Science team, who is a post-doctoral fellow in developmental psychobiology at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. And, finally, you’ll hear from Dr. Luisa Torres, who has this week’s science events calendar.

Producer: Esther Racoosin

Co-host: Cecil Barnett-Neefs

Science Events Calendar Producer: Luisa Torres

LSS 71: To the moon and beyond

This week we go to the moon and beyond, in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. 

Astronaut Edwin E. “Buzz” Aldrin beside the U.S. flag during an Apollo 11 mission

Meaghan McElroy talks with Beth Ellen Clark Joseph , a physics professor at Ithaca College and a mission asteroid scientist for NASA. They discuss the OSIRIS-Rex mission to land on the asteroid Bennu and what that mission might tell us about the universe.

Also, Esther Racoosin talks with Zoe Learner Ponterio, manager of the Spacecraft Planetary Imaging Facility at Cornell. She curated a collection entitled “Postcards from Beyond: A Timeline of Exploration,” a selection of scientifically valuable and incredibly beautiful images captured in space. 

Finally, Faez Bakalian talked with Lisa Kaltenegger, an Exoplanet Expert and director of the Carl Sagan Institute at Cornell University, about the ingredients necessary for life on Earth and other planets.

The show was produced by Patricia Waldron.