Image of a Yellowstone wolf from the Grizzly Wolf and Discovery Center.
In this installment of These Vibes we covered much ground. Our long form interview (one hour in to the recording) was with molecular ecologist and population biologist Bridgett vonHoldt, assistant professor in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Princeton University. Professor vonHoldt’s research centers around using the concept of epigenetics to understand evolutionary change. Epigenetics, as Professor vonHoldt explains, is the study of changes in an organism that come about due to gene expression rather than the genes themselves. Specifically, she researches the epigenetics of canids — these are canines like our beloved dogs and the Yellowstone wolf — and the evolutionary biology of the domestication of dogs.
In the last half hour, Ingrid Ockert tells us about Science in Wonder Land: The scientific fairy tales of Victorian Britain, by Melanie Keene.
- New Nobel Prize in physics announcement (the winners include Princeton’s own, Professor Duncan Haldane) for “theoretical discoveries of topological phase transitions and topological phases of matter.” We discuss a little of what this means.
- “Study finds straightforward way to model growth of vein networks” in phys.org. So that’s the vein networks both in human blood vessels and plant leaves.
- “Microswimmers capped with carbon on one side can be propelled and steered by light” also in phys.org. This is a bit about nanotechnology — there are glass beads that can be made to swim to dark areas.
And local science outreach events!
- Nature as Muse – Friends of Princeton Open Space has invited four creative professionals to lead workshops in the Mountain Lakes Preserve that inform how nature influences fragrances (perfumer), cuisine (chef), poetry (writer), and branding and design (graphic designer). 4 Sundays in October, beginning October 9th. (Click link for more information.)
- September Thru November 4 – STEAM Series: The Art of Discovery (art exhibit in West Windsor Arts Center)
- October 8 – Mercer County Math Circle (Princeton Public LIbrary)
- October 10 – Evnin Lecture: Embracing Curiosity (Princeton University, Friend Center 101)
- October 23 – Data and Art Hackathon (West Windsor Arts Council) Link to the Eventbrite, and the Facebook event.