ACS AMA Hi Reddit! My name is Neelesh A. Patankar, and I am the Charles Deering McCormick Professor of Teaching Excellence and Associate Chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Northwestern University. Following my Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering at University of Pennsylvania, I was a post-doctoral associate with Prof. Daniel D. Joseph at the University of Minnesota until 2000. I then joined the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Northwestern University as an Assistant Professor in 2000, and have been a Professor since 2011. My research area is developing computational methods for immersed bodies in fluids and applying them to problems in biology (fish swimming, esophageal transport, rat whiskers) and engineering (vehicle aerodynamics). I have also been active in designing rough surfaces for non-wetting, super-wetting, anti-icing, and novel phase change properties. My group has published a series of papers on the thermodynamics of phase change on rough surfaces. Topics include keeping surfaces dry under water (see a short video here), restoring underwater superhydrophobicity, changing the boiling curve by extending or delaying the Leidenfrost regime, and the thermodynamics of sustaining vapor, “non-condensable” gases, and superheated liquids in roughness pores. I also recently acted as a scientific consultant for an ACS Reactions video on the Leidenfrost effect. The broader research vision is to engineer metasurfaces, that is surfaces that exhibit novel interfacial interactions during heterogeneous phase transition (e.g. condensation, boiling, freezing). Potential application areas include boiling and condensation heat transfer (e.g. in power plants), anti-icing, anti-fouling, and atmospheric water harvesting, among others. I will be answering your questions on the topics of rough surfaces for non-wetting, super-wetting, or novel phase change properties at 11am EDT (10am CDT, 8am PDT, 3pm UTC) -ACS edit text formatting 08:45 ET
I’m Dr. Adrian Owen, a professor of neuroscience, here to answer your questions about our breakthroughs in brain science. I’ve been fascinated with the human brain for more than 25 years: how it works, why it works, what happens when it doesn’t work so well. At the Owen Lab at Western University in Canada, my team studies human cognition using brain imaging, sleep labs, EEGs and functional MRIs. We’ve learned that one in five people in a vegetative state are actually conscious and aware (I recently wrote a book on it – www.intothegrayzone.com, if you’re interested). We’ve also examined whether brain-training games actually make you smarter (pro tip: they don’t). Now my team is working on a cool new project to understand what happens to specific parts of people’s brains when they get too little sleep. We’re testing tens of thousands of people around the world to learn why we need sleep, how much we need, and the long- and short-term effects sleep loss has on our brains. A lot of scientists and influencers, such as Arianna Huffington and her company Thrive Global, have already raised awareness about the dangers of sleep loss and the need for research like this. Since we can’t bring everyone to our labs, we’re bringing the lab to people’s homes through online tests we’ve designed at www.worldslargestsleepstudy.com or www.cambridgebrainsciences.com. We hope to be able to share our findings in science journals in about six months. So … if you want to know about sleep-testing, brain-game training or how we communicate with people in the gray zone between life and death … AMA! I will be here at 1:00pm EDT (10:00am PDT / 5:00pm UTC), with researchers from my lab, Western University and the folks who host the www.worldslargestsleepstudy.com platform—ask me anything! Update: We’re here now! Ask us anything! Proof that I am real: http://imgur.com/a/NvPMK Update 2: I appreciate all the questions! I tried my best to answer as many as I could. This was really fun. See you next time. Now, time for some pineapple pizza! http://imgur.com/a/Yy88r
I’m Barani Raman, a biomedical engineer at Washington University in St. Louis. I started my career as a computer engineer trying to develop an “electronic nose,” (a non-invasive chemical sensing system). The current state-of-art systems that we fabricate are no match to the capabilities of the biological olfactory system. So, I have been studying the insect olfactory system for the past decade to understand their design and computing principles. Our current approach is two-pronged: (i) conduct basic neuroscience investigation to understand how a relatively simple insect olfactory system works, and from there take inspiration to design the next generation e-noses (ii) take advantage of recent advances in miniaturized, low-power, flexible electronics to create “cyborg insects” and use them as biorobotic sensing systems. Recently, my group has made several important findings regarding how locusts smell, what are some of the neural information processing principles, and what are the rules that govern how neural activity can get translated to behavioral outcomes. AMA! Thank you so much for the interest in understanding my work and all the terrific questions. This was fun and it is good to know what the tax payers care about as well.
Hi Reddit, My name is Ronnie Sebro and I am an Assistant Professor in Genetics and Radiology at the University of Pennsylvania. As a statistical geneticist and radiologist, my research interests center around genetic analysis of quantitative imaging phenotypes. More recently, I have been exploring the impact of non-random mating on genetic association studies. I recently published a study “Structured mating: Patterns and implications” in PLOS Genetics in conjunction with collaborators at the University of California, San Francisco and Boston University School of Public Health. The aim of the study was to assess how the mating patterns in a European-American population changed over time (over 3 generations, starting in 1948) and to discuss the implication of these findings for current genetic studies. We found there were primarily three clusters of individuals – those with Northern/European ancestry, those with Southern European ancestry and those with Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry. In the first generation, we found that individuals were more likely to choose spouses with similar genetic ancestry (i.e. from the same cluster), however the strength of this association decreased with each successive generation, suggesting gradual intermixing between clusters. Some of the physical and behavioral similarities seen between spouses may be as a result of their similar genetic ancestry. I will be answering your questions at 1pm ET – Ask me Anything!
Hi Reddit, I’m Professor Winfried Hensinger, and me and my team at the University of Sussex are working on constructing the world’s first large-scale quantum computer – the most powerful computer in the world. We’ve recently unveiled the first practical blueprint for how such a computer could be built. The paper, ‘Blueprint for a microwave trapped ion quantum computer’, can be found in the journal Science Advances. You can read our press release for more information. We’ll be holding a special event at London’s Spitalfields Market on 11 July, where the public will be able to explore a virtual quantum technology laboratory and meet some of our research team. We’d love to talk to you about anything to do with quantum computing or quantum physics. We’ll be back at 6pm GMT (2 pm EST) to answer your questions, ask us anything!
Neonicotinoids are a group of pesticides that can be applied as seed coatings and are designed to protect crops such as oilseed rape (also known as canola), but were banned by the EU in 2013 due to concerns regarding their impact on bee health. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has issued a registration review for four neonicotinoids which is expected to be completed in 2018. We allowed bees to forage on winter oilseed rape crops treated with neonicotinoids seed coatings on farms in the UK, Germany and Hungary over an area equivalent to 3,000 full-sized soccer pitches. You can read the peer-reviewed paper as published in Science here. http://science.sciencemag.org/content/356/6345/1393 I am on the Sense about Science Plant Science Panel, where anyone can ask a question and get an answer from a scientist. The Panel is made up of over 50 independent plant science researchers. You can ask questions to them on Twitter (@senseaboutsci #plantsci) or Facebook. Answers are sent back within a couple of days and posted online. The Panel has answered over 400 questions during the last five years and it’s a great way to cut through the noise around what can sometimes be a really polarised debate. I will be back at 12 pm EDT (5 pm GMT, 9 am PST) to answer all your questions.
Hi Reddit, I am Sara Carazo, a medical doctor working for a long time with MSF (Médecins Sans Frontières). In 2005 I participated to the MSF response to a Marburg epidemic in Angola and in December 2014-January 2015 I was the MSF medical referent person for the Ebola clinical trial testing favipiravir in Gueckédou, Guinea. Since 2014 I am doing a PhD in Epidemiology at Laval University, Québec. My current research topic is on measles vaccination. My colleagues and I recently published in PLOS NTDS the article: Challenges in preparing and implementing a clinical trial at field level in an Ebola emergency: A case study in Guinea, West Africa. It is a viewpoint where we critically review all the challenges that we encountered to implement a clinical trial in the context of an uncontrolled Ebola virus epidemic and a vulnerable resource-poor setting of rural Guinea. I will be answering you questions at 1pm ET – Ask Me Anything!
Ed: Thanks everyone for a fascinating AMA - some really great questions. Time for us to go now but we’ll check back later on to answer any more questions and comments. Did you know that if you use your voice for more than five hours a day you are considered a professional voice user? We are Gillyanne Kayes and Jeremy Fisher. Our expertise in the field of voice coaching saw us appointed behind the scenes to this year’s ‘The Voice’ on ITV and led to singer, Cerys Mathews, nicknaming us the ‘Voice Gurus’ on her Sunday Morning show Our bestselling books are described as must-reads for teachers, singers and students alike and we recently launched our One Minute Voice WarmUp app to help protect professional voice users from repetitive voice injury. We’re on a mission to help people make the most of their voice - not just professionals, but day-to-day voice users including teachers, call centre workers, vicars, receptionists, personal trainers, business coaches and more. Whether you want to know more about the science behind the voice (Gillyanne recently completed her PhD on the subject) or you’re looking for more practical, voice-related advice, we can help…we’ll be back at 1pmET to answer your questions, AMA!
I am an animal geneticist at UC Davis with a strong interest in science communication. I am in the documentary film called Food Evolution which is showing in New York City this week at Village East Cinema (https://www.citycinemas.com/villageeast/film/food-evolution). The film uses the debate around GMOs as a proxy for bigger questions around decision making, alternative facts, and asks why do many people make decisions with their hearts rather than their heads? The movie has reviews in Science, and the Hollywood Reporter. As someone working in agricultural science my entire career I see a lot of deceptive marketing designed to play on people’s fears, and recently a lot of misleading “absence-labeling” suggesting the absence of something that was never in the food product in the first place (e.g. gluten-free water). My own research focuses on genetic improvement of cattle, with some research focusing on using gene editing as discussed in Science Friday and illustrated in this video. I will be back at 11 am PT (2 pm ET); I look forward to your questions on genetic improvement of crops and livestock, and/or questions related to the movie Food Evolution. My twitter handle is @biobeef.
Edit, 4:31 PM ET We’re signing off. Thanks for all of your questions! Some of us will try to answer more questions throughout the next couple of days. And remember, all our eclipse info is at eclipse2017.nasa.gov Edit, 3:03 PM ET We’re live! We’ll be online answering questions starting at 3 PM ET! On Monday, August 21, 2017, daylight will fade to the level of a moonlit night as millions of Americans experience a total solar eclipse. For the first time in nearly 100 years (since 1918), the moon’s shadow will sweep coast-to-coast across the US, putting 14 states in the path of totality, and providing a view of a partial eclipse across all 50 states. A solar eclipse happens when a rare alignment of the sun and moon casts a shadow on Earth. Eclipses provide an unparalleled opportunity for us to see the sun’s faint outer atmosphere, the corona, in a way that can’t be replicated by human-made instruments. We believe this region of the sun is the main driver for the sun’s constant outpouring of radiation, known as the solar wind, as well as powerful bursts of solar material that can be harmful to satellites, orbiting astronauts and power grids on the ground. We’re here to talk about • What you’ll see on August 21st & how to watch it safely • Why we’re excited to study the sun during this eclipse & our upcoming mission to the sun • How eclipses can help us learn about Earth, the solar system, and exoplanets More info at https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/ Mitzi Adams I am a solar scientist for NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC), where I study the magnetic ﬁeld of the Sun and how it aﬀects the upper layer of the solar atmosphere, the corona. With a professional interest in sunspot magnetic ﬁelds and coronal bright points, friends have labelled me a “solar dermatologist”. Alexa Halford I am a contractor at NASA Goddard. Throughout my education I have been lucky to work at JPL NASA looking at Uranus’s moons and study Saturn on the Cassini mission at the South West Research Institute. Today I stick a bit closer to home studying the Earth’s magnetic field and its space weather phenomena. Michael Kirk I am currently a fellow with the NASA Postdoctoral Program (NPP). This two-year program allows me to pursue my research interests here at Goddard and collaborate with other scientists. My research interests include automated solar image processing, anatomy of chromospheric flares and associated ephemeral brightenings, solar cycle variations in polar coronal holes, and helioinformatics (the way we scientists interact with and make use of solar data Debra Needham I am a planetary scientist at NASA Marshall with a focus on geomorphology, surface processes, and volcanology on the Earth, the Moon, Mars, and Venus. I am also involved with efforts to integrate science into future robotic and human exploration. Cécile Rousseaux I graduated from the University of Namur (Belgium) and received a Masters Degree in Biology of Organisms (University of Namur) and another one in Oceanography (University of Liege). I then did my PhD in Environmental Engineering at the University of Western Australia. In 2011, I started working at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center as a Research Scientist. My research focuses on the effects of climate variability on the oceans using earth system models and satellite ocean color through data assimilation. Jesse-Lee Dimech My name is Dr. Jesse-Lee Dimech, I’m a lunar seismologist and NASA postdoctoral fellow at MSFC. I research “moonquakes” using seismic data recorded during the Apollo moon missions. I’m also helping operate an H-alpha solar telescope on eclipse day in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, which will live feed to NASA TV. Dr. Alphonse Sterling I am a solar scientist at NASA Marshall where I study the magnetic ﬁeld of the Sun and how it aﬀects the solar atmosphere, including the chromosphere and the corona. I have attended several eclipses. Chris Blair I am a communications professional at NASA Marshall specializing in planetary and solar sciences and the International Space Station.
Hi Reddit! As we travel around the world and our economies become more globalised, plant and animal species are declining and in some cases disappearing due to the arrival of invasive non-native species. Invasive Non-native species are a huge cost to the global economy and pose a serious threat to the environment. My research focuses on the effects of environmental change on insect populations and communities, especially invasive non-native species and their effect on biodiversity. I also lead the UK Ladybird Survey, a citizen science initiative that links into my research focusing on the invasive harlequin ladybird. I’m part of the Sense about Science Plant Science Panel, an online group of over 50 independent plant science researchers. You can ask them any questions to do with plants, food or the environment on Twitter (@senseaboutsci #plantsci) Facebook or via the website. Answers are sent back within a couple of days and posted online. The Panel has answered close to 400 questions over the last three years and it’s a great way to cut through the noise around what can often be very polarised debates. I’ll be back at noon EST to answer your questions, AMA!
Vector-borne diseases – infectious diseases that are carried between humans or from animals to humans by organisms such as mosquitoes and ticks – infect over 1 billion people and cause more than 1 million deaths every year (World Health Organization, http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs387/en/). What makes someone susceptible to vector-borne disease? What do globalization, climate change, and human behavior have to do with where these diseases are found? What vaccines are in development? We’re a diverse group of infectious disease researchers – ask us anything! Maria Elena Bottazzi, Associate Dean, National School of Tropical Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine. I lead the research, education and administration efforts of my school, as a Professor of Pediatric Tropical Medicine and the Deputy Director for the Sabin Vaccine Institute and Texas Children’s Hospital Center for Vaccine Development. An internationally-recognized scientist with more than 16 years of experience in translational immunoparasitology research and vaccine development for neglected tropical diseases, my major interest lies in the role of vaccines as control tools integrated into international public and global health programs and initiatives. I earned her PhD in 1995 from the University of Florida. Marcia Castro, Associate Professor of Demography, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.My research focuses on infectious diseases (particularly mosquito borne), environmental change and health, environmental management for vector control, spatial patterns of disease transmission, and infant & child mortality. More specifically, I focus on the development and use of multidisciplinary approaches, combining data from different sources, to identify the determinants of disease transmission in different ecological settings, providing evidence for the improvement of current control policies, as well as the development of new ones. I earned my PhD in Demography from Princeton University in 2002. Anthony Wilson, Integrative Entomology Group Leader, The Pirbright Institute. I lead the Integrative Entomology group at The Pirbright Institute in the UK, studying the ability of insects (particularly mosquitoes) and ticks to transmit viruses and how this is affected by the environment. I have contributed opinions as an expert on vector-borne disease emergence for the European Food Safety Authority and the Global Strategic Alliances for the Coordination of Research on the Major Infectious Diseases of Animals and Zoonoses (STAR-IDAZ); I’m a member of the MACSUR European network on the impacts of climate change on food production via disease ecology; and I’m a Fellow of the Royal Entomological Society. Additionally, I am a core member of Pirbright’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion committee, a site union representative and sits on the national panel for the Athena SWAN Charter awards, which recognize employer commitments to gender equality. I earned my PhD from the University of Oxford in 2008. Kacey Ernst, Associate Professor of Epidemiology, University of Arizona College of Public Health. My primary research interests are in determining how human-environment interactions alter risk of vector-borne disease transmission. I focus specifically on questions surrounding the emergence of Aedes-borne viruses such as dengue and Zika in the U.S.-Mexico border region and the development and uptake of sustainable control strategies for malaria in western Kenya. Recently, I partnered with the Centers for Disease Control to develop Kidenga, a community-based surveillance mobile application that is intended to educate communities and provide early warning of pathogen emergence. I have presented to the public in a wide range of forums on her research and the impact of climate change on human health, and earned my PhD in Epidemiology from the University of Michigan in 2006.  Okay guys, I’m afraid we’re heading off now. Thank you very much for joining us, and hope we were able to give you some useful answers!
I am Barry Lam, Associate Professor of Philosophy at Vassar College and the Executive Producer and Host of the Hi-Phi Nation podcast, the first story-driven documentary-style show about philosophy. I just completed production and release of the first season of Hi-Phi Nation as Humanities Writ-Large fellow at Duke University, where the first season covered stories and philosophy ranging from the possibilities of posthumous harm, the morality of war, the referent of religious terms in Christianity and Islam, the philosophy of music, the replication crisis in the statistical sciences, philosophy of gender, Kuhn and scientific realism, and the philosophy of love. I would be happy to talk about any of the substantive issues that arose from these episodes, as well as discuss any issues concerning doing philosophy in a story-driven way. Here are a few select episodes on Soundcloud: Episode 1: The Wishes of the Dead Episode 3: The Morality of War Episode 4: The Name of God Episode 7: Hackademics II (Epistemology of Replication Crisis) Some interviews and discussions about Hi-Phi Nation: My posts about the show at Leiter Reports The American Philosophical Association Blog interview Vassar’s Interview Elucidations Podcast, extended discussion of the wishes of the dead My own philosophical work has been in epistemology and the philosophy of language, particularly on the nature of epistemic rationality, and in experimental semantics and pragmatics. I would be happy to have a discussion about those topics. In the past two years I’ve set technical research aside to produce what I hope will be an ongoing series of narrative story-driven philosophy akin to the best productions we have for economics and the social sciences, such as Freakonomics Radio and Invisibilia. It is my hope that having a high-production story-driven show about philosophy will open up the field to lots of new people, as well as let existing fans of philosophy appreciate the way it connects with journalism, history, law, and nonfiction writing. Links: Subscribe to the show on Apple Podcast Go to the website and subscribe to the blog for announcements Follow on Twitter Follow on Facebook Paypal donation page Patreon Page