February 11: Emma Dietrich

Spider Silk: An Extraordinary Biomaterial

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Known for its incredible strength and elasticity, possible human uses for spider silk currently range from the manufacturing of bulletproof vests, to the suturing of wounds, to the fabricating of elegant ball gowns, and on. But, how and why do spiders create and use this fascinating material in the natural world? And how can we possibly harvest tons of silk from spiders to use in the mass production of goods? To gain insight into these topics, come on out to the next Science under the Stars! (Caution: For those who are not arachnid-inclined, this talk will contain many images and video clips of spiders. Given that, we encourage anyone who is afraid of spiders to come learn more about these awesome creatures; perhaps we can convince you that they are, in fact, not so scary, and sometimes even adorable!).

 

Science Under the Stars is a free public outreach lecture series in Austin, Texas. Events start at 7:00pm outdoors at Brackenridge Field Laboratory, 2907 Lake Austin Blvd, Austin, Texas 78703. Arrive early for refreshments and fun activities for kids of all ages! Guided tours of the field lab are available (wear sturdy shoes and bring water)!

March 10: Groves Dixon

DN-Yay! 

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From bacteria, to corals, to puppies, to trees—the instructions for all forms of life are recorded in the molecule we know as DNA. What is the nature of this molecule and how does it record instructions for life? Why do we look like our parents? How does forensic DNA typing work? For fun and concise answers to these questions come to a short talk on DeoxyriboNucleic Acid. DN-Yay!

 HIEtlTec

This is a DNA Day event! That means that we are participating in a nation-wide initiative to help educate everyday people more about genetics and genomics. April 25, 1953 saw the discovery of DNA’s double helix, and April 25, 2003 saw the completion of the Human Genome Project. Who knows where we’ll be on April 25, 2053? If you’re interested in finding out more about the state of genetics and genomics today, you should check out DNA Day’s “Ask Me Anything” series and Twitter chat!

 

Science Under the Stars is a free public outreach lecture series in Austin, Texas. Events start at 7:00pm outdoors at Brackenridge Field Laboratory, 2907 Lake Austin Blvd, Austin, Texas 78703. Arrive early for refreshments and fun activities for kids of all ages! Guided tours of the field lab are available (wear sturdy shoes and bring water)!

April 14: Becca Tarvin

Poisons, death, and survival in the animal kingdom

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Have you ever wondered why poisonous animals don’t poison themselves? Or what might eat something that seems deadly? Come learn about how animal chemical defenses work, and why they affect some but not all animals. 

Science Under the Stars is a free public outreach lecture series in Austin, Texas. Events start at 8:00pm outdoors at Brackenridge Field Laboratory, 2907 Lake Austin Blvd, Austin, Texas 78703. Arrive early for refreshments and fun activities for kids of all ages! Guided tours of the field lab are available (wear sturdy shoes and bring water)!

Fall 2015 Lineup!

We hope everyone had an excellent holiday! Please save the date to come and hear these awesome speakers.

  • February 11 at 7pm: Emma Dietrich (spider silk)
  • March 10 at 7pm: Groves Dixon (DNA)
  • April 14 at 8pm: Becca Tarvin (poisons)
  • May 12 at 8pm: Erin Giglio (epigenetics)
Science Under the Stars is a free public outreach lecture series in Austin, Texas. Events are held outdoors at Brackenridge Field Laboratory, 2907 Lake Austin Blvd, Austin, Texas 78703. Arrive early for refreshments and fun activities for kids of all ages!

Alex Wild

Why Ants are Everywhere

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Our planet hosts 20,000 species of ants. UT’s Curator of Entomology Alex Wild will lead a discussion about where ants come from, how they live, and why they are so abundant.

Science Under the Stars is a free public outreach lecture series in Austin, Texas. Events start at 7:00pm outdoors at Brackenridge Field Laboratory, 2907 Lake Austin Blvd, Austin, Texas 78703. Arrive early for refreshments and fun activities for kids of all ages! Guided tours of the field lab are available (wear sturdy shoes and bring water)!