NNA2 #51: Exciting Stories of Asteroids, Oscillation, and, Um, Excrement 💩

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Join us for THREE amazing speakers, and while we always say bring your nerd friends, text your biology and space nerd friends RIGHT. THIS. MINUTE. They’re gonna love this.
We’ve got Dr. Kelsey Cornelius explaining why your dog digs dung, Stephanie Hamilton touring us through the might of tiny things in outer space, and John Charpentier brings the Jessie Spano vibes — or maybe it’s Pointer Sisters Excitement? Either way, We’re SO EXCITED!
Grab a friend, buy a beer, and sit back and enjoy NNA2 #50!
When: Thursday, January 18 – doors 6:30 pm/talks 7:00 pm
Where: LIVE (102 S 1st St)
How much: $0. No cover. AADL’s got your back.

 

Kelsey Cornelius — All (Poop-Eating) Creatures Great and Small

Stephanie Hamilton — Ping Pong Balls, Bowling Balls, and What They Have To Do with the Solar System

John Charpentier — I’m So Excited: Excitable Media in Biology and Medicine

Kelsey Cornelius – All (poop-eating) creatures great and small: The warm and joyful memoirs of a lab animal vet.
Everybody poops. But did you know that some creatures eat that poop? And it can be a normal behavior?! Coprophagy, the eating of excrement, is commonly seen with many rodents, lagomorphs, pigs, primates, and even our beloved canines. Dr. Kelsey Cornelius, a laboratory animal veterinarian at the University of Michigan, knows all about rodents and rabbits ravenously dining on the dung. But, she was surprised to learn through her general practitioner classmates how commonly owners report their dogs for this repellent behavior. Come hear about these crap-loving creatures and what you can do if your dog digs the doo-doo.About Kelsey: Kelsey originally became fascinated with poop-eating when she was a young girl in Centerville, Ohio, at a cat-themed birthday party. Her patients now consist of animals that love to eat the guano (I bet you didn’t know all these poop synonyms). Kelsey is a veterinarian in her second year of a laboratory animal residency. Other than studying scat-snacking, Kelsey is passionate about animal welfare, public outreach, and porgs.
Stephanie Hamilton — Ping Pong Balls, Bowling Balls, and What They Have To Do with the Solar System
What if I told you that the smallest bodies in our solar system (that is, anything that isn’t one of the eight major planets) are actually the most important? Would you believe me? The discovery of the Kuiper Belt beyond Neptune in the past 30 years has changed our view of the outer Solar System. Composed of small objects similar to asteroids, this region preserves the effects of past encounters with the gas giant planets, acting as a gravitational fingerprint of the history of the Solar System. Tonight, I’ll talk about the discoveries of Uranus and Neptune. Yes, I’ll even touch on everyone’s favorite Kuiper Belt Object, Pluto, and the revelations leading to its demotion to a dwarf planet. I’ll talk about how astronomers can use properties of the orbits of Kuiper Belt Objects, such as how big or oval-like they are, to learn about the history of our Solar System. Finally, I’ll tell you a little bit about my research using these objects to search for a new super-Earth planet in the very distant Solar System, Planet Nine! I hope that you’ll leave with a newfound appreciation for small asteroids and Kuiper Belt Objects and how they hold the key to unlocking the history of our Solar System while also pointing the way to new discoveries.
John Charpentier — “I’m So Excited: Excitable Media in Biology and Medicine” 
“What do the Mexican Wave, oscillating chemical reactions, and the male orgasm all have in common? Each exhibits the characteristics of an excitable medium! Come learn about this concept, how ubiquitous these systems are in nature, and how insight into how they work can be applied to other, seemingly unrelated problems in biology and medicine.About John: A Ph.D student in immunology at the U-M School of Medicine, John’s research focuses on the ways in which lymphocytes and other cells remodel their cellular membranes to ingest large quantities of extracellular fluid and materials, and the function of this uptake in cancerous and healthy cells. In addition to this work, John is a passionate advocate for scientific literacy and education and contributes to the U-M graduate student blog MiSciWriters.”

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