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Programs » Lectureships » Past Lecturers » 2005-2006 Lecturers » Abstracts

Sigma Xi Distinguished Lecturers 2005-2006 Abstracts

Virginia L. Butler

Contribution of Archaeology to Conservation Biology: Case Studies from the American West (P,G)
Zooarchaeology--the study of animal remains from archaeological sites--can contribute to contemporary concerns in conservation biology in several ways. First zooarchaeological research demonstrates the ways past human predation and landscape alteration affected animal populations. Environments that early European explorers encountered in the Americas were not free of human influence--they were occupied by Native Americans. Contemporary policy that creates preserves without considering past human actions is trying to recreate environments that never existed. Management of wapiti (elk) in Yellowstone National Park provides a case in point.

Research in California's Owens Valley helps us understand the effects of habitat loss and introduced species on the loss of native fish species in the American west. Study of an 8,000 yr fishbone record shows that both the size and abundance of the different fish species changed over time in response to changes in climate that affected the size of the valley's lakes. But none of them were in danger of extinction. The only thing that changed in the last 100 years was the introduction of exotic species, predatory fish against which the indigenous species cannot compete. Unless more efforts are taken to reduce exotic species from critical habitat, the indigenous species are probably doomed to extinction.

When wildlife biologists re-establish a species they try to do so with animals from a source population that is closely related to the original native stock. Since new techniques allow genetic data to be extracted from skeletal remains, genetic analysis of zooarchaeological remains can provide the genetic signature of the locally extinct native stock. In Oregon, for example, biologists wanting to re-introduce the sea otter turned to archaeological remains to determine whether Alaskan or southern California sea otters are the closest genetic match to the population that formerly inhabited Oregon's waters.

The 13,000 Year History of Columbia River Salmon (G,S)
In the 19th century, the Columbia River was one of the greatest salmon producing rivers in the world, with annual runs of 10-16 million fish. Today, populations of all six salmon species known for the basin are severely diminished or extinct. As scientists and resource managers debate the causes for these losses and develop measures to save these fishes from extinction, it is relevant to consider the longer history of salmon in the basin and the role they played in Native American economies.

Archaeological fish bone records from the Columbia River system provide a ~13,000 yr history of fishes in the basin. The sample includes over 38,000 bones from 37 dated archaeological components along the main stem and tributaries of the Columbia and Snake Rivers. Salmon represent over 2/3 of the specimens, the rest being sturgeon (Acipenser sp.), and various freshwater fish. Variation in salmon:nonsalmon bone ratios suggest ways fishes adjusted to post-glacial stream conditions and changing climates. The earliest salmon records are from the Snake River (~13,000-11,000 yr old), while earliest remains on the Upper Columbia River date ~4000 years later. These ages suggest the Snake River system provided spawning habitat much earlier than the Upper Columbia, which is expected, since the Snake River was ice-free throughout the Pleistocene and the Upper Columbia was blocked by continental ice until ~15,000 yrs ago, and then would have carried a significant silt load as continental ice melted and streams reworked fine glacial sediments.

Huge numbers of salmon remains from 8000-9000 yr old deposits at The Dalles, OR indicate salmon populations were well established in some parts of the river system by that time. Salmon abundance declined sharply ~7500-4000 years ago, reflecting deteriorated stream conditions (higher temperatures, increased silt loads, lower stream flows), which would have affected adult and egg mortality, and limited spawning and rearing habitat. Increased salmon abundance after 4000 yrs ago likely reflects improved conditions in the freshwater system that led to increased survival of developing young.

The Archaeological Record of Human Impacts to Ancient Animal Populations (G,S)
A variety of evidence is accumulating from various parts of the world that suggests past human foragers greatly affected the animal and plant populations that they were exploiting. Besides identifying prey response to human harvesting pressure, such studies also track ways human predators adjusted to reduced prey abundance, pointing out the dynamic nature of predator-prey interactions. Many studies have been conducted in a theoretical framework derived from evolutionary ecology, particularly foraging theory, and have demonstrated enormous explanatory power in accounting for subsistence change in human economies. This presentation reviews the method and theory underlying such studies and considers a number of case studies from around the world that shows ways ancient animal populations were affected by human predation and landscape alteration.

Where Have all the Native Fish Gone? The Fate of Lewis and Clark's Fishes of the Lower Columbia River (P,G)
The 200 yr. anniversary of the Lewis and Clark Corps of Discovery provides an opportunity to reflect on some of the changes that have occurred to the wildlife of the American West since the expedition. Changes to fish populations are particularly striking. The journals the explorers kept on the lower Columbia River provide the first written descriptions of several fishes, indicate how much the group relied on fish for sustenance, and show their importance to Native American life ways. Archaeological records of fish remains from villages that date to the time of the expedition provide additional information on the kinds and abundance of fishes living in the river and adjacent wetlands on the floodplain. When these ~200 yr old fish records are compared to contemporary records from the lower Columbia, the differences seen are profound and highlight the magnitude of change that has occurred in a relatively short period.

The fish on which Lewis and Clark most relied have experienced major declines since the early 1800s. The dramatic decline in salmon and trout is a familiar story: of the estimated 10-16 million fish that migrated up the Columbia before Euro-American settlement, only about 2.5 make the journey today and the majority of these are hatchery reared. Sturgeon (Acipenser sp.) and eulachon (Thaleichthys pacificus) are faring somewhat better but petitions have recently been proposed to list these as endangered. Backwater slough fish populations have changed drastically in the last 200 years. Before Euro-American arrival, several species of minnows and suckers dominated these wetlands, based on the archaeological fish bone record. Today, a variety of exotic fish species introduced mainly from eastern North America comprise over half of the species and most of the actual fish in the system.

Lewis and Clark accounts and archaeological fishbone records provide benchmarks for local faunas prior to species introductions and habitat modifications. By comparing fish records from ~200 years ago to those today, the magnitude of the faunal changes in specific locales is clear. By establishing the more ancient history of the native fishes of the lower Columbia through history and archaeology, the case can be made that these impressive creatures deserve a place here long into the future.

Nicholas K. Coch

Are America's Beaches all washed up? (P)
Extensive coastal development, lack of hurricane danger perception, modification of shorelines with engineering structures and a rising sea level have increased the danger to coastal inhabitants and their structures. This talk describes how coastal systems work and evolve naturally as well as how anthropogenic and natural changes are causing problems on our coasts. Major problems will occur as we continue to build fixed structures on a moving shoreline. What are our options?

Hurricane Hazards in the U.S. (P)
Hurricanes pose a major problem for the Gulf and Atlantic coastal regions because recent research suggests that in the next decades, hurricane frequency, and possible intensity, will increase. Our coastal areas are more vulnerable to damage because of overbuilding, alterations from engineering structures and rising sea level. This talk describes the basic mechanics of hurricane damage and how these work on different types of shorelines. No major hurricane has hit a major urban coastal population in the last century - we are statistically overdue. It is vital that we develop the effective hurricane management program before the " Big One" hits the United States shoreline.

Hurricane Damage along the (New England, Mid-Atlantic, South Atlantic, Gulf) Coast. (G)
The New England, Mid-Atlantic, South Atlantic, Gulf Coasts each have a different hurricane landfall frequency and potential for destruction. Any one of these regions may be chosen for discussion. The lecture will review past history, present state, specific vulnerabilities, and susceptibility to future damage.

Unique Vulnerability of New york City to Hurricane Destruction (G)
The unique demographic, oceanographic, topographic, bathymetric, and geographic conditions of the New York-New Jersey Metropolitan region greatly amplify the effects of land falling hurricanes. Based on historical records, past Category 2 hurricanes have done Category 3 damage and Category 3 hurricanes caused damage equivalent to Category 4 hurricanes in the South. This talk deals with how this major urban coastal section will fate in the future. Hurricane landfalls in this area are infrequent, but their consequences can be catastrophic. What will happen when the "Big One" hits the "Big Apple?"

Forensic Hurricanology and the Reconstruction of Historic Hurricanes (S)
Forensic Hurricanology utilizes information obtained from recent hurricanes to interpret damage patters in historic hurricanes. The causal mechanisms for given damage patterns is obtained from modern quantitative data. Damage descriptions from a wide variety of historic sources provides descriptions of damage patterns. These are interpreted in light of the recent data. Inferences are made about wind speed, radius of maximum winds, surge levels and translational velocities from the historical data. Areal plotting of the data makes a reconstruction of the wind field possible. Joint analysis of the data with specialists from the National Hurricane Center, make it possible to produce dynamic computer models of the 17th through 19th century hurricanes.

Dynamics of Hurricane Destruction by Wind, Waves, Surge and Inland Flooding - Facts and Fallacies (S)
Hurricanes cause damage by wave attack, surge flooding and wind at the shoreline and by wind and inland flooding away from the coast. Recent studies have shown that hurricanes are not just coastal events, but can spread damage hundreds of miles inland if they make a high-angle landfall with the coast. The lecture reviews all of these types of damage and provides new insights into each from recent hurricanes. Damage mitigation measures have had mixed success in past hurricanes. It is time for new ideas and a modern perspective before the inevitable major hurricane hits one of our large urban coastal areas.

Billie Collier

Lyocell - The New "Green" Fiber. (P)
Lyocell fibers are manufactured fibers produced by dissolving cellulose in a relatively new, environmentally compatible solvent creating a lyocell solution. Extruding the solution into a water bath forms the fibers, and then the solvent is recycled. Both the cellulose and the solvent are biodegradable. The lyocell fibers are converted into premium fabrics and are marketed under the trade names Tencel« and Lyocell«. The current commercial cellulose source is a blend of two grades of dissolving pulp from wood that has been significantly treated. Our research is related to producing similar lyocell solutions and fibers from other sources including recycled material and agricultural residues, without the chemical treatment necessary to form dissolving pulp.

Green Processing of Cellulose to Value-Added Products (G)
The traditional process of converting cellulose to rayon has significant environmental problems that have led to most rayon being produced offshore. A relatively new environmentally green process for converting cellulose to a manufactured fiber with improved properties over rayon involves forming a solution of cellulose from dissolving pulp in N-methylmorpholine oxide near monohydrate, i.e. forming a lyocell solution. Extruding the solution into a water bath forms the fibers, and then the solvent is recycled. This is the lyocell process and the fibers produced are converted into premium fabrics and are marketed under the trade names Tencel« and Lyocell«. However the commercial preparation of the starting material, dissolving pulp, usually involves using the Kraft process with harsh chemicals and subsequent additional treatment. Our research is related to producing similar lyocell solutions from other sources including recycled materials and agricultural residues, without the chemical treatment necessary to form dissolving pulp.

Rheology of Lyocell Solutions Lyocell Solutions from Alternative Cellulose Sources (S)
Cellulose dissolved in N-methylmorpholine oxide near monohydrate, forming lyocell solutions, is extruded into water to form lyocell fibers and the solvent is concentrated and recycled. Fibers are produced in this lyocell process and are converted into premium fabrics, marketed under the trade names Tencel« and Lyocell«. However the preparation of dissolving pulp usually involves using the Kraft process with harsh chemicals and additional treatment. Our research is related to producing similar lyocell solutions from other sources including recycled materials and agricultural residues, without the chemical treatment necessary to form dissolving pulp that is the commercial starting material for the lyocell process. We have demonstrated that the shear and elongational rheology of some recycled materials and agricultural residues at appropriate concentrations are similar to those of the two typical grades of dissolving pulp used commercially. These alternate sources do not require the harsh treatment needed to form dissolving pulp and should be effective, lower cost, and environmentally desirable starting materials for lyocell fibers.

Making Scotch: Engineering, Chemistry, and Education (P),(G)
During three successive summers we led chemical engineering students through a hands-on whisky making class at the Bruichladdich Distillery on Islay in Scotland. The students who participated in each summer's class earned academic credit either for the required senior laboratory, or as a special topics course on either the undergraduate or graduate level. Samples were taken periodically during the two stages of distillation, and of whisky that had matured for different periods of time in different character casks. The distillation samples were analyzed using GC/MS, and HPLC and ethyl acetate and acetal were identified as two minor constituents that decreased in the transformation of the distillate from the first cut (foreshots) to the second cut (spirits, i.e. product). HYSYS« engineering software was adapted to the batch distillation processes using the samples for parameterization and validation. The pot stills were modeled as having equivalent trays and internal reflux from condensation of the less volatile components on the copper walls of the stills. As the research for a PhD dissertation, the maturation samples are being used to elucidate the physical and chemical interaction between the toasted, charred, and previous used barrels and the maturing whisky.

The effect of transforming the boiling phenomena in the wash still (1st stage) from nucleate to film boiling to break the head was utilized. The enhancement of flavor by phase separation of these compounds and others formed during maturation caused by addition of water to whisky was also noted. A team of four senior ChE students did a project in the required design class on potential usage of the CO2 generated during fermentation. Another group is currently investigation the effect of using different strains of yeast.

John Collier

Lyocell - The New "Green" Fiber. (P)
Lyocell fibers are manufactured fibers produced by dissolving cellulose in a relatively new, environmentally compatible solvent creating a lyocell solution. Extruding the solution into a water bath forms the fibers, and then the solvent is recycled. Both the cellulose and the solvent are biodegradable. The lyocell fibers are converted into premium fabrics and are marketed under the trade names Tencel« and Lyocell«. The current commercial cellulose source is a blend of two grades of dissolving pulp from wood that has been significantly treated. Our research is related to producing similar lyocell solutions and fibers from other sources including recycled material and agricultural residues, without the chemical treatment necessary to form dissolving pulp.

Green Processing of Cellulose to Value-Added Products (G) The traditional process of converting cellulose to rayon has significant environmental problems that have led to most rayon being produced offshore. A relatively new environmentally green process for converting cellulose to a manufactured fiber with improved properties over rayon involves forming a solution of cellulose from dissolving pulp in N-methylmorpholine oxide near monohydrate, i.e. forming a lyocell solution. Extruding the solution into a water bath forms the fibers, and then the solvent is recycled. This is the lyocell process and the fibers produced are converted into premium fabrics and are marketed under the trade names Tencel« and Lyocell«. However the commercial preparation of the starting material, dissolving pulp, usually involves using the Kraft process with harsh chemicals and subsequent additional treatment. Our research is related to producing similar lyocell solutions from other sources including recycled materials and agricultural residues, without the chemical treatment necessary to form dissolving pulp.

Rheology of Lyocell Solutions Lyocell Solutions from Alternative Cellulose Sources (S) Cellulose dissolved in N-methylmorpholine oxide near monohydrate, forming lyocell solutions, is extruded into water to form lyocell fibers and the solvent is concentrated and recycled. Fibers are produced in this lyocell process and are converted into premium fabrics, marketed under the trade names Tencel« and Lyocell«. However the preparation of dissolving pulp usually involves using the Kraft process with harsh chemicals and additional treatment. Our research is related to producing similar lyocell solutions from other sources including recycled materials and agricultural residues, without the chemical treatment necessary to form dissolving pulp that is the commercial starting material for the lyocell process. We have demonstrated that the shear and elongational rheology of some recycled materials and agricultural residues at appropriate concentrations are similar to those of the two typical grades of dissolving pulp used commercially. These alternate sources do not require the harsh treatment needed to form dissolving pulp and should be effective, lower cost, and environmentally desirable starting materials for lyocell fibers.

Making Scotch: Engineering, Chemistry, and Education (P),(G)
During three successive summers we led chemical engineering students through a hands-on whisky making class at the Bruichladdich Distillery on Islay in Scotland. The students who participated in each summer's class earned academic credit either for the required senior laboratory, or as a special topics course on either the undergraduate or graduate level. Samples were taken periodically during the two stages of distillation, and of whisky that had matured for different periods of time in different character casks. The distillation samples were analyzed using GC/MS, and HPLC and ethyl acetate and acetal were identified as two minor constituents that decreased in the transformation of the distillate from the first cut (foreshots) to the second cut (spirits, i.e. product). HYSYS« engineering software was adapted to the batch distillation processes using the samples for parameterization and validation. The pot stills were modeled as having equivalent trays and internal reflux from condensation of the less volatile components on the copper walls of the stills. As the research for a PhD dissertation, the maturation samples are being used to elucidate the physical and chemical interaction between the toasted, charred, and previous used barrels and the maturing whisky.

The effect of transforming the boiling phenomena in the wash still (1st stage) from nucleate to film boiling to break the head was utilized. The enhancement of flavor by phase separation of these compounds and others formed during maturation caused by addition of water to whisky was also noted. A team of four senior ChE students did a project in the required design class on potential usage of the CO2 generated during fermentation. Another group is currently investigation the effect of using different strains of yeast.

Richard J. Davidson

The Emotional Brain (P,G,S)
Review of new findings on the brain bases of emotion.

The Autistic Brain (P,G,S)
Review of new findings on social brain and abnormalities that are associated with autism.

Transforming the Mind: Perspectives from Affective Neuroscience (P,G,S)
Reviews work on neuroplasticity and illustrates the various ways in which the human brain can be transformed through experience, training and therapeutic intervention

Affective Style: Perspectives from Affective Neuroscience (P,G,S)
Abstract Reviews the neural basis of individual differences in patterns of emotional reactivity and shows how such differences may be related to both mental and physical health.

Charles Fenimore

Picture Perfect: Motion imaging and human vision in the age of electronics (P, G)
At the intersection of electronic imaging and modern computing lies digital cinema. Movies without film are made possible by the emergence of novel electronic image presentation devices. But digital cinema is merely one example of a dramatic transformation in the production, storage, communication, and presentation of imagery. Microelectronic technology is dramatically extending the capabilities of cameras and film scanners, the basic tools for capturing pictures; it has made it possible for a desk top computer to perform the functions of an entire production studio; and it is improving the compression which is critical to communicating and preserving imagery. Its impact is felt in the ways information is conveyed in medicine, education, and entertainment.

Writing of a Cézanne still life, D. H. Lawrence notes its "physical, and even sensual qualities". This "physical quality" is akin to the modern imager's "sense of presence". The artist attempts to create that quality using available tools and technology. The engineer attempts to improve the capabilities of the technology, but confronts a fundamental challenge: the sampling of a regular array of pixel values to produce an image imposes limits on the level of detail that can be captured faithfully. Exceed the limits and one sees Moiré patterns, or other artifacts, in place of the image. Some indications of how far present-day imaging systems are from being able to present the full range of visual experience are:

  • A sun-lit lake may have sparkles a million times brighter than the detail seen in shadows; yet for the best projector the brightest white is only about a thousand times brighter than the darkest black.
  • The eye can see billions of colors, yet most displays present only millions, with limited range.
  • Typical viewing of a high-definition display fills a small portion of a human's field of vision. And most video pictures are flashed at between 24 and 30 times per second, although humans are sensitive to distracting flicker even at rates exceeding 60 flashes per second.

With today's technology, the users of imagery are presented with new viewing experiences. The eye is stimulated in previously unknown ways and these new visual experiences challenge the understanding of human vision. The new imaging modalities transform the ways in which we receive information and entertainment and open horizons in the study of human vision. They require new conceptions of pictures and picture quality.

Measuring picture quality in high resolution, high dynamic range imagery (S)
Producing and showing high quality moving pictures without film is made possible by the emergence of novel electronic systems that work with extended pixel counts and color palettes. While the sampling theorem specifies the maximum resolution of a digital signal processing system, it does not tell the whole story on picture quality. Generally, the evaluation of picture quality is related to the response of a human viewer. For this reason, the evaluation of image processing systems, such as the recently improved MPEG compression, includes both subjective and computed (or model-based) evaluation. Contrast is the essential element in understanding changing picture quality. Its role is illustrated by examples from recent compression assessments and from preservation studies showing the tradeoffs between resolution and dynamic range.

James D. Franson

Quantum Computing Using Single Photons (G)
Quantum computers are expected to be able to solve numerical problems that are not feasible on a conventional computer. We are developing an optical approach in which the bits (known as qubits) are represented by single photons. Progress to date includes the development of quantum logic gates, single-photon sources and memories, and small-scale quantum circuits for photonic qubits. The prospects for a full-scale quantum computer using photons as qubits will be described, along with some of the interesting physics that is associated with this approach.

Joany Jackman

Breath as a Diagnostic (P,G)
This is a discussion of the important features of breath to examine human performance, infection and underlying human diseases. This includes a discussion of both protein and volatile markers in breath.

Agroterrorism (P)
If protecting a single species such as humans from 10-20 known bioterrorism agents is daunting, imagine the difficulty in protecting 20-50 plant species from 100+ bioterrorism agents. This topic discusses the impact of plant disease, the unique difficulties in detecting plant diseases, distinguishing plant diseases and finally discusses new technology approaches

History of Bioterrorism (P)
This is a unclassified history of bioterrorism. Bioterrorism was not used only in the 20th century to change the outcome of battles. This history will also highlight research and impact on bioterrorism.

Using Biology Against Bioterrorism (G)
Pathogens themselves have natural enemies, have natural means to sample bacteria or virus and are the evolutionary target of biological systems to overcome the effect of the pathogen. Some of these strategies will be discussed relative to their exploitation in combating bioterrorism.

Gretchen Kalonji

Multinational Project-Based Approaches to Internationalizing Education and Research (PG)
We describe an effort underway at the University of Washington, in partnership with a number of universities around the world, on the transformation of research and education through the creation of multinational student-faculty projects in a wide variety of disciplines. Our basic approach is to build the curriculum around working in teams, with students and professors at other universities in various regions of the world, on addressing common, practical research challenges. All of the teams are multinational and interdisciplinary, and the research invokes the participation of a variety of non-academic social sectors, such as state and local government, industry and the non-profit community. In addition to engineering, our collaborations involve faculty and students from natural and physical sciences, social sciences, natural resource management, arts and humanities. For some projects, the collaboration takes place within a single course that is jointly taught at multiple sites, and for which the students interact electronically, via e-mail, the web, video-conferencing, etc. An example is our collaboration with Tohoku University, in Sendai, Japan, on first-year engineering design, a program in place since 1999. For other projects, the students participation is of far longer duration, such as the jointly-offered four-year curriculum we have created with Sichuan University, in Chengdu, on Challenges to the Environment in the US Pacific Northwest and southwest China. While our primary efforts to date have focused on undergraduate education, we have recently created a new collaborative doctoral program, working with colleagues in China, Japan, New Zealand, Vietnam, South Africa, Namibia and Mozambique. In this talk, we will describe some of the lessons learned to date in this project-based approach to integrating international research and education, and outline our directions for the future.

US-China: Collaborations on Reform of Science and Engineering Education (PG)
Both the US and the Peoples Republic of China have in recent years been heavily engaged in the re-evaluation of science and engineering education, both in terms of curricular content and pedagogy. While there are similarities in the issues identified, there are also interesting differences in the interpretation of priorities. In recent years, we are also seeing increasing efforts by Chinese and US academics to work together on the reformulation of higher education in technical disciplines. In this talk we will provide an overview of trends in science and engineering education reform in the two countries. We will also highlight some new models for partnership, including the University of Washington űSichuan University joint research-based undergraduate program, which focuses on challenges to the environment in the US Pacific Northwest and southwest China.

Engineering Education Reform: Transformation through Internationalization (GS)
In recent years, there has been a flurry of activity in engineering education reform, not only in the US but in most regions of the world. The driving forces for this activity include the dramatically rapid changes in the nature of the profession, the profusion of technology and the challenges and opportunities afforded by it, the need to increase and diversify the pool of young people interested in science and engineering, and the rapid pace of the globalization of the world economy. In this talk we provide an overview of models of transformation of engineering education through the creation of new, multidimensional international partnerships. We will describe some of the issues that arise in internationalizing our programs, and outline some of the surprising, and often unexpected, ancillary benefits. The overall focus will be on understanding the challenges and benefits to students, faculty, and institutions of forming new, integrated multinational alliances in education and research.

Ted Labuza

Bioterrorism and the Food Chain: What should we be doing.(P)
Since 9-11 the food industry has been made aware of the potential vulnerabilities in the food distribution system. This talk will review the basic distribution system, what potential toxins or biologic agents could be used and what are the most vulnerable points. The use of security measures will be reviewed. The use of an early warning system will be emphasized as a means for early detection so as to contain the threat.

The History of Military Feeding (P)
Military feed begins thousands of centuries ago with bands of armies following river paths. With no systems available 80% of the soldiers assigned to scavange for food. Not until the civil War did the US begin to think of prepared rations. This talk will trace some of the changes that took place since then including the famous K ration and the MREs of Vietnam and Kuwait. These principals were also put to use in designing the space food feeding systems in place today.

Before Equilibria Diagrams: Application of glass transition (DSC) and Xray diffraction to evaluate structural changes of food systems in storage (cotton candy, soft cookies and sugar snap cookies) (G)
In 1948 Schmidt and Marles stated the glass transition was important in confectionery foods like hard candy (Principles of High Polymer Theory and Practice, McGraw Hill.) This message was lost on the food industry until 1988 when Franks, Slade and Levine revived the glass transition phenomena and started a revolutionary change in understanding water relations in food especially with respect to texture. This presentation will review work that our group has been involved in related to moisture physical state changes and glass transition phenomena in confectionery and cereal based products.

The Crystallization of Sugars in Foods, Drugs and Biologics (S)
Most processing steps (drying, baking, extrusion) that involve water removal from a food system results in the formation of a glassy state for any of the sugars present. During storage as moisture is gained or temperature abuse occurs, these sugars begin to crystallized leading to caking of powders, collapse of cotton candy and the hardening of soft cookies. This process is controlled in part by the glass transition state diagram for the sugar. This talk will discuss the influence of water content on crystallization and show examples of using both Arrhenius kinetics and Williams Landau Ferry kinetics to visualize the combined effect of temperature and rrelative humidity.

The Physics and Chemistry of Water in Foods (G)
Most reactions that occur in limited moisture biological systems (seeds, drugs, biologics and foods) need a liquid phase based on water to occur in. This phase is involved in the dissolution, and mobility of the reactants and products as well as can act a participant in the The binding of water as measured by various means and is represented by it's activity (aw) at some equilibrium condition. The activity of water has an unusual influence on rates of reactions and the stability of macromolecules, with the rate increasing as the degree of binding increases (falling water activity) , reaches a maximum, and then falls to very low values at low water activity (aw). This binding involves vapor - surface binding site interactions (BET or GAB sorption principles), capillary condensation (Kelvin equation ), colligative effects (Raoult's Law) and enthalpic-entropic hydrogen binding which affects dissolution and three dimensional structural stability. The amount of solvent water also affects the free volume - temperature relation of the surrounding polymer matrix, showing the classical glass transition point with significant reductions in phase viscoelastic behavior above the Tg - solvent mass line. This talk will review water binding principles as related to both physical and biological systems and will end with how some of these principles can be applied to stabilize foods at non-thermodynamic equilibrium conditions.

Clark Spencer Larsen

Behavioral Reconstruction from Human Skeletal Morphology: The Last 10,000 Years (S)
In prehistoric and non-industrialized societies, hunter-gatherers are often characterized as being highly mobile and hard working. In contrast, farmers are characterized as being sedentary and have light workloads. Are these depictions of lifestyle in these different kinds of subsistence strategies true? The study of skeletal pathology and morphology offers a wealth of information for interpreting activity and behavior in the past, especially with regard to assessing difficulty of lifestyle. Articular disease, and especially osteoarthritis, gives important perspective on activity. More osteoarthritis indicates heavier stress on articular joints than less osteoarthritis. Biomechanics, the application of engineering principles to skeletons, provides an important means of reconstructing patterns of activity. Application of the simple beam model from civil and mechanical engineering allows measurement of the strength of bones¨in particular, arm and leg bones¨in order to draw inferences about the use of the limbs in life. Bones of the skeleton are adapted to withstand forces generated in normal day-to-day activities, such as walking and lifting. By analyzing the size and distribution of bone in cross-sections of major limb bones, we can infer the amount of force applied to the bones in life and to draw inferences about difficulty of different lifestyles in the past with regard to workload and activity. Findings from these kinds of studies show a general decline in skeletal robusticity, indicating a general a decrease in workload and activity in the last 10,000 years of human evolution, especially in regard to the shift from a lifeway based exclusively on hunting and collecting of wild plants and animals to that based to varying degrees on domesticated plants and animals. These changes in skeletal morphology and articular pathology reflect the changing cultural environments of humans as they develop new subsistence practices.

In the Wake of Columbus: The Biological Consequences of Contact and Colonialism in the Americas (G)
The lives of Native Americans changed in dramatic ways soon after Christopher Columbus made landfall in the Caribbean islands in the autumn of 1492. Historical records¨written accounts of early explorers and others¨present a picture of conquest and devastating epidemics that resulted in the deaths of millions across the Americas. Until recently, most of what was known about the biological consequences of conquest and contact were based on written source, emphasizing epidemics, population collapse, and extinction. Bioarchaeology, the study of human remains from archaeological settings, of the pre- and post-conquest eras, is providing new perspective on the health, daily lives, and consequences of contact for native peoples. Among the best documented regions is Spanish Florida, the present-day states of Georgia and Florida, and especially those groups who lived in the numerous Spanish missions in this region. Study of skeletons of native people who lived in these missions and comparison with their prehistoric ancestors reveals a fund of information about the consequences of contact in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Skeletons from these sites, especially from mission sites along the coast of Georgia and northern Florida, provide scholars with a surprisingly complete picture of key parameters of health and lifestyle in the contact era, supplementing and clarifying the sometimes unclear historical records. Using tools from bone chemistry, dental anthropology, paleopathology, and biomechanics, we have determined dramatic changes in nutrition, health, and quality of life. Study of bone pathology shows an increase in infectious diseases of various kinds, increased workload, and exploitation of native peoples. Although epidemic disease contributed to a decline in native peoples, other factors led to population loss, especially with regard to decreased nutritional quality and increased disease and workload.

Skeletons in Our Closet: Revealing Our Past through Bioarchaeology (P)
The dead tell no tales. Or do they? In this lecture, Larsen shows that the dead do speak, especially about their lives and lifestyles, through the study of ancient human skeletons and the science of bioarchaeology. The human skeleton is a storehouse of information, recording the circumstances of growth and development deriving from factors such as disease, stress, diet, nutrition, activity, and violence. Drawing from a ranges of sciences¨chemistry, geology, physics, and biology¨bioarchaeologists read the bones of the dead in order to reconstruct and interpret life for our human ancestors. For example, the shift from hunting and gathering to agriculture¨an event that began about 10,000 years ago with the retreat of the glaciers of the last ice age¨has been largely interpreted as a major advance in the human condition. However, the growing record suggests that although agriculture provided the economic basis for the rise of civilizations worldwide, it came with a cost ű namely, a decline in health in many settings. Some key health problems of today, such as some of the major infectious diseases, obesity, and cardiovascular disease, have its roots in this major economic transition. In this lecture, Larsen draws from his own research on thousands of skeletons from around the world, providing a guide to major health and adaptive shifts, such as the adoption of agriculture, the arrival of Europeans in the Americas, and the settlement of the American West in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The dead do tell tales.

John H. McMasters

Perspectives on Airplane Design - Past, Present and Future (G,S)
For much of the 20th Century, advances in aeronautics and aerospace have served as a poster child for modern technological progress. Over the past decade, however, a spate of national studies and articles in both the popular and professional presses, has decried the seriously declining state of aeronautics in this country. This current situation has been brought about in part by the end of the Cold War, a supposed maturation of traditional aerospace technologies, and the competition for talent and resources with the explosive growth in information, communications and other newer technologies. Whatever the reasons for the putative decline in aeronautics, two fundamental factors are cause for serious immediate concern. The first is the fact that we as an aeronautics community have been unable to create a collective vision of our future as compelling and exciting as that which has driven our past. The second, which is reciprocal to the first, is the need for an aggressive means to replenish and sustain the pool of technical talent required to maintain an industry that continues to find a multi-billion dollar a year market for its products and services and which remains important to the continued growth of our global economy and national security. The purposes of this presentation are several-fold. One is to examine the co-evolution of aeronautical technology development and airplane design practice in a very broad, long-term historical context. A more important purpose is to discuss the emerging recognition that airplane design (and engineering in general) is a ˘social activity÷ that demands as much attention be devoted to technical workforce development issues as has traditionally been directed toward technology and process development if we are to assure the future of our endeavor. Aeronautics may be a maturing industry (at least in some traditional product areas), but a central concern within our technical community must be for the development and proper utilization of a future generation of practitioners in our always-evolving enterprise. The material presented is a work in progress which in no way represents an official position of The Boeing Company. Some possible future airplane concepts will be discussed and pictures of them will be shown. [This presentation can be tailored to the backgrounds and interests of a wide variety of potential audiences.]

Reflections of a Paleoaerodynamicist (P,G,S)
Aeronautics is usually presumed to have started as a formal engineering discipline somewhere in historical time between the mythological experiments of Daedalus and his ill-fated son, Icarus; and the dreams and schemes of Leonardo da Vinci during the Italian Renaissance. As reviewed in this presentation, ˘aeronautics÷ has a far longer history, extending over a period of about 300 million year beginning with the evolution of the ability of insects to fly. With the advent of the success of the Wright brothers, technologists quickly turned their attention from the inspirations and lessons provided by natural models of flying machines to a more practical quest for increasingly dramatic improvements in speed, range and altitude performance far beyond the limits of what muscles and flapping wings could provide. Based on recent work in support of the NASA/DARPA Morphing Aircraft Structures Program and other unconventional "airplane design projects (e.g. an undersea glider, two robotic pterosaur replicas), a purpose of this presentation is to demonstrate in broader terms some of the numerous, very rich sources of inspiration such multi-disciplinary explorations continue to offer both the engineering practitioner and educator in a wider range of disciplines. [The contents of this lecture can be tailored to the backgrounds and interests of a wide range of potential audiences.]

The (Airplane) Design Professor as Sheepherder (P,G,S)
The purpose of this presentation is to discuss, from an early 21st Century perspective, some of the issues and opportunities we within the broader technical community (in industry, government and academe) face in assuring an adequate future supply of well prepared engineering graduates for the full range of employers who have need for such talent. While presented from an aerospace industry perspective and thus from that of a ˘mature industry÷ (at least in some major traditional product areas), it is believed that the issues to be addressed have far wider relevance. The evolution of engineering (and specifically design) practice in the ˘airplane business÷ provides a useful lens for discerning future trends in both professional practice and requirements for university and post-employment engineering education programs throughout industry in this country. Four specific issues are the primary focus of this presentation. The first is the question of how many engineers we may need in our future as we confront the problem of an aging workforce and the globalization of our industry. The second is the question of what skills and abilities these engineers will need to possess as the overall industry continues to evolve. Third is the pervasive need for more systems-oriented, multidisciplinary-skilled talent. Finally, and most particularly, the issue of what academe needs to do to support the development of a future generation of engineering talent is addressed. Although much has been accomplished in the past decade to enhance engineering education, we, as both educators and practitioners, have much to do to cooperatively create a strong and vivid vision of our future, to assure the proper development of a future generation of scientists and engineers with the skills and motivation to meet societies needs in our always evolving and ever-volatile enterprise. [This presentation can be made a broad or specific as any particular audience may require.]

John Meier

Immutability (P)
Topology is often thought of as an arcane mathematical subject where even the most innocent sounding statements have counterexamples. While it is true that topology is interested in some strange creatures, like Alexander's Horned Sphere and PoincarÚ's Dodecahedral Space, the field of topology is really not a strange and exotic branch of mathematics. The basic questions of topology have to do with the search for properties that remain unchanged during continuous transformation. From this perspective it seems that topology—at its core—studies perfectly natural phenomena, from both the scientific as well as humanistic perspectives.

Reverse Engineering Symmetry (G)
The mathematical discipline of group theory arose from attempts to study the symmetries of various concrete objects. For example there are symmetry groups of regular polygons, cubes, hypercubes, and so on. There are also examples of groups coming from permutation puzzles, cryptography, as well as many other physical and practical problems. Mathematicians have a knack for abstracting concrete ideas, and the study of symmetry has not been immune to this process. In fact, groups are now routinely introduced in undergraduate courses as purely formal objects. The goal of this talk is to demonstrate ways in which one can reverse this process, both in the classroom and in mathematical research.

What's at the End of an Infinite Group? (S)
Mathematicians are often interested in the asymptotics of the objects that are most interesting to them. For example geometers and topologists have a variety of techniques for attaching boundaries to unbounded objects, such as the Euclidean plane. On the face of it, groups do not provide a fertile ground for such an analysis. However, there are a variety of ways in which one can talk about what happens at the "end" of an infinite group. In general, we find, the answer is "not much" or "it is really wild!"

Diana Rhoten

A Multi-Method Analysis of the Conditions for Interdisciplinary Research and Collaboration (G,S)
This lecture reviews the structures and dynamics of research networks in a sample of six NSF-funded interdisciplinary research centers working in the area of environmental research. Using social network and ethnographic data, this lecture will explore: (1) The structural relations and positions of the research networks in each center; (2) The influence of individual attributes versus organizational factors on network interactions; and, (3) the outcomes of interdisciplinary collaboration within these networks. The lecture introduces important insights about such things as the role of junior versus senior researchers in interdisciplinary centers, the consequences of ˘exchange÷ versus ˘production÷ activities for interdisciplinary collaboration, and the profiles and products of disciplinary versus interdisciplinary research ˘stars÷. This lecture should be of interest to researchers, administrators, and policy makers interested in implementing and/or improving structures and strategies of interdisciplinary research and collaboration. It should also be of interest to students and faculty interested in organizational analysis, particularly scientific organizations.

From Analyzing to Assessing Integrative Graduate Education and Research Training (G,S)
Interdisciplinary and integrative graduate education and research training is on the rise throughout the U.S. ű engaging students and faculty, garnering financial support, and effecting structural change on campuses and beyond. This lecture presents the preliminary results of a three-year multi-level, multi-method analysis into the organization, functioning, and performance of innovative, integrative, interdisciplinary ű or I3 ű graduate education programs (n = 30 I3 programs, and 60 non-I3 programs for purposes of comparison). The analytic approach and results discussed are distinctive in several ways. First, the structures and behaviors as well as the products of interdisciplinary training are explored. Second, both the individual and institutional level influences on as well as impacts of interdisciplinary education and training processes and outcomes are examined. And, third, the impacts of I3 graduate education and training are considered and compared with non- I3 graduate education and training along various dimensions, including the intellectual, professional, and ethical. This lecture should be of interest to researchers, administrators, and policy makers interested in the changing context of graduate education and the implications of interdisciplinary approaches for participating as well as non-participating institutions and individuals.

Research Methods for Knowledge Production and Innovation (G,S)
A new territory of research is opening around the topic of knowledge production and innovation, particularly for studies that can strike that difficult compromise between traditional evaluation and theory-driven social research. This lecture begins by exploring the contours of this new terrain, including looking at how the changing configurations of disciplines, technologies, and institutions are altering the generation and dissemination of knowledge. After mapping some of these new constellations, the lecture presents strategies for examining their implications. Methodological in focus, the lecture reviews approaches to designing and applying studies that include and combine techniques of social network analysis, bibliometric analysis, content analysis, and interview and observation. This lecture should be of interest to students of organizational analysis, science studies, evaluation, and history of knowledge production. Some familiarity with these different social science research methods is required.

Dan Rockmore

Stalking the Riemann Hypothesis (P,G)
Ever since the time of Euclid, many of the greatest mathematicians have puzzled over the way in which the prime numbers fall among the natural numbers, seeking a law to describe their somewhat less than steady appearance. One hundred and fifty years ago, a German mathematician, Bernhard Riemann, in a short paper that was his only contribution to number theory, found a way to state such a law, but its precision depends upon on gently stated "hypothesis" embedded in this brief work. The now famous and infamous "Riemann Hypothesis", a simple statement about a particular kind of mathematical function has kept mathematicians busy ever since, leading to surprising connections between primes, card shuffling, chaos, and quantum mechanics. In this talk we'll survey the history of the problem, from its early beginnings to today and show why the hunt to settle the Riemann Hypothesis is one of the most important problems in mathematics today.

Artful Mathematics (P,G,S)
All too often we see mathematics and the arts as two sides of the science/humanities coin. In this talk we'll see a place in which the two come naturally together in exciting new research. For in today's world in which almost all aspects of life are brought to the common medium of the computer, it is now possible to quantify and extract the style of an artist via computation. Examples are gleaned from the literary, visual, and dance arts, and include applications to the problem of authentication. Taken together this work reveals just how stylish math can be.

Living Math (P,G,S)
These days the media is all aflutter with the tremendous advances being made in the life and social sciences, ranging from new understandings of the origins of life, to the workings of the cell, the body, and even the mind, and ranging from the individual to ecosystems. Often, hidden beneath the fanfare is the crucial role that mathematics plays in enabling these great achievements in biology, medicine, ecology, and sociology. This talk will survey some of these recent mathematical hits and in doing so, give a glimpse at the new and exciting frontier of applied mathematics found in the life sciences.

The FFT - An Algorithm the Whole Family Can Use (P,G,S)
The Fast Fourier Transform or "FFT" is one of the most ubiquitous algorithms in all of computational mathematics. In this talk we'll explore the FFT from its astronomical origins in the prediction of celestial orbits, to its modern instantiation as the primary tool of digital signal processing, and then move on to its generalizations as a basic scheme for data analysis in the presence of symmetry - i.e., group theory. We'll see how this more general framework has proved useful in a variety of areas including biology, robotics, and even quantum computing.

Safety In Numbers (P,G,S)
In our age of quantification and digitization, almost all information has been reduced to a string of numbers, from the the bits and bytes that encode our electronic correspondence and digital images, to the personal data that increasingly defines us. Mathematics plays a key role in the protection of this information as well as its utilization for the purpose of safeguarding our future, through various forms of risk analysis. In this talk we'll look at some of the ways in which we increasingly look to and require safety in numbers.

Daniel H. Sandweiss

The Archaeology of El Ni˝o in Ancient Peru (P,G,S)
El Ni˝o/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is a global climatic perturbation that has affected natural and cultural systems for thousands of years. First identified on the coast of Peru, that area remains a core region of ENSO activity. Unfortunately, standard paleoclimatic archives such as lake sediments and corals do not exist or have not been identified in this region. Consequently, climate signals from archaeological sites remain the most useful tool available for studying ancient El Ni˝os on the Peruvian coast. Using marine animal remains and other archaeological data, my colleagues and I have studied the last 13,000 years of ENSO activity in this region. We identified major shifts in El Ni˝o frequency that correlate in time with major changes in ancient Andean cultures. In this illustrated lecture, I review the methods and results of our studies of ancient El Ni˝os and cultural development in coastal Peru.

Ancient Fishermen: 13,000 Years of South American Maritime Adaptations (G,S)
For years, archaeologists believed that the first Americans were big game hunters who turned to alternate resources only after the extinction of mammoths, mastodons, and other large mammals at the close of the last ice age. In Peru, research through the 1970s suggested that marine resources were among the last to be added to the subsistence repertoire, coming into use only after about 6000 years ago. Research since the 1980s has revealed that this view is erroneous: the earliest inhabitants of Peru fished and gathered shellfish. Through the subsequent millennia, fishing played an important role in the development of Peru's coastal cultures and was even important within the Inca Empire. In this illustrated lecture, I review the archaeology of Peruvian fishing by focusing on several sites that I excavated during the last quarter century: Quebrada Jaguay (the oldest known fishing site in the Americas), the Ring Site (another early site), Ostra (a 6000-7000 year old fishing camp), and Lo Demßs (a specialized Inca fishing settlement dating to about 500 years ago).

Explorations with Thor Heyerdahl: Peruvian Pyramids and a Cuban Connection (P,G)
The vast, barren ruins of the pyramids of T˙cume rise out of the flat coastal plains of northern Peru. Though eroded over the centuries, these massive monuments still bear witness to their original grandeur. Covering over 220 ha (540 acres) and including 26 major pyramids as well as myriad smaller structures, the ancient city is truly impressive. Norwegian explorer and scientist Thor Heyerdahl first visited T˙cume in 1987; though best known for his pioneering trans-Pacific voyage on the Kon-Tiki balsa raft in 1947, Heyerdahl began a major research project at T˙cume in 1988. Over the following six years, we learned much about this ancient city. First built around AD 1100 by people of the Lambayeque culture, it survived and even grew under successive waves of conquest by the Chim˙ and later Inca armies, only to fall into ruins within a few years of the Spanish conquest. While the T˙cume project was still on going, Heyerdahl was also instrumental in re-opening Cuba to American archaeologists in the early 1990s. In this illustrated lecture, I review Heyerdahl's contributions to New World prehistory through our joint work at T˙cume and in Cuba.

Robert Shepard

In Search of the Influential Scientist. (P,G)
Demographic factors have come into play in the nation's elementary and middle school grade levels. This means that America's classrooms reflect a broad spectrum of diverse backgrounds and ethnic make up. If the sine qua non of a modern economy is a well-educated, versatile workforce able to conduct R&D and to convert its results into innovative products, processes, and services, how can the U.S. produce more globally competitive scientists and engineers in the future from a talent pool that has been historically underutilized in the past? This talk discusses an option for expanding the potential talent pool from among home-grown resources.

Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs): Myths and Misunderstandings. (P,G)
Historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) are institutions established prior to 1964, whose principal mission was, and is, the education of African Americans. The HBCUs were founded and developed in an environment unlike that of any other institutions of higher education - one of legal segregation. In the midst of such conditions, they strived to serve a population which lived under legal, social, economic, and political restrictions. These early conditions gave rise to myths and misunderstandings that seem to transcend time. This talk strikes a balance between the real and the imaginary.

Paul Sherman

Darwinian Medicine: A New Approach to Health and Disease (P)
The exciting, new interdisciplinary field of Darwinian Medicine takes an evolutionary approach to human health and disease. Whereas medical researchers traditionally study how annoying symptoms are brought about (their underlying mechanisms) and attempt to develop more effective ways to eliminate them, the Darwinian approach emphasizes asking why those symptoms occur in the first place and whether or not it is advisable to eliminate them. These two perspectives are not mutually exclusive: complete understanding of any biological phenomenon requires both mechanistic and functional analyses.

This lecture will illustrate the applicability of Darwinism to medicine, first in determining which symptoms and behaviors serve useful purposes (adaptations) and which do not (pathologies), and second in considering how to treat such symptoms as fever, anemia, pain, allergies, cravings for fat, menstruation, morning sickness, and emerging infectious diseases. Decisions about whether or not to eliminate particular symptoms will be better informed if they include consideration of whether those symptoms are aiding or hindering an individual's recovery. Thus, a Darwinian approach may complement and enhance traditional medical practices in the 21st century.

Why We Use Spices (G)
For centuries spices have been important in food preparation throughout the world. However, patterns of spice use differ considerably among cultures. This lecture will introduce the new field of Darwinian gastronomy, and address two specific questions, namely (1) what factors underlie cultural differences in spice use?, and (2) why are spices used at all? To investigate these issues, I quantified the frequency of use of all spices (n=43) in the meat-based recipes (4,578) of all countries (36) for which traditional cookbooks (93) could be located. I also compiled information on climatic variables, ranges of spice plants, and their antimicrobial properties. These data were used to investigate several alternative hypotheses, including that spices disguise the taste and smell of spoiled foods, increase perspiration and evaporative cooling, provide micronutrients, or eliminate foodborne microorganisms.

In support of the latter hypothesis, secondary compounds in all spice plants inhibit or kill foodborne bacteria, some very effectively. Within and among countries, proportions of recipes containing spices, numbers of spices per recipe, total spices used, and use of the most potent antibacterial spices all increase with increasing mean annual temperatures (an indicator of relative spoilage rates of unrefrigerated foods).

A corollary of the antimicrobial hypothesis is that, within cuisines, vegetable dishes should be less spicy than meat dishes, because cells of dead plants are better protected physically and chemically against bacterial and fungal invasions than cells of dead animals, whose immune system ceased functioning at death. As predicted, among countries, vegetable dishes called for fewer spices/recipe than meat dishes, and 38 of 41 individual spices were used less frequently in vegetable recipes. Proportions of recipes calling for >1 spice, and >1 extremely potent antimicrobial spice also are lower for vegetable than meat dishes in most countries.

Although the proximate (immediate cause) reason spices are used obviously is to enhance food palatability, the ultimate (long-term) reason most likely is to cleanse foods of bacteria and fungi. Prior to widespread availability of refrigeration and artificial food preservation, spices probably enhanced the health, longevity, and reproductive success of people who found their flavors enjoyable. This, in turn, explains why spices taste good to their descendants.

Protecting Ourselves from Food. (S)
Most of us will eat more than 75,000 meals in our lifetimes. And, for many, eating is the most dangerous thing we do, because ingesting bits and pieces of the outside world provides a free pass to the bloodstream for whatever lurks in the foodstuffs. Foodborne pathogens, especially in "leftovers," have been problematic ever since early hominids began killing game that was too large to consume immediately. This lecture will take a Darwinian approach and discuss two mechanisms, one cultural and one physiological, that serve to protect us from what we eat.

The cultural mechanism involves cooking with spices. Usually spices are considered solely as flavorings, but they also have antimicrobial properties deriving from secondary compounds that evolved in the plants as protection against their own biotic enemies. Humans use these natural pharmaceuticals to help cleanse food of pathogens and retard food spoilage. Spice use is more prominent in traditional cuisines from hot than cool climates, and more prominent in meat than vegetable dishes (the former are more conducive to bacterial growth). Prior to widespread refrigeration and artificial food preservation, spice use probably enhanced the health, longevity, and reproductive success of people who found their flavors enjoyable.

However, the very chemicals that inhibit foodborne pathogens can have negative side-effects as carcinogens, teratogens, and abortifacients. These dangers are particularly relevant for pregnant women. How can they protect themselves and their delicate embryos from the dangers of foodborne illnesses, on the one hand, and from naturally-occurring plant toxins on the other? The answer is the intricate physiological mechanism known as "morning sickness."

Food aversions during the first trimester (when embryogenesis is most sensitive to disruption), reinforced by nausea and vomiting, focus primarily on meats and strong-tasting vegetables (i.e., the most "dangerous" foodstuffs in our evolutionary past). Miscarriages and fetal deaths are less likely to occur to women who experience morning sickness than those who do not, and the greater the symptoms the better the pregnancy outcome. Traditional societies with no evidence of morning sickness rarely eat meat or strong-tasting plants, instead consuming mainly corn. Morning "sickness" apparently is a misnomer - rather it is a prophylactic mechanism the provides wellness insurance.

 

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