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Two Pacific Professors in Recent Scientific American Articles

Jan 26, 2011

Scientific American, a highly reputable magazine that reaches a broad audience across the globe, just published two features that highlight research by Pacific professors.

Dr. Craig Vierra

Biology: Spider Silk Research

The article "Sticky Business: Video Shows the Right Way to Extract Silk Glands from a Black Widow Spider" was published in the online version of Scientific American on January 19, 2011. The article features Dr. Craig Vierra, a professor and co-chair of the Biological Sciences Department, along with students Coby La Mattina, Yang Hsia, Eric Gnesa, Felicia Jeffery and Tiffany Tuton-Blasingame, who have been researching ways to make synthetic spider silk for commercial applications.

The article is accompanied by a video that shows how to dissect a black widow spider and extract its silk glands. The video was recently released on JoVE, the online Journal of Visualized Experiments, which touts itself as "the first scientific video journal for biological research." Let the squeamish beware! 

Dr. Matthew Normand

Psychology: Obesity Crisis

Dr. Matt Normand, a professor in the Psychology Department, was mentioned in the cover story of the print edition of Scientific American (February 2011). In the article "How to Fix the Obesity Crisis" by David H. Freedman, the author describes how Dr. Normand has explored ways to more precisely track calorie intake and usage by subjects trying to lose weight. Dr. Normand has conducted studies in this area and has been successful with his techniques.

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