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After each of the following episodes of Scientific American Frontiers, scientists from the shows answered questions our viewers sent to this website. Select any name for a brief biography of the scientist and a transcript of viewers' questions and the scientist's answers.
Show 1005
The Frontiers Decade
(premiered 4/25/00)

Wonders of the World Animals, birds, insects and spiders

CyberDecade Robots and robotics

Medical Decade Curing disease and extending life

Archaeology Decade Uncovering the past

Environment Decade Conservation of land and sea

Decade of the Brain Learning, memory and dreams

Decade of Planetary and Earth Science Exploring space and our own planet

Show 1004
Mediterranean On the Rocks
(premiered 3/28/00)

Alexandre Meinesz Alexandre of the University of Nice investigates Caulerpa taxifola, an alien plant in the Mediterranean.

Flegra Bentivegna Flegra, curator of the Naples Aquarium, is dedicated to saving the Mediterranean's endangered turtle species.

Curtis Runnels Curtis is an archaeologist at Boston University. Curtis answer questions about what he has discovered about Stone Age man's creation of tools from volcanic glass, called obsidian.

Harry Tzalas Harry of the Hellenic Institute for the Preservation of Nautical Tradition in Athens is an expert on maritime history.

Walter Fasnacht Walter is an archeologist with the Swiss National Museum. Ask Walter your questions about how he uses original methods to recreate the ancient technique of copper smelting.

Chris Clark Chris of Cornell's University's Bioacoustics/Marine Mammal Research Program is the first scientist to record the sounds of Mediterranean finback whales.

Show 1003
Never Say Die
(premiered 1/25/00)

Roy Walford Roy a physician at the UCLA School of Medicine, has consumed a low-calorie, highly nutritious diet for almost two decades.

Calvin Harley Calvin Chief Scientist at Geron Corporation in California, discovered telomeres, short sequences of DNA on the ends of all chromosomes.

Cynthia Kenyon Cynthia a biologist at the University of California, San Francisco, studies the effects of genetic changes on microscopic worms called nemotodes.

Gordana Vunjak Novakovic Principal Research Scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, works with Robert Langer on groundbreaking tissue engineering projects.

Marilyn Albert Marilyn of Massachusetts General Hospital studies how staying active physically and mentally affects elderly individuals.

Show 1002
Natural Born Robots
(premiered 11/2/99)

Roy Ritzmann Roy is a professor of biology at Case Western Reserve University.

Roger Quinn Roger is a professor of mechanical engineering at Case Western Reserve University.

Michael Triantafyllou Michael works at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he has built a robot based on a champion swimmer - the tuna.

Jamie Anderson At Draper Laboratories in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Jamie has also developed a life-like robot modeled on the tuna.

Jerry Pratt Jerry built an ingenious creation that mimics the human leg.

Rodney Brooks Rodney updates us on Cog, the humanoid robot that Frontiers viewers first met a few years ago.

Illah Nourbakhsh Illah, of Carnegie Mellon University, created Sage, a robot with attitude and a popular "electro-guide" at the Carnegie Museum.

Helen Greiner Helen, the president of ISRobotics, introduces us to Bit, a baby robot with a range of compelling infant emotions.

Maja Mataric At the University of Southern California, Maja created the robot ducklings that follow Alan Alda in this segment.

Manuela Veloso Manuela, of Carnegie Mellon University, demonstrates why robot soccer is a great model for cooperative behavior.

Show 1001
Voyage to the Galapagos
(premiered 10/5/99)

Lynn Fowler The Frontiers expedition guide, Lynn first visited the Islands in 1976 and, after earning her degree in zoology, returned as one of the Islands' first female naturalist guides. Lynn answers your questions about the giant tortoise and other unique species of the Galapagos.

Dave Anderson David, a member of the Biology Department at Wake Forest University, is an expert on the Islands' birds and has conducted field research on boobies in the Galapagos since 1984. David answers questions about the islands' finches and masked boobies.

Martin Wikelski A member of the Department of Ecology, Ethology and Evolution at the University of Illinois at Champaign- Urbana, Martin is an expert on the Galapagos marine iguana. Martin answers your questions about this extraordinary creature.

Howard Snell Howard is Program Leader of Vertebrate Restoration Ecology and Ecological Monitoring at the Charles Darwin Research Station. He studies the threatened Galapagos penguin.

Charlotte Causton An entomolgist with the Charles Darwin Research Station, Charlotte monitors the introduction of insect species to the islands.

Sherri Steward A biology and ecology teacher at Grapevine High School in Grapevine, Texas, Sherri served as the School Program ambassador for the Frontiers expedition to the Galapagos Islands. Sherri answers your questions about her experiences in the spectacular archipelago of the Galapagos.

Check out viewers' questions and scientists' answers from previous seasons.


Scientific American Frontiers
Fall 1990 to Spring 2000
Sponsored by GTE Corporation,
now a part of Verizon Communications Inc.