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Archive for February 10th, 2008

Spidery Silks

Listening to Professor Cheryl Hayashi’s speech was definitely an enjoyable experience.  Whoever knew that a single spider could produce so many kinds of silks including types used for egg sacks, safety lines, and prey catching?  And some spiders being able to produce silk from not only their spinnerets but their legs too?  Definitely something I hadn’t known before.  It’s also fascinating to know that scientists like Hayashi have come up with a way to mass-produce silk in tomato plants.  What types of amazing uses will they find for spider silk?

It was remarkable that Professor Hayashi hadn’t known that she would become an evolutionary biologist working with spiders when she had first graduated from Iolani.  It was incredibly lucky that she discovered her interest in working with spiders at a part-time job.  She found something she could be passionate about unlike others who complain daily about their jobs.  I’m hoping that this sort of “meandering path” will work for me because I currently have no idea about what to do with my future.  Maybe there’s a career out there that will combine economics, biological sciences, and writing?  It’s all a matter of finding and fulfilling a want of society.

green-spider.jpg

It was also interesting that Hayashi talked about living in small towns with much less diverse populations.  I can’t really imagine actually living as a ‘minority’ after growing up in Oahu but it’s something I’ll probably have to get used to if I do go to college on the mainland.

Overall, the presentation was fresh and entertaining.  It was great to see an example of someone who made a difference and found her special niche in society.  Hayashi’s last remarks about being motivated to prove the capabilities of science and evolution were especially awe-inspiring.

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