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Clarkson University Science Cafe Back in Potsdam & Canton for Spring

Local university faculty will again take the floor starting Wednesday, February 6, for the "Science Cafe." popular science series will continue in both its Potsdam and Canton locations for the spring 2013 semester.

All Potsdam Science Cafes will take place Wednesday evenings at 7:15 p.m. in the Potsdam Civic Center Community Room in Potsdam, N.Y.

All Canton Science Cafes will take place Tuesdays at 7:15 p.m. in the Park View Common Room, above the Blackbird Café, 107 Main St. in Canton, N.Y.

Science Cafes bring together local university and college professors and townspeople in a relaxed, informal setting, such as coffeehouses and pubs. The speaker makes a short presentation about a topic in his or her field, and then opens up the floor to discussion.

Here's a rundown of his fall's topics and speakers:

Do Viruses Cause Cancer? The Papillomavirus Story
February 6: Potsdam
February 12: Canton
Viruses are tiny structures that can cause major illness in people they infect. Unexpectedly, the study of viruses has shed light on how human cancers develop. Clarkson University Professor of Biology Craig Woodworth explains how papillomaviruses, known for causing innocuous warts, have a potential role in cancer, and he details new strategies to rid people of these tiny pathogens.

Star Light: Revealing the Universe
February 26: Canton
February 27: Potsdam
Star light allows astronomers to learn not only about what stars are made of, but also what lies between the stars and us. Light from stars illuminates many beautiful nebulae, such as those photographed with the Hubble Space Telescope. By studying changes in the brightness of light in the data from the Kepler mission, astronomers have detected more than 2,000 planets around other stars. Join Clarkson University Physics Professor Josh Thomas in this exciting journey to the stars.

All of You, From Just One Cell!?
March 13: Potsdam
March 19: Canton
Our bodies contain tens of trillions of cells, of about 210 different types, yet it all started out from just one single cell. How is this miracle accomplished? Clarkson University Biology Professor Cintia Hongay explains the basics of embryogenesis (the sum of the steps resulting in the generation of a whole organism) and introduces us to her interesting research on the subject.

All the King’s Horses and All the King’s Men ...
March 26: Canton
March 27: Potsdam
Falls are a leading cause of mortality and morbidity in older adults. More than one in three Americans over the age of 65 fall every year and cost the healthcare system over $30 billion. Join Clarkson University Physical Therapy professors George Fulk and Stacey Zeigler for a discussion of falls, their risk factors, preventative strategies and the exciting new technologies being developed to help alleviate the problem.

Dead Men Tell No Tales?
April 16: Canton
April 17: Potsdam
Human bone found at archeological sites has the potential to provide anthropologists with a plethora of information about an individual, including their sex, age at death, genetic ancestry, stature and whether they suffered from traumatic injuries or from disease. But, what happens when bone is contaminated with microbial growth, or, even worse, by a complex microbial aggregate known as a biofilm? St. Lawrence University Anthropology Professor Mindy Pitre explores the inner workings of human bone, the information that can be lost when bone has been penetrated by a biofilm, and the research and ethical implications of this loss. 

Find out more about Clarkson's Science Cafe at

E-mail Daniel ben-Avraham at with any comments, questions or suggestions for future Science Cafe topics.

Find out more about Science Cafes in general at .

Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in five alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. Located just outside the Adirondack Park in Potsdam, N.Y., Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world’s pressing issues. Through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, sciences and health sciences, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise.

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