Amanda Brooks, NDSU assistant professor of pharmaceutical sciences, is set to present the next Science, Religion and Lunch Seminar hosted by the Northern Plains Ethics Institute. Her presentation, “Spider Silk: At the intersection of science fiction and reality,” is scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 7, at noon in the Memorial Union Arikara room.
According to Brooks, spider silk-based applications continue to push the boundaries of science fiction into reality. Distilling complex molecular engineering into simple concepts of pattern creating allows scientists to capitalize on and manipulate the physical, chemical and biological properties of nanoscale, high performance silk fibers to address global challenges.
Brooks’ lab has engineered spider silk with new biological functions to create infection responsive drug releasing bubbles, drug releasing silk fibers and silk protein to bind heparin and prevent infection. Other applications of spider silk to address the opioid crisis and respond to the temperature and pressure of the skin also have been contemplated and design work is underway.
Brooks earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Utah and her doctorate from the University of Wyoming. Her research focuses on understanding and preventing the development of antibiotic resistant bacteria.
The seminars foster thoughtful, accessible dialogues on religion or science, with a special focus on the intersection between the two. Presenters develop their ideas in the seminar’s first 40 minutes, and then answer questions for 20 minutes.
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