SciTech Now Episode 30

Episode thirty of SciTech Now brings you the latest breakthroughs in science, technology and innovation. Take a look inside of New York City’s exclusive Explorers Club with an expert from “Science Friday” film by Emily Driscoll.

TRANSCRIPT

COMING UP, A CENTURY OF EXPLORATION AND SCIENTIFIC ADVENTURE.

IF I HAD TO NAME ONE SINGLE BEST ARTIFACT, FOR ME, IT WOULD BE THE APOLLO 11 MOON FLAG, NOT JUST BECAUSE OF THE EXTRAORDINARY ACHIEVEMENT BUT THE IMPACT THAT IT STILL HAS WITH US EVEN TODAY.

DARK MATTER EXPLAINED.

IT'S NOT PLANETS.

IT'S NOT STARS.

IT'S NOT PUPPIES.

IT'S NOT BLACK HOLES, EVEN.

IT TURNS OUT TO BE SOMETHING THAT DOESN'T ABSORB LIGHT.

A FUTURISTIC FOOD THAT COULD HELP SOLVE WORLD HUNGER.

WE LOOKED FOR WAYS THAT WE COULD RE-PROCESS INSECTS INTO SOMETHING THAT WOULD BE PALATABLE AND FAMILIAR AND SOMETHING THAT WAS EASY TO WORK WITH.

AND TECHNOLOGY MEETS ART.

YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT'S INSIDE.

YOU DON'T KNOW HOW IT WORKS.

IT'S AN AMBIGUOUS USER INTERFACE.

IT'S ALL AHEAD.

FUNDING FOR THIS PROGRAM IS MADE POSSIBLE BY THE CORPORATION FOR PUBLIC BROADCASTING AND CONTRIBUTIONS TO THIS STATION.

HELLO. I'M HARI SREENIVASAN.

WELCOME TO 'SciTech NOW,' OUR WEEKLY PROGRAM BRINGING YOU THE LATEST BREAKTHROUGHS IN SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, AND INNOVATION.

LET'S GET STARTED.

THE EXPLORERS CLUB, HEADQUARTERED IN NEW YORK CITY, WAS FOUNDED IN 1904 TO PROMOTE EXPLORATION AND SCIENCE RESEARCH IN THE FIELD.

'SCIENCE FRIDAY' VIDEO PRODUCER EMILY DRISCOLL TAKES US ON A PRIVATE TOUR OF THE COLLECTION AT THE CLUB, FROM YETI SCALPS TO A FLAG FROM THE APOLLO 11 MOON MISSION.

TAKE A LOOK.

EXPLORATION WITHOUT SCIENCE IS ADVENTURE, AND PROBABLY NOTHING MORE THAN THAT.

MY NAME IS WILL ROSEMAN.

AND I'M THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE EXPLORERS CLUB.

THE EXPLORERS CLUB IS AN ORGANIZATION THAT WAS FORMULATED WITH THE INTENT TO EXPLORE AND TO ADVANCE SCIENTIFIC EXPLORATION.

THE COLLECTION IS A REMINDER OF GREAT ACCOMPLISHMENTS.

AND YOU CAN'T WALK THROUGH THIS BUILDING WITHOUT SEEING EXTRAORDINARY THINGS.

THE ARTIFACTS ARE TYPICALLY THINGS THAT WERE COLLECTED FROM MEMBERS ALONG THE WAY.

OUR MEMBERS WERE FIRST TO THE NORTH POLE, FIRST TO THE SOUTH POLE -- AMUNDSEN AND PEARY AND HENSON.

FIRST TO THE SUMMIT OF EVEREST.

IN FACT, SIR EDMUND HILLARY WAS OUR HONORARY PRESIDENT UP UNTIL HIS DEATH.

FIRST TO THE DEEPEST POINT OF THE OCEAN -- DON WALSH, WHO WENT DOWN TO THE MARIANA TRENCH IN 1960 WITH JACQUES PICCARD.

AND, OF COURSE, 1969, WHEN NEIL ARMSTRONG, COLLINS, AND ALDRIN WENT TO THE MOON.

WE HAVE A PLAQUE OUTSIDE.

THERE'S A SPACE THERE FOR THE FIRST MEMBER TO WALK ON MARS.

AND THERE ARE OTHER INDIVIDUALS THAT HAVE BEEN EXTRAORDINARILY IMPORTANT.

THOR HEYERDAHL WAS A VERY PROMINENT MEMBER.

AND HE HAD A THEORY THAT THE POLYNESIAN ISLANDS WERE POPULATED BY SOUTH AMERICANS.

BEFORE 1947, HE HAD GONE TO NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC AND OTHER ORGANIZATIONS, AND THEY SCOFFED AT THE IDEA.

AND THEN HE CAME TO THE EXPLORERS CLUB.

HE PRESENTED WHAT HE HAD HOPED TO DO, AND HE UTILIZED THE GLOBE OUTSIDE TO ACTUALLY EXHIBIT WHAT HIS EXPEDITION WOULD INCLUDE AND WHY IT WAS IMPORTANT.

AND INSTANTLY, OUR MEMBERS SAW THAT THERE WAS SOME MERIT THERE.

AND WE NOT ONLY HELPED HIM RAISE THE MONEY BUT HELPED ORGANIZE THE EXPEDITION.

OTHER THINGS THAT I LOVE ARE THE WILLIAM R. LEIGH PAINTINGS THAT ARE IN OUR HALLWAY.

FOR ANYONE THAT'S VENTURED TO THE AMERICAN MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY AND SEEN THE FAMOUS AKELEY DIORAMAS, WE HAVE THE PAINTINGS FROM WHICH THEY WERE CREATED.

WELL, MANY OF THE STUFFED ANIMALS, SO TO SPEAK, THAT WE HAVE IN THE TROPHY ROOM VERY MUCH REPRESENT A DIFFERENT ERA.

THEY WERE ACTUALLY SPECIMENS, SOME ORIGINALLY MEANT FOR THE AMERICAN MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY.

SOME, IN FACT, WERE AT THE AMERICAN MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY AND HAVE SUBSEQUENTLY ENDED HERE.

WE HAVE A YETI SCALP THAT WAS BROUGHT HERE BY MARLIN PERKINS OF MUTUAL OF OMAHA FAME AND SIR EDMUND HILLARY THAT WAS USED TO ACTUALLY SHOW THAT IT REALLY WASN'T A YETI SCALP.

I GUESS IF I HAD TO NAME ONE SINGLE BEST ARTIFACT, FOR ME, IT WOULD BE THE APOLLO 11 MOON FLAG THAT WAS TAKEN BY NEIL ARMSTRONG AND BUZZ ALDRIN WHEN THEY WALKED ON THE MOON.

AND IT'S IMPORTANT TO ME NOT JUST BECAUSE OF THE EXTRAORDINARY ACHIEVEMENT BUT THE IMPACT THAT IT STILL HAS WITH US EVEN TODAY.

AND IT'S ALSO A REMINDER TO ME THAT WE SHOULD CONTINUE SPACE EXPLORATION AND BEYOND THAT.

WE PLANT OUR FLAGS NOT SO MUCH TO CLAIM THE AREA BUT TO CLAIM IT, REALLY, FOR SCIENCE.

OUR MEMBERS GO, ON AVERAGE, 600 TO 1,000 EXPEDITIONS PER YEAR, BUT ONLY 50 OR 60 QUALIFY TO CARRY THE EXPLORERS CLUB FLAG.

AND MANY OF THESE FLAGS HAVE BEEN ON 20, 30 EXPEDITIONS.

A FLAG GETS RETIRED IF IT'S DONE SOMETHING EXTRAORDINARY.

THE FLAG IS FROM 1955, AND IT HAD GONE ON 19 EXPEDITIONS AND HAD BEEN TO THE SUMMIT OF EVEREST TWICE.

ONE OF OUR MEMBERS TOOK IT DOWN TO THE MARIANA TRENCH, SO IT'S THE ONLY ITEM IN THE WORLD THAT'S BEEN TO THE HIGHEST POINTS ON EARTH AND TO THE LOWEST POINTS ON EARTH.

AND INTERESTINGLY ENOUGH, THAT'S THE MEMBER JAMES CAMERON, WHO'S PROBABLY BETTER KNOWN FOR BEING A DIRECTOR.

WHEN PEOPLE APPLY FOR A FLAG TO CARRY ON THEIR EXPEDITION, THEY HAVE TO PROVE THAT WHAT THEY'RE DOING IS EXTRAORDINARY AND DIFFERENT.

AND I THINK THAT'S A GREAT INDICATION OF WHAT OUR CLUB STANDS FOR.

THEY'RE EXTRAORDINARY PEOPLE DOING EXTRAORDINARY THINGS, ALL IN THE NAME OF SCIENCE.

I INVITE PEOPLE TO COME AND VISIT US.

IT'S REALLY EXCITING FOR ME TO SEE THE EXPRESSIONS ON PEOPLE'S FACES.

AND PEOPLE ARE JUST FLABBERGASTED.

[ ] EVERYONE'S A CHILD WHEN THEY COME HERE.

AND THEY SEE THINGS WITH NEW EYES, AND THEY EXPERIENCE INCREDIBLE THINGS.

JOINING ME NOW IS RICHARD WIESE, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE EXPLORERS CLUB.

SO, REALLY, WHAT IS THE EXPLORERS CLUB?

WHY DID YOU GET INTO IT WHEN YOU WERE YOUNG, AND WHY'D YOU BECOME PRESIDENT?

YOU KNOW, I THINK THAT THROUGHOUT HISTORY, THERE WAS ALWAYS ONE PERSON WHO WOULD GO TO THE EDGE OF A LAKE OR AN OCEAN OR A MOUNTAINTOP AND COME BACK AND SAY, 'YOU'LL NEVER GUESS WHAT I SAW.'

SO I THINK THAT CURIOSITY IS AN INNATE TRAIT TO MANY PEOPLE.

AND THE EXPLORERS CLUB IS JUST AN EXTENSION OF THAT CURIOSITY.

HOW DO YOU PROMOTE THAT IN NOT JUST KIDS BUT SCIENTISTS TO GET OUT THERE AND DO THIS?

WELL, I THINK SCIENCE IS CONSTANTLY BEING PROMOTED.

I THINK THERE'S OBVIOUSLY CERTAIN THINGS THAT CAPTURE PEOPLE'S IMAGINATION.

I KNOW WHEN I WAS A KID, THE WHOLE APOLLO SPACE PROGRAM -- I USED TO, YOU KNOW, WATCH MY BLACK AND WHITE TV.

AND I'D, YOU KNOW, CUT OUT THINGS FROM THE NEWSPAPER, READ AND I WAS VERY SURPRISED, WHEN I WAS A LITTLE OLDER, TO FIND OUT THAT THERE WAS A PLACE THAT ALL THESE PEOPLE SORT OF RESIDED OR TOLD STORIES.

AND, BOY, THAT JUST CAPTURED MY IMAGINATION.

SO, HOW DID YOU GET INVOLVED?

WAS THERE A SPECIFIC EVENT OR A SPECIFIC MOMENT THAT YOU REALIZED, 'WAIT, THERE'S ALL THESE PEOPLE, AND I COULD ACTUALLY BE PART OF THIS'?

WELL, WHEN I FIRST MOVED TO NEW YORK CITY IN THE '80s, I USED TO LIKE TO GO TO A LOT OF LECTURES.

AND I ALWAYS THOUGHT IN NEW YORK CITY, YOU COULD ALWAYS HEAR THE BEST OF ALL FIELDS, YOU KNOW?

YOU CAN GO TO LINCOLN CENTER.

YOU'RE GONNA HEAR THE BEST OF SOMEBODY WHO DOES MUSIC.

YOU'LL HEAR AUTHORS COME THROUGH THERE.

AND I HAPPENED TO WANDER INTO A LECTURE ON THE BLACK BEARS OF NORTHERN NEW JERSEY.

I REMEMBER IT.

AND I SAT AROUND, AND I LISTENED, AND I THOUGHT, 'WOW.

I'M AT HOME.'

THESE WERE MY KIND OF PEOPLE.

THEY WEREN'T JUST TALKING ABOUT, YOU KNOW, WHERE IS SICILY?

PEOPLE ARE TALKING ABOUT PYGMY MAMMOTHS ON SICILY OR ALL THESE OTHER THINGS.

AND I THOUGHT, 'GOSH, THIS IS JUST SUCH A WONDERFUL PLACE.'

AND AT A CERTAIN POINT, YOU KNOW, BECAUSE OF MY SCIENCE CREDENTIALS AT THE TIME, SOMEONE ASKED ME TO JOIN.

AND I WAS SO THRILLED.

AND I REMEMBER THE FIRST DINNER I WENT TO, THE BIG ANNUAL DINNER IN NEW YORK CITY.

THOR HEYERDAHL WAS SPEAKING, YOU KNOW, OF KON-TIKI FAME.

AND, MAN, YOU KNOW, TO ME, THAT WAS HEAVEN.

I MEAN, TO BE FAIR, YOUR DAD IS A BIT OF AN EXPLORER HIMSELF.

YEAH, MY FATHER WAS A PAN-AM PILOT, BUT HE WAS ALSO THE FIRST PERSON TO SOLO THE PACIFIC OCEAN IN AN AIRPLANE.

AND, SO, IT WAS NOT UNUSUAL FOR MY DAD TO SAY ON A THURSDAY, 'FEEL LIKE COMING TO EUROPE WITH ME?'

OR WHEN I WAS 11, HE TOOK ME TO CLIMB MOUNT KILIMANJARO.

SO, I WAS VERY LUCKY TO HAVE MY DAD.

I MEAN, THE LANGUAGE WE SPOKE IS, WE'D BE STANDING ON OUR LAWN AT NIGHT, AND WE'D BE LOOKING AT CONSTELLATIONS.

I HAD A FAVORITE UNCLE, DR. RICHARD LANZA UP AT M.I.T.

AND, YOU KNOW, ANY QUESTIONS I HAD ON SCIENCE, I'D GIVE HIM A CALL.

AND, YOU KNOW, HE WAS HAPPY ENOUGH TO ENTERTAIN A LITTLE KID.

AND I STILL TALK TO HIM TO THIS DAY, YOU KNOW, WHEN I'M FILMING MY SHOW 'BORN TO EXPLORE.'

YEAH, A LOT OF PEOPLE ARE GONNA RECOGNIZE YOU FROM THAT.

I MEAN, WHAT ARE SOME OF THE EXPERIENCES THAT YOU'VE HAD THAT KIND OF CONFIRM FOR YOU THAT THESE ARE YOUR PEOPLE, THAT THIS IS WHAT YOU SHOULD BE DOING?

WELL, I THINK THE BIGGEST CHANGE FOR ME OF RECENT IS THAT I'M STARTING TO DELVE INTO LOCAL CULTURES, TO ME, THE SORT OF SALT OF THE EARTH -- WHETHER IT BE GOING AND GOING FISHING IN INDIA OFF OF CHENNAI WITH THE FISHERMEN OR, YOU KNOW, DOING SOMEBODY WHO DOES A JOB THAT YOU WOULDN'T EVEN LOOK AT.

YOU KNOW, WHEN I WAS YOUNGER AND I HAD MORE TESTOSTERONE, YOU KNOW, I'D BE RACING UP A MOUNTAIN.

I'M MORE INTERESTED NOW IN THE PEOPLE WHO ARE CARRYING MY BAGS.

AND I THINK THAT, WITHOUT SORT OF A SENSE OF EXAGGERATION, THERE'S STILL SO MUCH MAGIC IN THE WORLD, SO MANY THINGS THAT WHEN YOU LOOK AT AND, YOU KNOW, YOU'RE GIVEN INFORMATION THAT YOU LOOK AT THROUGH DIFFERENT EYES -- AND I'LL GIVE YOU AN EXAMPLE.

HALF A MILLION PEOPLE GO THROUGH GRAND CENTRAL STATION EVERY DAY.

AND WHEN I GO THROUGH THERE, I'M ALWAYS LOOKING UP AND DOWN THE WALLS, ON THE FLOORS, AT ALL THE FOSSILS.

TO ME, IT'S A JURASSIC PARK OF LITTLE CRITTERS EMBEDDED IN THE LIMESTONE OR MARBLE THERE.

SO, IT'S A MATTER OF CHANGING PERSPECTIVES AND FINDING A FRESH LOOK AT SCIENCE OR THINGS THAT MIGHT EXCITE YOU.

HOW DO YOU SEE TECHNOLOGY CHANGING EXPLORATION?

I MEAN, IN A WAY, WE HAVE TOOLS NOW WHERE A STUDENT IN A CLASSROOM IN NEW JERSEY COULD BE FOLLOWING AN ASTRONAUT IN SPACE IN NEAR-REAL-TIME.

THEY COULD BE LOOKING AT WEATHER DATA FROM THE ARCTIC, RIGHT?

I MEAN, THEY COULD BE STUDYING POLAR BEARS.

I MEAN, HOW DO YOU SEE THAT IT'S CHANGED JUST IN THE TIME THAT YOU'VE BEEN EXPLORING?

WELL, IT'S EXCITING.

I MEAN, I SKYPE WITH MY PARENTS ALL THE TIME, OR EVEN MY LITTLE KIDS.

I MIGHT BE OUT IN THE FIELD, AND I'M LOOKING AT ALLIGATORS OR CROCODILES IN AFRICA.

AND NOW I'M SHOWING MY 5- AND 6-YEAR-OLD KIDS, YOU KNOW, DAD GOES LIKE THIS, SWITCHES IT AROUND, AND NOW THEY'RE SEEING ALLIGATORS.

YOU KNOW, HOW EXCITING IS IT FOR A STUDENT TO ACTUALLY BE ABLE TO SPEAK TO AN ASTRONAUT UP IN SPACE?

SO, THINGS LIKE SKYPE IS THAT INSTANT GRATIFICATION.

BUT I KNOW, EVEN IN MY OWN CASE, THAT IF I DON'T KNOW THE ANSWER TO SOMETHING, I'LL GET OUT MY LITTLE SEARCH ENGINE -- I HAPPEN TO USE BING -- AND PUT IN, YOU KNOW, A PLANT OR A ROCK THAT I DON'T KNOW.

AND THE INFORMATION'S THERE.

I DON'T HAVE TO GO TO THE LIBRARY.

SO, I THINK IT'S ACCELERATED EXPLORATION AND KNOWLEDGE.

AND I THINK PEOPLE IN INDIA, RUSSIA, CHINA -- THEY'RE INSTANTANEOUSLY SHARING INFORMATION.

SO THINGS THAT TOOK DECADES TO SORT OF LEARN ABOUT, NOW ARE LIKE THIS.

ALL RIGHT. THANKS, RICHARD.

RICHARD WIESE.

YOU CAN LEARN MORE ABOUT THE EXPLORERS CLUB AND 'SCIENCE FRIDAY.'

CHECK OUT THE LINKS ON OUR WEBSITE.

HAVE YOU EVER LOOKED UP AT THE NIGHT SKY AND THOUGHT ABOUT HOW OUR MILKY WAY GALAXY WAS FORMED?

WE SIT DOWN WITH AN EXPERT AT THE AMERICAN MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY WHO EXPLAINS HOW A TYPE OF PARTICLE CALLED DARK MATTER MAY BE RESPONSIBLE.

MY NAME IS MORDECAI-MARK MAC LOW, AND MY POSITION IS CURATOR OF ASTROPHYSICS.

DARK MATTER WAS FIRST IDENTIFIED AND EVEN NAMED BY A CHARACTER NAMED FRITZ ZWICKY WHO WORKED AT CALTECH -- FAMOUS NOT ONLY FOR HIS EXCELLENT ASTRONOMY BUT ALSO FOR HIS SCATOLOGICAL LANGUAGE.

HE WOULD RARELY SAY ANYTHING THAT COULD BE QUOTED IN POLITE COMPANY.

[ ] NEVERTHELESS, HE MADE SEVERAL EXTREMELY IMPORTANT DISCOVERIES, ONE OF WHICH WAS THAT IF YOU LOOK AT GALAXIES IN CLUSTERS, THEY ORBIT AROUND EACH OTHER.

FROM THE SPEED OF THE ORBIT, YOU CAN MEASURE THE MASS OF THE CLUSTER.

SO, THAT'S WHAT ZWICKY DID.

SO, HE ADDS UP THE MASS OF ALL THE GALAXIES IN A CLUSTER AND COMPARES IT TO THE MASS THAT HE'S DERIVED FROM THE VELOCITIES.

AND IT'S NOT EVEN CLOSE.

SO HE SAYS THERE MUST BE SOME SORT OF DARK MATERIAL -- 'DARK,' NOT EMITTING LIGHT LIKE THE STARS ARE -- THAT IS MAKING UP ALL THIS MISSING MASS.

WHEN THIS WAS FIRST PUBLISHED, EVERYBODY SAID, 'OKAY, WE DON'T REALLY UNDERSTAND GALAXIES IN DISTANT CLUSTERS ANYWAY.'

AND THE RESULT WAS LARGELY IGNORED FOR 40 YEARS.

VERA RUBIN AND HER COLLABORATORS IN THE 1970s FOUND THAT EVEN IF YOU LOOK AT INDIVIDUAL GALAXIES, THEY STILL MOVED TOO FAST.

AND THAT WAS EVEN HARDER TO EXPLAIN.

AND IT BROUGHT PEOPLE'S ATTENTION BACK TO THIS OLD QUESTION OF WHY DO GALAXIES IN CLUSTERS MOVE SO FAST?

WHAT WE KNOW NOW ABOUT DARK MATTER IS THAT IT ISN'T ANY SORT OF ORDINARY MATTER.

IT'S NOT PLANETS.

IT'S NOT STARS.

IT'S NOT PUPPIES.

IT'S NOT BLACK HOLES, EVEN.

IT TURNS OUT TO BE SOMETHING THAT DOESN'T ABSORB LIGHT NOR EMIT IT.

THE OTHER THING WE KNOW ABOUT DARK MATTER IS THAT IT CONTROLS WHERE ORDINARY MATTER PILES UP AND FORMS GALAXIES, STARS, PLANETS, US.

SO WE ARE HERE IN A MILKY WAY GALAXY BECAUSE THERE'S A HUGE HALO OF DARK MATTER THAT HAS SO MUCH MASS THAT IT DREW IN THE GAS TO FORM THE GALAXY IN THE FIRST PLACE.

THE SPECULATION -- VERY MATHEMATICALLY GROUNDED SPECULATION -- AMONG PHYSICISTS IS THAT THE DARK MATTER PARTICLE IS THE FIRST REPRESENTATIVE OF A WHOLE NEW CLASS OF PARTICLES CALLED SUPERSYMMETRIC PARTICLES.

IF THE DARK MATTER PARTICLE HAS THE PROPERTIES PREDICTED, THAT WILL OPEN UP ESSENTIALLY A WHOLE NEW FIELD OF PHYSICS.

IT WILL HELP US TO UNDERSTAND THE PROPERTIES OF THE STUFF THAT WE'RE MADE OF, AS WELL, AND WHY OUR UNIVERSE AND EVERYTHING IN IT BEHAVES THE WAY IT DOES.

AND THAT'S DARK MATTER.

SCIENTISTS AT HOME AND ABROAD ARE LOOKING TO THE NATURAL WORLD WITH THE HOPE OF FINDING SOLUTIONS TO END GLOBAL HUNGER.

ONE POSSIBLE ONE IS ENTOMOPHAGY.

THAT'S A FANCY WORD FOR EATING INSECTS.

STUDENTS AT CORNELL UNIVERSITY HAVE DEVELOPED A FOOD PRODUCT MADE OF MEALWORM PROTEIN KNOWN AS C-FU.

JOINING US TODAY FROM CORNELL UNIVERSITY IS CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER OF C-FU FOODS, LEE CADESKY.

THANKS FOR JOINING US.

AND I'M A VEGETARIAN, SO I WON'T BE PARTICIPATING IN ANY TASTE-TESTS OF THIS.

BUT HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH THIS NOTION OF EATING INSECTS ON THIS KIND OF SCALE, WHEN WE'RE TALKING ABOUT GLOBAL HUNGER?

INSECTS REALLY REPRESENT A GREAT SOLUTION TO THE PROBLEMS OF GLOBAL HUNGER AND MALNUTRITION.

THEY'RE A GREAT SOURCE OF NUTRITION.

AND THIS HAS BEEN RECOGNIZED BY F.A.O., BY SCIENTISTS WORLDWIDE.

THE BIG ISSUE IS JUST THAT SORT OF 'ICK' FACTOR.

PEOPLE DON'T WANT TO EAT A FOOD THAT YOU'VE GOT TO LOOK INTO ITS THOUSAND EYES.

SO WE LOOKED FOR WAYS THAT WE COULD RE-PROCESS INSECTS INTO SOMETHING THAT WOULD BE PALATABLE AND FAMILIAR AND SOMETHING THAT WAS EASY TO WORK WITH.

AND SO WHAT DID YOU COME UP WITH?

SO, OUR ORIGINAL INSPIRATION, WE LOOKED AT FISH CAKES, WHICH WERE DEVELOPED IN THE EARLY 20th CENTURY IN JAPAN IN RESPONSE TO THE USE OF TRAWLING NETS AND BY-CATCH THAT STARTED ACCUMULATING.

THEY HAD ALL THESE UGLY FISH SPECIES THAT NOBODY WANTED TO EAT 'CAUSE THERE WASN'T REALLY A TRADITIONAL MANDATE TO USE THESE FOODS IN THEIR CUISINES.

SO THEY'VE DEVELOPED A PROCESS TO EXTRACT THE PROTEIN AND THEN REFORM IT INTO FISH CAKES.

AND I FIGURED, WELL, WE COULD DO THE SAME THING WITH INSECTS, SINCE WE'RE REALLY SOLVING THE SAME PROBLEM.

WHAT KIND OF INSECTS ARE WE TALKING ABOUT?

I MEAN, WE'RE REALLY TALKING ABOUT ANY INSECTS.

THERE'S AT LEAST 1,900 KNOWN EDIBLE SPECIES, BUT THE REAL NUMBER COULD BE ANYWHERE IN THE TEN OR HUNDRED THOUSANDS.

FOR US, WE'VE WORKED SO FAR WITH MEALWORMS, WAXWORMS, SUPERWORMS, AND CRICKETS.

AND EVERY ONE OF THEM GIVES US A DIFFERENT FLAVOR, TEXTURE, AND COLOR.

WHEN YOU SAY THEY'RE HIGH IN PROTEIN, ARE WE TALKING ABOUT PROTEIN ALMOST LIKE A TOFU SUBSTITUTE?

WE'RE TALKING MORE THAN TOFU, ALMOST DOUBLE THAT IN TOFU, FOR C-FU, THAT IS.

CRICKETS AND OTHER INSECTS CAN HAVE AS MUCH PROTEIN AS BEEF.

AND MUCH MORE OF THEM IS EDIBLE.

THEY DON'T HAVE ALL THOSE NASTY BONES IN THE WAY.

AND I IMAGINE, WHEN YOU LOOK AT HOW TO FARM AN INSECT, IT'S FAR LESS TAXING ON THE ENVIRONMENT THAN HOW RESOURCE EXPENSIVE IT IS TO, SAY, GRAZE OR RAISE 1 POUND OF BEEF, RIGHT?

OH, ABSOLUTELY.

IT TAKES AN ENORMOUS AMOUNT OF LAND, WATER, AND WE EMIT A HUGE AMOUNT OF CARBON EMISSIONS BY RAISING LIVESTOCK.

1 POUND OF BEEF REQUIRES 9 TO 10 POUNDS OF FEED TO RAISE THAT, WHEREAS IT COULD BE AROUND 2 FOR MEALWORMS.

THE OTHER GREAT BENEFIT TO RAISING INSECTS IS YOU CAN RAISE THEM HIGH.

THEY DON'T NEED SUNLIGHT, SO YOU CAN RAISE THEM IN FACTORIES AND ACTUALLY FARM THEM VERTICALLY, WHICH YOU CAN'T REALLY DO WITH ANY OTHER ANIMAL.

AND WHAT KIND OF SCALE ARE WE TALKING ABOUT?

HOW MANY MILLIONS OR BILLIONS OF INSECTS GENERATE HOW MANY POUNDS OF FOOD THAT COULD ACTUALLY GO TOWARDS THESE HUNGER CRISES?

AN INSECT IS REALLY ANYWHERE FROM 70% TO 90% EDIBLE MASS.

AND YOU CAN EAT THE WHOLE THING.

YOU JUST MIGHT NOT DIGEST ALL THE NUTRITION IN IT.

FOR C-FU IN PARTICULAR, IT TAKES ABOUT 10,000 MEALWORMS TO MAKE ABOUT A POUND AND A HALF.

BUT CONSIDER THOSE MEALWORMS WEIGH ABOUT 1/5 OF A GRAM EACH.

HOW DOES THIS ROLL OUT?

I MEAN, LET'S SAY BEST-CASE SCENARIO, FIVE YEARS FROM NOW, C-FU IS ON TRACK.

WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?

WHERE DO WE SEE C-FU?

AND HOW DOES IT HELP STARVING PEOPLE?

REALLY, WE SEE C-FU EVERYWHERE.

YOU SEE IT IN YOUR GROCERY STORE, RIGHT THERE NEXT TO CHICKEN, BEEF, FISH, OR TOFU.

AND YOU'VE GOT INSECT PROTEIN AS AN OPTION ALONGSIDE ALL THE OTHER OPTIONS ON A MENU WHEN YOU GO TO A RESTAURANT.

YOU KNOW, FOR US, WE SEE THE WEST AND INDUSTRIALIZED COUNTRIES AS BEING REALLY THE WORST DEFENDERS IN TERMS OF THEIR CONSUMPTION OF MEAT AND THE IMPACT THAT THAT HAS ON THE WORLD AND ON GLOBAL FOOD SECURITY.

SO, WE REALLY WANT TO START WITH PEOPLE AT HOME AND CHANGE DIETARY HABITS AND MOVE PEOPLE TO BE MORE CONSCIOUS ABOUT THE FOOD CHOICES THEY MAKE, AND MAKE CHOICES THAT ARE BETTER FOR THE ENVIRONMENT AND BETTER FOR THE PLANET.

SO, IF YOU COULD SORT OF WAVE YOUR MAGIC WAND, AND YOU HAD C-FU UP AND RUNNING -- LET'S SAY SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA OR PARTS OF SOUTH AMERICA OR SOUTH ASIA, WHERE THERE IS SIGNIFICANT MALNUTRITION.

HOW DOES INSECT PROTEIN GET THERE BETTER, FASTER, CHEAPER, THAN THE SOLUTIONS THAT WE HAVE TODAY?

WELL, I THINK THE FIRST THING THAT'S IMPORTANT TO MENTION IS IT'S NOT JUST ABOUT ONE SOLUTION.

SOLVING GLOBAL FOOD SECURITY IS REALLY ABOUT HAVING A DIVERSE PORTFOLIO OF SOLUTIONS THAT WORK TOGETHER AND ADDRESS ALL THE ISSUES THAT ARE RIGHT NOW PRESENT IN OUR FOOD SYSTEMS.

FOR C-FU IN PARTICULAR, C-FU IS A REFRIGERATED PRODUCT, AND IT DOESN'T NECESSARILY MEET THE NEEDS OF PEOPLE IN SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA.

BUT IT DOES PRESENT OPPORTUNITIES FOR THEM TO BECOME ENTREPRENEURS, TO START RAISING MICRO-LIVESTOCK AND START RAISING THOSE FOR CONSUMPTION IN OTHER MARKETS AND START DEVELOPING AN ECONOMY THAT BUILDS AROUND INSECTS AS A FOOD SOURCE.

AND WHAT DOES IT TASTE LIKE?

SO, WHEN WE DEVELOPED C-FU, OUR REAL GOAL WAS TO HAVE SOMETHING THAT HAD A VERY SUBTLE FLAVOR AND WAS VERY EASY TO PAIR.

AND THAT'S WHAT WE'VE REALLY FOUND WITH THE MEALWORM C-FU.

WE HAVEN'T LIKED THE FLAVOR WE'VE GOTTEN FROM CRICKETS OR FROM SUPERWORMS, ALTHOUGH WE'RE STILL WORKING WITH CRICKETS TO ADDRESS SOME ISSUES THAT MIGHT'VE COME IN THROUGH THE FEED.

WAXWORM C-FU TASTES LIKE SCRAMBLED EGGS AND WHIPPED CHEESE.

SO, THEY ALL HAVE A DIFFERENT FLAVOR, A DIFFERENT COLOR, A DIFFERENT TEXTURE.

AND WE'RE REALLY EXCITED TO EXPLORE THE 1,900 EDIBLE ONES THAT ARE OUT THERE AND THE WHO KNOWS HOW MANY OTHERS THAT ARE STILL WAITING TO BE TASTED.

ALL RIGHT.

LEE CADESKY FROM C-FU FOODS JOINING US FROM CORNELL UNIVERSITY.

THANKS SO MUCH.

THANKS.

IT OFTEN SEEMS AS THOUGH TECHNOLOGY HAS PERMEATED EVERY ASPECT OF OUR LIVES.

UP NEXT, WE TAKE A LOOK AT ONE GALLERY WHOSE ARTISTS HAVE REPLACED PAINTBRUSHES AND CANVASES WITH SILICON CHIPS AND COMPUTER SCREENS.

REPORTER MADDIE ORTON HAS THE STORY.

[ ELECTRICITY BUZZING ]

SO MUCH OF OUR LIVES IS ELECTRONICS-BASED, IT'S EASY TO TAKE THAT TV, LIGHT, OR COMPUTER FOR GRANTED.

ROWAN UNIVERSITY ART GALLERY'S SIMULATE/PERMEATE EXHIBITION ELEVATES EVERYDAY TECHNOLOGY FROM SUPPORTING PLAYER TO STAR, SHOWING TECH-BASED ART.

MAT TOMEZSKO GUEST CURATED THE SHOW.

IT'S NOT ABOUT SORT OF THIS PRECIOUSNESS, BECAUSE IT CAN BE REPLICATED A MILLION TIMES.

IT REALLY BECOMES ABOUT HOW THE VIEWER INTERACTS WITH IT.

THAT'S REALLY THE FOCUS OF IT.

ARTISTS IN THE SHOW ARE INTERESTED IN HOW PEOPLE RESPOND TO TECHNOLOGY AND, IN MANY CASES, HOW WE CAN PROGRAM TECHNOLOGY TO RESPOND TO US.

SO, I JUST PICK IT UP, AND I MOVE IT?

GO RIGHT AHEAD.

[ ]

CHRIS VECCHIO IS AN ELECTRICAL ENGINEER BY DAY.

HE'S INTERESTED IN ELECTRONICS AS AN AESTHETIC MEDIUM.

FOR THESE PIECES RIGHT HERE, I'M LITERALLY EXPOSING THE ELECTRONICS, TRYING TO DO AWAY WITH THE CASE, DO AWAY EVEN WITH THE CIRCUIT BOARD AND LET THE ELECTRONICS KIND OF SPRAWL AND CLIMB LIKE AN ORGANIC LINE OR SOMETHING.

VECCHIO SEES TECHNOLOGY AS MAGICAL.

AND HE'S IN GOOD COMPANY.

YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT'S INSIDE.

YOU DON'T KNOW HOW IT WORKS.

IT'S AN AMBIGUOUS USER INTERFACE.

[ ] [ ]

'BETWEEN A MIRROR AND A MEMORY' WAS CREATED BY BEVAN WEISSMAN AND HIS COLLEAGUES AT THE NEW AMERICAN PUBLIC ART COLLECTIVE.

WE REALLY WANTED TO EXPLORE HOW SOMETIMES WE CAN SEE OURSELVES AS OTHER PEOPLE IF THE CIRCUMSTANCES ARE RIGHT.

A VIDEO FEED TAKES FOOTAGE OF UNSUSPECTING VIEWERS, AND THEN A MONITOR SHOWS IT BACK TO THEM ON A 10-SECOND DELAY.

NORMALLY, WHEN WE SEE OURSELVES, WE'RE LOOKING AT A MIRROR.

WE'RE LOOKING AT OUR FACEBOOK PHOTOS.

WE'RE LOOKING AT ALL THESE IMAGES OF US WHICH HAVE BEEN COLLECTED AND STATIC.

BUT WE DON'T GET TO SEE OURSELVES IN THE FLESH AS ANOTHER PERSON.

AND THE VIDEO THAT WE'VE CREATED IS DELAYED LONG ENOUGH SO THAT IT LETS YOU SEE YOURSELF AS AN OTHER.

IT'S THESE KINDS OF TECHIE POSSIBILITIES THAT HAVE ARTIST JODY SWEITZER EXCITED.

HER VIDEO ART PIECE, CALLED 'PLEDGE,' PLAYS THE PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE AND ITS VARIOUS ITERATIONS SPLICED WITH ICONIC AMERICAN IMAGES.

WITH THE HELP OF A COLLABORATOR, THE VIDEO CHANGES WHEN SOMEONE WALKS BY A MOTION DETECTOR.

HE SAID THAT HE COULD ACTUALLY WRITE A SOFTWARE PROGRAM FOR ME THAT WOULD CUE UP THE VIDEOS.

I PLEDGE ALLEGIANCE TO MY FLAG.

THEY INITIATE THE CONVERSATION.

I'M JUST BASICALLY CREATING THE FODDER.

THAT'S PART OF WHAT GALLERY DIRECTOR MARY SALVANTE LOVES ABOUT THIS TECH-BASED CONTEMPORARY ART -- THE PARTICIPATION FACTOR.

THE VIEWER NOW IS IN CONTROL OF WHAT KIND OF EXPERIENCE THEY HAVE.

AND FROM ALL THE LITERAL BELLS AND WHISTLES GOING OFF IN WHAT MIGHT OTHERWISE BE A QUIET GALLERY, THAT EXPERIENCE SOUNDS LIKE AN ENGAGING ONE.

AND THAT WRAPS IT UP FOR THIS TIME.

FOR MORE ON SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, AND INNOVATION, VISIT OUR WEBSITE.

YOU CAN ALSO CHECK US OUT ON FACEBOOK AND JOIN THE CONVERSATION ON TWITTER.

UNTIL NEXT TIME, I'M HARI SREENIVASAN.

THANKS FOR WATCHING.

FUNDING FOR THIS PROGRAM WAS MADE POSSIBLE BY THE CORPORATION FOR PUBLIC BROADCASTING AND CONTRIBUTIONS TO THIS STATION.