Published Author Category Events, Frontier RTP, RTP180

October means time for Halloween and everything gory. For this month’s RTP180, we brought in five different experts to discuss the topic of Blood & Guts. Spooky, right? With some “graphic content” warning slides, this RTP180 was not for the squeamish. And in the spirit of Halloween, we had another treat from future Boxyard RTP vendor RTP Uncorked, who came in to serve up some funhouse-themed wine.

Dr. Marianne Barrier of the NC Museum of Natural Sciences started us off right by discussing blood—specifically, monkey blood. By studying monkeys off the coast of Puerto Rico, Dr. Barrier and her team are working to get a snapshot of their health, since it can teach us a lot about humans. One large resource they use is Zooniverse, where anyone (even non-science buffs like me) can help with the research by looking through their monkey blood slides. Want more information? Stop monkeying around and find the video and their project on Zooniverse!

Next, Dr. Ragini Thanissery from Theriot Laboratory at the NC State College of Veterinary Medicine gave us the low-down on CDI (also known as Clostridium difficile, or C. diff, in companion animals and humans). There are over 500,000 CDI infections worldwide, and more than 29,000 deaths per year. Watch the video to learn more about which antibiotics can compromise your healthy digestive system, and the interesting ways it is treated.

Janie Slaughter from the Wake Tech Criminal Justice Technology Department opened with, “I like the dead; those are my people.” You’re sure to be laughing throughout her presentation thanks to Janie’s no-nonsense nature and intriguing facts about what her job as a crime scene analyst really entails. She says her hardest job is convincing people CSI isn’t real—TV shows have given the idea that it’s a glamorous job, but as we saw from the “graphic content” slide, that’s not the case. Janie talked about the different scenarios crime scene analysts encounter, how they find the murder weapon, and how TV shows can actually aid in criminal activity.

Jake Requard and Dr. Tom Egan from Lung Banks of America closed the evening with a tag-team presentation on the opportunities and obstacles for lung transplant recipients. Even with over 51% of people registered as organ donors, there’s a disparity between supply and demand for lungs. We learned about the process of recovering lungs after a sudden death, as well as how long lungs can last after death. Watch the video to find out these and other reasons not to transplant, and why so much venture capital for lung research is going into studying pigs!

Ready for more #RTP180? Our next topic is Physics —be sure to reserve your tickets for the November 21 event!

Thanks to presenting sponsor RTI International for enabling us to provide a platform for our community to share their knowledge. We’re also glad to have UNC-TV as our producer—if you can’t make it to any RTP180 event, you can catch the live stream beginning at 6:00PM EST the day of the show at, and be sure to follow along with us on Twitter using #RTP180.