The AlmaMAC episode 126 (July 11/19): Using elastic fibers to understand DNA, undersea cables, spider silk… with Adam Fortais (Host: Matt)

Matt talks to co-host and PhD candidate Adam Fortais about the experimental physics research he does.
Adam studies “soft condensed matter”, or, squishy things. Specifically, he is working with thin elastic fibers (10x thinner than a human hair) to understand how everything from undersea cables, to DNA, to your headphone cables respond to different stresses.
This is a video of Adam’s supervisor describing the exploratory work they do in the lab.
Adam talks about DNA supercoiling, one of the major inspirations for his current work. This is a short (bio-heavy) description.
And finally, while all this looping is cool, it can damage your cables if you aren’t careful. Here is some practicle advice on how to avoid damaging cables (not Adam).
You can follow Adam on Twitter here or check out his blog at

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