Episode 16: Emarose Ahmed on Chemistry and Honestly a Bunch of Other STuff
Image: Methane hybridization. (Source: Wikimedia Commons)
Our new episode is available from our Podcast host here: Episode 16
We’re also listed on:
- Chemistry concepts mentioned
- Hybridization (Department of Chemistry, University of Wisconsin-Madison)
- “What is chirality and how did it get in my molecules?” (video, TedED)
- NMR (nuclear magnetic resonance) basic knowledge
- Did Rutherford actually say that quote about physics or stamp collecting? Unclear. Have taxonomists been salty about it for years anyway? Absolutely.
- “Spectropolarimetry of primitive phototrophs as global surface biosignatures” (October 2020, Astrobiology)
- We also mention our previous ep on ST:DS9’s episode “Rejoined,” Episode 6, the origin of “is it gay if it’s in space?”
- Charles’s cat, Al
- “Carol never wore her safety goggles / Now she doesn’t need them.” lab safety poster
- Dolichovespula maculata, the “bald-faced hornet” (BugGuide)
Charles: Hello, this is Assigned Scientist at Bachelor’s, the only science podcast I know about with no cis people allowed. I’m Charles and I’m an entomologist.
Tessa: And I’m Tessa and I’m an astrobiologist.
Charles: And today we have a guest, uh, Emarose Ahmed, I believe is how it’s pronounced. Emarose is a synthetic organic chemist in the Kang research group at UNLV. They are beginning their PhD program in organic chemistry in Fall 2021, where they’re going to focus their research on phosphorus chemistry [cat meows in background] and creating novel synthetic methods for historically difficult and low yielding reactions.
And in that biography, we just had a guest spot from my cat Al, but hopefully he’ll be quiet for the rest of it, but Emarose won’t. Hello, Emarose.
Emarose: Hello. Thank you for having me.
Charles: Thank you for coming on. So normally with these podcasts, we begin by asking people sort of how they got started in science, how they got interested in science.
Emarose: I, in high school I wanted to be a forensic pathologist because I thought it was very cool. And that didn’t really take off, mostly because of the cost of med school. But in high school, I was taking an AP chemistry course, which I hated until we started talking about orbital hybridization. And then for some reason, orbital hybridization, really, it made everything click and [cat meows in background] I fell in love with chemistry.
And so then after that, I majored in chemistry in college. [cat meows in background] I was going to major in bio, but then again, I was like, I’m not going to med school, that’s too expensive. That’s how… I love your cat.
Charles: He’s… really good. He’s just annoyed that I’m not paying attention to him. He doesn’t understand podcasts or, um, most things really,
Emarose: frankly, I think in his mind, the only thing that you should be paying attention to is him. And that’s a valid point of view.
Charles: I mean, he’s not completely wrong. Were you done answering or did you just get rudely interrupted by my cat?
Emarose: I wasn’t, it wasn’t rudely interrupted. It was pleasant. Where was I? Oh yeah. So I did, I majored in chemistry in college. I took an o-chem [organic chemistry] class. I hated that. And then I got to o-chem two and I was like, actually, I like this very much. I ended up joining a lab that semester. And since then I basically dream about like organic chemistry. So I guess orbital hybridization is really what kicked that off for me,
Charles: For the listeners at home who like me are chemistry novices, could you explain briefly what orbital hybridization is?
Emarose: I would love to. So there are locations around the nucleus where electrons are most likely to be found and they take different shapes. But a lot of the times the shapes that we have calculated for the electron probabilities don’t match up what we see experimentally So the classic example for that is methane, which is CH4 , has four equal distance bonds. Um, but based off of the orbital calculations that we have, it should have three bonds of equal distance and one bond of a shorter distance. And so the way that we make up for that discrepancy is that we say that, uh, the three P orbitals and the one S orbital have hybridized to form SP three orbitals, four of them. And so that helps explain like the equal bond distances and the bond angles that we find experimentally. Although I’ve recently learned in my quantum chemistry class, that, that doesn’t actually physically happen and that’s deeply hurtful, but, um, it is a good model to explain what we see.
Charles: Wow. Well, there are two things that I would love to dig into a little bit more from that. So the first thing is, you mentioned what we see experimentally, and I would love to dig into what it actually looks like to study, like electron movement in that way. And then secondly, that it doesn’t actually happen physically. And I’m not even sure how to phrase a question about that, but imagine. Just like five question marks in a row.
Emarose: Yeah. That’s also how I feel, so. Okay. Well we’ll tackle the first one. Um, could you please repeat the first question for me?
Charles: Yeah. So what does it look like to study, like, electron movement experimentally, like, how can you actually know how electrons are moving?
Emarose: There are a lot of methods, but um, I only deal with one of them, so I don’t actively watch electron movement in my field. But, um, what we do is we use, like, after we do an experiment or before we do an experiment, we take this big machine called the NMR, which stands for nuclear magnetic resonance, and that tells us the exact structure of a compound. And so based off of our before and after we can see what’s changed. And then there are like other methods that’ll let you know what electron movement, like what the electrons are up to down there. Um, there’s like a, what is it? Atomic force microscopy, which tells you the topography of a molecule.
And that gives you a pretty good idea of electron movement. I know that there are methods that you can use to watch reactions happen. But those tend to be really sensitive because the timescale for a lot of machines is a lot slower than the actual reaction itself. But that, those aren’t my field, unfortunately.
Charles: Just the, the notion of watching electrons, it’s wild to me as a biologist and as an entomologist. To see my study subjects… I just look at them, you know, cause my organismal focus now is Dictyoptera, which is mantises, cockroaches, and termites, and compared to some animals they’re small, but compared to insects in general, all three of those are large to moderate.
Tessa: One other thing I was going to ask is that… my understanding is that, at least from being married to someone who’s currently taking a class on quantum physics, is that you talk about electrons moving around, but that makes it almost kind of sound like a one, an electron is like a localized point, as opposed to being this weird cloud of potentials that’s kind of smeared over space.
Emarose: Yeah. I love chemistry so much. And sometimes it just makes no sense, but yeah, no, that’s, that’s exactly how I was also taught to view it, is that the electrons are very delocalized and also not super physical, and that a lot of their energy is, is a wave and less of a like physical point. We had like, literally just talked about viewing electrons as this smeared out charge cloud.
It’s interesting because in different fields of chemistry, we have to view it differently in order to explain what we’re doing. So like in quantum chemistry, we do view the electrons as smeared out charges. But then in organic chemistry, we have to view them as like point charges in order to explain reaction mechanisms and so on. And so I haven’t found a way to make those up yet. I would like to combine them. And I just don’t know how
Charles: This is all fascinating to me as a philosophy of a biology student and broadly a philosophy of science student because it’s probably the chip on my shoulder as a systematist and taxonomist… I don’t know, you’re probably familiar with the Rutherford quote, “Everything is either physics or stamp collecting.”
Emarose: [laughs] I’m not actually.
Charles: Well, a lot of taxonomists have been salty about this for decades. So it’s, it’s interesting to me that because chemistry… cause physics and chemistry are often presented as like relatively more solidly, real…
Charles: Yeah, rigorous, and describing sort of unassailably real phenomena.
And so it’s interesting that the conception of what an electron is and how it acts would vary so much based, not on like a universalized understanding of what it is, but rather disciplinary necessity, if that makes sense.
Emarose: Yeah. That does make sense. It is frustrating. It is upsetting. I would like a single answer. That’s why I’m in the field and I’m not getting it.
Charles: Oh, dear. I mean that’s life as a scientist, right.
Emarose: It’s true.
Charles: No, it’s interesting to me also, because for a long time I used electron clouds as like a metaphor for gender.
Emarose: How so?
Charles: Well, in the sense that we tend to think of gender as being a specific fixed point, you’re male or you’re female, but even within male and female, there are large areas of variance, both in identity and in expression.
And then with orbital hybridization, you get these newer, um, you know, things that exist only unto themselves really. And, you know, that’s, non-binary people.
Emarose: That’s beautiful, actually. That’s very cute.
Charles: Thank you.
Emarose: I like that.
Charles: So we talked about studying electrons and now we can pull down the pin that’s five question marks in a row of, whether orbital hybridization is actually describing, like, physical reality. Uh, truly, I don’t even know that I know enough about it to know how to phrase a question about it, hence the five question marks.
Emarose: Sometimes I also feel like that about things in chemistry. But I don’t fully understand it because a lot of quantum mechanics goes right over my head, but from what I do understand, it’s just that, so the orbitals themselves are not, they’re not moving, they’re not changing at all to accommodate the four bonds in methane, for example, but that is the orbitals are fixed.
And that is what we know about them. But for some reason they don’t look like that.
I don’t even know if what I’m saying makes sense. Um, it’s just, I guess hybridization is just what we’re using to come up with an explanation, because we don’t know why we don’t know why, man. That’s upsetting,
Charles: Although on a sort of a meta level of this being a science communication podcast, I do think the message that scientists often know just enough more than other people to be able to act like they know a lot more may be enlightening and/or reassuring.
Emarose: I think it is. I really think it is because I’ll frequently come across things and I’ll ask people and their answer is, Iunno [I don’t know], which is valid. And so when people say like, Oh, you know so much about this, my answer is frequently no, I do not, but thank you. Because we really don’t, we don’t know that much.
Charles: Oh, dear. The world is… well, the universe really is, is vast and full of confusing entities and sometimes that’s exciting and sometimes it’s extremely frustrating.
Emarose: It’s so frustrating, but also exciting. It’s true.
Charles: And that’s the central conflict of science besides. Not paying people enough.
Emarose: Uh, another one. Oh boy.
Charles: Yeah. So what are you working on now?
Emarose: I’m in the process of synthesizing a brand new molecule, which is very exciting. It’s very large. It’s got a molar weight of between 350 and 400 grams per mole, depending on the variant. So I’m in the process of synthesizing that right now I have 16 derivatives of it.
And so I’m trying to publish based on that, um, just that, Hey, it exists. And here’s how I did it. It has a couple of applications that I’ve been looking into, but like looking into those completely is not my field. So I will not be putting the energy into that. A lot of what I’m focusing on is like the synthetic method and purification, which is, that is the worst part of this project by far. It’s the purification. It’s just a very, very non-polar compound. And so it does not like to separate from its impurities. At all, I spent the better part of a year and a half trying to purify my compounds enough to get a pure spectrum, like pure enough to publish.
Charles: Hmm, there is a metaphor there either for radical self-acceptance or toxic masculinity.
Emarose: Ooh, I like those.
Charles: Yeah. So you can choose either one with regards to not wanting to get rid of your impurities, as the case necessitates.
Tessa: We’re getting pretty deep here this morning,
Charles: A lot of metaphors, you know, but listen, as a philosophy of science student, all I have are metaphors… don’t tell my program director I said that. Okay. So your current research and you’re starting a PhD next fall.
Emarose: Yes, I am. We’re excited for it. I will hopefully be focusing on phosphorus chemistry, like you had mentioned. Um, and other historically difficult reactions. The one that I want to tackle is cyclo-propanation because those are very, very low yielding in like the 10% and that’s garbage for what we do as a synthetic lab. We need like 90% yields. So cycle appropriations, that’s the one that I’m focusing on. Phosphorus chemistry seems to be a little bit nicer in that it reacts and is, is stable. So thank you phosphorus.
Charles: Thank you phosphorus.
Emarose: Thank you, phosphorus.
Charles: So why phosphorus then? Like why study phosphorus?
Emarose: I didn’t have a particular interest in it when I first joined my lab, but my lab is the, they created this catalyst. I don’t remember the full name of it, cause I haven’t had to use it yet, but it is a phosphorus catalyst and it’s chiral.
So, um, that’s like a big thing in our lab is, is chiral phosphorus chemistry, and my PI [principal investigation, i.e. lab leader] loves their catalyst, rightfully so. So we just have to focus on transformations using that.
Charles: I’m finding this revelation, that chemists also develop a really strong affection for the things that they work on, in the same way that I think a lot of biologists do, very charming and a real message of humans are just humans all over the place. We love loving things.
Emarose: It’s true. I love TLCs – the thin layer chromatography that we have to do in my lab. I love those little funky dudes. They’re cool. That’s like phosphorus. It’s not mine yet. We’ll get there. Oh, chirality. I gripe about everything, but I just love it. I would like to throw that out there.
Charles: Well, did we describe what it means for something to be chiral?
Emarose: No. So if a molecule is chiral, that means that it will interact with plane polarized light and rotate it in a specific direction, uh, the direction and like the angle that it rotates. It depends on a lot of factors like the molecule itself, but it’s so highly sought after in chemistry because of its applications. I don’t know a lot, like I haven’t taken biology since ninth grade, I’ll be honest.
Tessa: I have quite a bit to say about that actually.
Emarose: Oh, please do.
Tessa: Cause we talk about chirality a lot in astrobiology. So chirality, in addition to doing the nifty trick with polarizing light. So chirality refers to whether or not a molecule can exist as a mirror image of itself, one that you can’t superimpose on another. So a molecule that is perfectly symmetrical can’t be chiral because a mirror image looks exactly the same. If you take a mirror image of it and it looks different. You know, like your left hand and your right hand, you can’t like superimpose them directly on top of each other, then it’s chiral.
If you have a bunch of molecules that are all chiral. And the same direction, which is usually the case in biology, pretty much everything we’ve run across uses left-handed amino acids or, and right-handed sugars. So biology is very, very, has a very, very strong chiral preference and mentioned the, um, polarizing light, which has actually been suggested as a potential bio-signature for looking for light reflected off of planets in other solar systems, because if your planet is covered in something that really leaks chiral molecules, just say, you know, a huge sheet of algae, a lot of the light that reflects off that algae is going to get polarized in the direction of its chirality.
So if you see a weirdly polarized light signal coming from a planet, then it could mean that there’s life there.
Emarose: That’s incredible. That… I’m speechless. That’s wonderful. Thank you. That’s so cool.
Tessa: Yeah, you’re welcome. There was a paper out about it. Uh, just a few months ago… “Spectral polarimetry of primitive phototrophic as global surface biosignatures,” lead author is William B. Sparks… came out in October.
Emarose: That’s so exciting. That really gives me a lot of hope. Chiral synthesis is so hard.
Charles: So your lab works a lot on chirality and you’re going to be working on, did we actually get to finish talking about why phosphorus is interesting?
Emarose: Um, aside from my PI just liking it very much because of his catalyst, not particularly.
So he likes it a lot because of his catalyst. I haven’t done a lot of work with phosphorus chemistry, but like, from what I’ve seen, it’s very stable and its reactions… it’s very like nice, and it separates… It’s very easy to characterize for a lot of the nuclei that you use. Um, there’s a different NMR that you have to take.
So there’s like carbon NMR and there’s hydrogen NMR, which are the most common ones, but, uh, there’s also fluorine and phosphorus NMR. And so like for phosphorus compounds, you just have to run the NMR long enough to get however many phosphorus atoms, like, are in there showing up as a signal. So that’s very nice.
They’re really stable at room temperature. They’re just, they’re so cute. And they’re so nice to work with, or at least they seem like it. But my opinion of that might change in a couple months.
Tessa: So is the fact that they’re nice to work with have.. Is there any relationship to the properties that also make it really biologically relevant? Cause like, I know for example, you can store a ton of energy in phosphorus because that’s what biology does with our good old friend ATP.
Emarose: you know, I just finished my biochemistry class and I’ll be honest. I wasn’t very good at it. So I can’t tell you firsthand.
Tessa: I got a C in biochem too, so I feel you.
Emarose: I also am getting a C in biochem. Oh, it’s okay. It’s over.
Charles: Oh yeah. Happy end of semester, everyone.
Emarose: Happy end of semester.
Emarose: I don’t have a cat because I have dogs and that wouldn’t work well for my dogs, but I wish I wish I could have a cat. They’re so cute.
Charles: They’re the best animals in the world.
Emarose: I have a bunch of reptiles… love them very much, but they do not like me.
Tessa: Reptiles can be like that.
Emarose: Yeah. I’ve got choice words for them. I love them though.
Tessa: We have a bearded dragon who is constantly judging us, I’m pretty sure.
Emarose: Oh, mine do too. It’s just the side glare that they give.
Tessa: Yeah, exactly.
Charles: No, I just have two cats and right now I have a little cage full of cockroaches because we divvied up the live arthropods at the collection earlier this year, when it seemed like nobody was going to be going into the building for months.
Emarose: I… as a person who has bugs in their house, like frequently on purpose to feed lizards. I think the idea of having cockroaches in my house on purpose is more upsetting than crickets.
Charles: Ugh, we were doing so well. Uh, no, I love, I love cockroaches. We got to bring you on. We got to… Well, I don’t know how that would work, but we got to bring everybody on who doesn’t like cockroaches and talk to them and get them to love cockroaches. That’s my mission. Cause they’re great. They’re very cute, depending on which ones you look at, a lot of them are beautiful because here’s the thing… there are about… I always get it mixed up, cause now Blattodea the order includes termites. So the number of cockroaches and the number of Blattodea used to be the same number and now they aren’t. That’s a whole thing, but I think it’s about 4,000 species described species… 4,000 to 5,000 species of cockroaches.
And only like a couple dozen are quote unquote pest species. Like almost all cockroaches in the world are just out there vibing and minding their own business.
Emarose: I think that’s more upsetting to learn about.
Charles: But this is only because of your ingrained prejudices that you think are Hirsch’s are bad. But in fact, they’re just out there vibing and eating detritus. You should be thanking cockroaches for a beautiful world.
Emarose: They’re just so expensive.
Charles: Well, compared to crickets, yes. But compared to many pets… no.
Emarose: That’s true.
Charles: I love cockroaches. … Anyway, so chemistry.
Emarose: Fewer cockroaches are involved in chemistry.
Charles: fewer. Um, although there’s something there in like, I don’t know, I’m so far removed from chemistry, but you know, like allergens… molecules…
Tessa: Cockroaches are made of molecules generally, yes.
Charles: And a little bit of love
Emarose: That’s… on my lab window, okay. So the chemistry building at my university is very strange. It’s, um, built to look like a bomb shelter, which is fun. And it’s got a bunch of holes in it. It’s I guess they won these awards in like the sixties for having perfect symmetry in these holes, but we also have.
We have our windows and then we have like an outer shell. So if you’re looking out of a window in the building, you can see the inside of another wall because it’s just this weird shell we have, but this is the perfect place for a lot of bugs to hang out. So on my lab windows, we used to have like eight hornet nests, like one in every corner. And I guess this doesn’t really relate to anything, but I used to call them my lab partners and I like hated them ‘cause I just had to look at them all day. But then one day they like the university got rid of them and I was very sad cause I was like, I don’t. I can’t come up with this on my own.
I need them, I miss them.
Charles: I get it, as somebody who loves hornets actually
Emarose: Do you?
Charles: Yes! Well, because hornets belong to a family in Hymenoptera called Vespidae, the vespids, and they include all of the, most of the least popular wasps, so yellow jackets, paper wasps, hornets, the ones that people talk about when they talk about hating wasps most of the time. But I love them because they are like somebody who enjoys minimalism and color blocking and aesthetics.
Charles: They’re an absolute dream. They’re so beautiful. Just these clearly delineated blocks of color in wonderful patterns. My favorite is the bald faced hornet, which is not a true hornet, it’s Dolichovespula maculata, it’s black and white. It’s gorgeous. It’s beautiful.
Emarose: That sounds like it would be pretty actually.
Charles: I’ll send you a picture.
Charles: They’re fantastic. So was you should, do you have an entomology department at your university?
Emarose: Uh, I try to stay away from the biology department in general because their building smells. So I’m not a hundred percent sure.
Charles: Well, this is what I’m saying is that you should swap because entomologists would love that building. To just see bugs around all the time? Yes. That’d be a great time for everybody, I think.
Emarose: We need a new building. I’ll see what we can do.
Charles: Yeah. Work it out. Right. So we talked about phosphorus, chirality, defending cockroaches’ honor. Is there anything else in chemistry that you would like to communicate to the world?
Emarose: Please be careful if you’re handling chemicals, lab safety is very important.
Always wear your goggles. They, ah, in all the high school classrooms, they had this very cheesy poster. It was basically like, wear your goggles before you don’t need them. And it’s just like, you’re going to go blind. If you don’t wear your…
Tessa: “Carol never wore her goggles. Now she, now she doesn’t need them.”
Tessa: We had that one in all my chem labs too.
Emarose: I always thought that they were ridiculous. But then, um, a couple of weeks ago I was working and I accidentally got dichloromethane up my arm and I was like, ah, no. We really have to make sure that we’re really good about life safety. Not that I was being unsafe.
It’s just that, like, I’ve got very long arms, so I need very long sleeves and like I had reached up and so my sleeve fell and then I got dichloromethane on my arm, which. Uh, if you’ve never gotten that on your arm before burns pretty bad.
Charles: Hmm. Yeah, this is again, what’s nice about being in taxonomy and systematics because our lab protocols are very, like, just really chill. Like the worst thing that a termite is going to do to you is maybe gross you out a little bit.
Emarose: No we have… the worst thing in our lab, uh, I think is either diethylhexyl zinc or … dilithium. And both of those are such strong bases that they’re pyroforic. And so like, we have to take a safety course before we’re even allowed to touch them because like, they’ll just catch on fire.
Emarose: So they just, just like take the hydrogens out of the air and catch it. They just catch on fire. And so our lab protocols are very, very strict.
Charles: Well, so for anybody who like me is a real chemistry dunce… Why, how does… how… basically what I’m asking is how does fire work?
Emarose: Oh, okay. So fire is, you’re breaking bonds and releasing energy.
So fire in general, it was like combustion reactions. You’re breaking carbon hydrogen bonds in oxygen. And like that just, it releases a lot of energy because… so the carbon hydrogen bonds are very stable. They are stable. They’re very stable. So when they break, they release a lot of energy.
Charles: The final thing that we’re doing with episodes now is asking guests to weigh in on a question that we have pondered ourselves and are now just collecting responses on.
And so I will ask Tessa, do you think we should go for robot death or what were the other ones?
Tessa: Um, is it gay if it’s in space. Yeah, I think those are two major ones. Okay. Oh, and the which one?
Charles: Oh, alsoapocalypse. Okay. Yeah. So you can choose Emarose, which of these three that you would like
Emarose: Hmm. I’m interested in the gay in space question.
Charles: Well, fantastic. Okay. So in, um, I think this first came up when we discussed the gayest episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, are you familiar with Deep Space Nine?
Emarose: I haven’t watched Deep Space Nine, but I love The Next Generation.
Charles: Um, okay, well watch Deep Space Nine. We’ll bring you back on to watch your first episode of DS9 and it will be great. I mean, if you want, if you want to come back. I, yeah, I don’t want to be too forward.
Emarose: No, y’all are wonderful.
Charles: Fantastic. It’s… we invite everybody else to come back on to talk about Star Trek basically. So, so it first came up in the gayest episode of Deep Space Nine, which is where Jadzia Dax ends… It’s a very complicated situation and I don’t want to make you late to your tattoo appointment, so I won’t get into all of it right now. But basically the idea is she has the memories of when a part of her used to be a man and was married to a woman.
And now a woman who has a part of that woman in a new person is there. And now they’re both women. And so then the question, is this really gay if they’re reliving the relationship that they had when it was het, but now it’s gay and then sort of variations on that theme of basically… Do the category, it’s kind of a two pronged question of, do the categories of sexuality that we sort ourselves into still hold when we, for instance, bring in aliens and then also do these categories still hold in like a future where the particular context culturally that gave rise to them is no longer necessarily relevant.
Emarose: Well, okay. So like me as a person, I think I just kinda like to describe everything as gay. Like, everything I do is gay by default, uh, because I’m gay. So I don’t know. That’s um, I’m, I’m torn between what I feel and what is maybe a more reasonable answer.
Tessa: You can focus on how you feel. I mean, we are interviewing you here. You’re, you know, you’re calling the shots
Charles: At this point in time the only opinion that matters is yours.
Emarose: Thank you. That’s also how I approach things. I’m kidding. Um, I think in the spirit of being gay than, yes, it is, it is still gay if aliens are involved. I don’t know that aliens… Like, I dunno, what’s up with them and, and gender or sexuality. So I’m just going to say it’s probably like blanket gay.
Charles: Well, I do think this is an interesting new perspective that I don’t think Tessa and I have considered of, not just if the like, relationship from an external point of view is gay, but things becoming gay as via Midas touch of, if I am experiencing it, then by default, it is also gay.
Emarose: That is how I live through the world. So. I mean, yeah, I think… I’m gay, and so just everything I deal with is gay. And so…
Charles: I mean, not to be too presumptuous as well, but I think this is a fairly common, like non binary point of view often.
Emarose: Yeah. From I’ve talked to, yeah, this is hard to fit into lines cleanly. So we might as well go for all of them, yeah.
Charles: Whereas Tessa and I are both very straightforwardly gay in a, in a sort of a. More just like I am a man and I’m only into men and Tessa is a woman and she’s a lesbian.
Tessa: Yep. We don’t have the universal gay-ing powers that, um, non-binary people sometimes have.
Emarose: I’ll, thank you, I would say that perhaps you can, it’s not, it’s not exclusive to us.
Charles: Well, things are, you know, things are very fluid. What, even is gender, am I right?
Emarose: Boy, do I wish I had an answer to that.
Charles: None of us ever will.
Emarose: It’s true.
Charles: I think that is, I think truly that’s all that we have time for. So this has been fantastic. You’ve been a great guest. If people want to find you online or find more about what you’ve worked on, where should they look?
Emarose: Uh, I have a Twitter and an Instagram, um, both of which have the same username. It’s @tenuissimus. It’s like a muscle in cats that I accidentally cut when I was dissecting them and stuff.
Charles: Oh no. Well, they were dead already,
Emarose: So it’s a very, very thin muscle. And doesn’t do a lot from what I remember.
Charles: Cats are great mysteries.
Emarose: They are perfect. Chef’s kiss, love them. And I’m publishing soon at some point, and I’m definitely going to post about that. So that’s where you’d be able to find my stuff. Thank you all very much for having me on. I really appreciate it.
Charles: Thank you so much for coming on. This has been great.
We’ve got to get you back on to watch Deep Space Nine. So you can find me on Twitter @cockroacharles, and Tessa?
Tessa: You can find me on Twitter @spacermase.
Charles: You can find the show on Twitter @ASABpod or at our website where we post transcripts of every episode, asabpodcast.com
Tessa: And until next time, keep on science-ing.