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Upcoming Events


Tickets are free but limited - online reservations are required.

Please join the e-mail list to receive announcements when reservations open. 

Spring 2016 Series

All events take place at 7 p.m. at the Beckman Cente in Irvine, CA. 

Wednesday, January 27  7:00 p.m. 
Deciphering the Mysteries of the Unconscious Brain Under General Anesthesia

How general anesthesia works is considered a 170-year old mystery of modern medicine. Nothing could be further from the truth. I will show that general anesthesia works because the anesthesia drugs create oscillations in the brain’s circuits that disrupt the brain’s ability to transmit information among various regions.  These insights provide principled, neuroscience-based ways to take care of patients receiving general anesthesia and also show how studies of general anesthesia offer a unique window into the fundamental workings of the brain.

Emery Brown, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Wednesday, February 10, 2016   7:00 p.m.
Humankind - How Biology and Geography Shape Human Diversity

Where did we come from? Who are we? Where are we going? Where and when did the human species originate? When and by what routes did we spread spread across the world? How did we adapt biologically to all the different environments we now inhabit? What is our future?

Alexander Harcourt is Professor Emeritus, Department of Anthropology, University of California, Davis

Wednesday, Feb 24, 2016   7:00 p.m.
Ethics of Human Gene Editing

For millennia people have tried to influence what we would now call the genetic qualities of the human species, but technological limitations have long stymied these attempts.  In the last few years new technologies have been developed, like CRISPR, which are so precise that people are talking about the possibility of “editing” the genes of humans.  But, if it can be done, should it be done?  Some say we could rid the species of debilitating disease, and others say this will usher in a dystopian society where inequality is literally written into our bodies.  In this talk John H. Evans, who has extensively studied ethical debates about genetic intervention in humans, will describe the current ethical debate about human gene editing in light of similar debates going back to the early 20th century.

John Evans, Professor of Sociology, University of California, San Diego

Wednesday, March 9, 2016
From Nature to Engineering - Using Animal Models to Develop Materials

In the Kisailus Biomimetics and Nanostructured Materials Lab, researchers look to nature’s inspiration in designing the next generation engineering products and materials. Building nanostructures based on nature has multiple potential advantages, including low-cost, environmentally benign processing, exquisite control of architectural design, and the energy efficiency offered by complex living organisms.

David Kisailus is the Winston Chung Endowed Professor in Energy Innovation in the department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering and the Materials Science and Engineering program at the University of California, Riverside.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016  7:00 pm
6th Annual Seymour Benzer Lecture
A Dynamic Atlas of Neurodevelopment for Understanding How the Living Connectome is Built

Hari Shroff, National Institutes of Health

Tuesday, April 12, 2016   7:00 pm
Finding Your Inner Fish

Neil Shubin, University of Chicago.  Neil Shubin is the author of two popular science books, The Universe Within (2013) and the best-selling Your Inner Fish (2008), which was chosen by the National Academy of Sciences as the best book of the year in 2009. Trained at Columbia, Harvard, and the University of California at Berkeley, Shubin is the Robert Bensley Distinguished Service Professor and Associate Dean of Biological Sciences at the University of Chicago. In 2011 he was elected to the National Academy of Sciences.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016   7:00 p.m.
The Dog Aging Project: Can old dogs teach us new tricks?

Dog breeds vary dramatically not only in shape, size and behavior, but also in patterns of aging and age-related disease. Companion dogs provide us with tremendous opportunities to better understand the determinants of healthy aging in both dogs and people. They live in our own environment, each breed represents replicate samples of relatively uniform genotypes, and the quality of the medical infrastructure for dogs is second only to that for humans. This talk will explore the ways that the Dog Aging Project is working to identify the environmental and genetic factors that influence healthy aging in dogs.

Daniel Promislow, University of Washington

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