Genomes, Atoms, & Scientific Discovery

nna2-2017-April-shareableCalling all science geeks, nerds, dweebs, dorks, and goobers! For the second year running, Nerd Nite Ann Arbor is proud to partner with the Michigan State University Science Festival and RELATE to host a strictly-science evening.

On tap this year: RELATE alum Shweta Ramdas gives us the inside scoop on the kinds of information about our own genes can – and can’t – tell us about our health and ancestry. MSU’s own Zach Constan talks about how we study teeny tiny atoms – and why it matters for everything from your body’s function to nuclear science. Terry McGlynn will round us out by talking about when scientists make huge discoveries…by accident?! Going to be a great co-hosted edition of NNA2, so grab a buddy and a couple of brews, then head on down and join us for a science-tastic good time!

When: Thursday, April 20 – doors 6:30pm/talks 7:00pm
Where: LIVE (102 S 1st St)
How much: $0, thanks AADL!


shweta

 

Shweta Ramdas: “What your genome can say about you”

In the last decade, we suddenly have access to each position in our DNA. My talk will focus on what this can (and cannot) tell us: about ancestry, health, and behavior.

About Shweta: I’m a 5th year PhD student in the department of Bioinformatics at the University of Michigan. My research focuses on the genetic basis of psychiatric traits and aging.

 

 

Photos of NSCL at Michigan State University.Zach Constan: “A Supernova in the Lab: Nuclear Research at NSCL”

MSU’s National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory (NSCL) is one of the world’s leading rare isotope research facilities. How do researchers study atomic nuclei that are too small to see, exist for less than a second, and can’t be found on Earth? Simply accelerate them to half the speed of light, smash them, and then study the pieces. The secrets we learn could help explain what happens in exploding stars and the origins of elements in your body. In addition, MSU has begun constructing the $730 million Facility for Rare Isotope Beams, a DOE Office of Science project to design and establish a world-leading laboratory that will push the boundaries of nuclear science.

About Zach: Zach Constan earned his Bachelor’s Degree in physics (1995) from Albion College, studied psychoacoustics for his Ph.D. in physics (2002) at Michigan State University, taught college astronomy for three years, and served as a church Youth Director. Now, as NSCL Outreach Coordinator, he gets to tell everyone about the exciting developments in nuclear science at MSU’s National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory and future Facility for Rare Isotope Beams.

 

terryTerry McGlynn: “Unknown Unknowns, and how we make scientific discoveries”

Scientists do research to answer specific questions, but many of our biggest discoveries come out of the blue? How can scientists do research to make big discoveries when we don’t see them coming?

About Terry: Terry is a tropical biologist who does research to solve the biological mysteries involving ants and rainforests. He is a professor of biology at California State University Dominguez Hills and a research associate of the Natural History Museum of LA.

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