Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Invention in Medicine: How Medical Devices get Invented and Go to Market

with Art Wallace M.D. Ph.D.
December 10, 2008, Room 207

Dr. Wallace started out in experimental surgery and radiology studying imaging of the heart using CT scanners. He has worked on a number of devices that originally were built for experimental studies that evolved into clinically useful devices including a cardiac output monitor, the off pump CABG, off pump aneurysm surgery, electronic sedation, and a selective coronary vasodialtor. Dr. Wallace will explain his experiences with the inventive process using examples from both device design and drug development. There will be a brief discussion of the importance of intellectual property, patents, venture capital, FDA approval, and business development in completing the invention process.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

November 12 - "Applied Software Engineering for Large-Scale Complex Systems" with Alex Rush

"Applied Software Engineering for Large-Scale Complex Systems" with Alex Rush

An exploration of the software engineering discipline as applied in development of large-scale, global applications. Specifically, the issues of managing inherent complexity and risk in large-scale systems using industry standard iterative development methods, modeling and design techniques, software architecture, performance engineering and testing will be explained using real-world examples. This talk will highlight how software development has evolved from a relative “black art” to a true engineering discipline in recent decades. This talk would be of interest to anyone who is curious about software development in general, and in particular how complex, large-scale systems are designed, tested and successfully deployed.

Post your blog comments below!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

"Space Exploration with NASA-AMES" with Ruben Ramos, M.S. in the TLHS Studio Theater

"Space Exploration with NASA-AMES" with Ruben Ramos, M.S. in the TLHS Studio Theater

Admit it, he was pretty cool. What did you learn? What did you think about what he said?

Post your blog comments in the comments field below. Detailed directions for contributing to the blog are available if you scroll down.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

"Is HIV Infection Impossible to Cure?" with Nejat Duzgunes, Ph.D.

October 15, 2008
Marin Science Seminar

Is HIV Infection Impossible to Cure?
with Nejat Duzgunes, Ph.D.

"We will describe how HIV infects its host cells and the molecular targets of current anti-HIV drugs. We will discuss why it has not been possible to cure HIV infection or to develop a vaccine against it, and how one might cure AIDS. We will also discuss briefly the challenges of doing scientific research in the United States, and how one might overcome these difficulties."

Post your paragraph by clicking on the "comments" link below.




If your teacher is offering credit for this, you need to:

1) Have signed in at the session about which you are writing

2) Have introduced yourself to me (Alfia Wallace) at the session regarding your intention to blog for credit, or, I happen to know/remember who you are

3) Write at least 5 original sentences in a cohesive paragraph about the session or a related, relevant topic. This means no lists of "This is what I learned: 1. Blah blah blah" etc.


After reading a post about a particular Marin Science Seminar Session, click on the comments link below. It will have my name (Alfia Wallace) and then a link that says "0 comments" or "1 comment" or some other number of comments. Click on it. You will be taken to a page where you can enter your comments. It makes sense to write or type your comments in a separate document and then to copy/paste them in the comments box so that you can proof your writing.


Below the comments box it will say "Choose an Identity" in orange. The top choice is Google ID which you can log into if you want to use your gmail to post. The third choice down is Name/url. Choose this one to just write your name or pseudonym (url optional). This is probably the best choice for most people. If you choose a pseudonym, you'll need to email me with your pseudonym and real name so that I can let your teacher know what you wrote.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

I found this quite interesting. Hope it tells people not to smoke. My mom is taking nursing classes to learn to be a nurse and she said that a partially clogged artery is so hard it goes "tap, tap" if somebody hits the plaque. It is partially grown into the wall of the artery. Also, I am somewhat surprised there is no radioactive method.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Jump in!

The water's fine! If you've been invited to post to the blog, you can do so. Also note that *anyone* can comment. Some teachers are offering extra credit for blogging at least 5 relevant sentences about a science seminar session. Why not go for it? Here's my five sentences.

Regarding this evening's lecture by Dr. David Saloner, I was pretty amazed by how they could create 3-D maps of the arteries and then measure the blood flow through various parts of them. Then they can look at the same arteries over a period of years and tell how they had changed. They could tell the change both in terms of how fast or slow the blood was flowing in different areas, and in how big the arteries were getting because of arteriosclerosis. This helps not only charting the progress of the disease, but also helps see how different medical therapies might be working over time. It made me wish that I had taken more math in school and made me glad that the kids at the MSS were getting to see all the cool things you can do with math. I didn't get to see that when I was in high school.

What did you find interesting?

Sunday, September 28, 2008

What is Radiology?

Click the link above to see a 10 minute documentary touching on the history of radiology and the career of radiography (2 year program).

For those who pursue more in-depth studies, the careers of radiologist (a type of doctor/physician) and research scientist are available. On Wednesday, October 1st, David Saloner Ph.D., will talk to the Marin Science Seminar about radiologic techniques related to cardiovascular disease.

What is Radiology? Click to learn about careers in radiology and more.

Click below for a lecture on radiology for beginning medical students at UCSF Medical School. (1 hour, but interesting stuff within first 15 minutes)

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Large Hadron Rap!

Here´s a pretty awesome rap about the mission of CERN´s gigantic particle accelerator in Switzerland. Get higgsy with it.


Welcome to the Marin Science Seminar Blog! This blog is open for students, parents, teachers and MSS speakers to post and comment on items of interest in the fields of science, math, engineering, medicine, statistics and related fields.

We are currently recruiting staff to contribute to the blog. If you are a high school student in the San Rafael High School district and are interested, please email me at with your school, grade, and science teacher´s name. I will then send you information on becoming part of the staff. Teachers and MSS speakers are also welcome to join. Student posts can be anonymous or made under a pseudonym, but I need to confirm that you are a real person. :-)

If you would like to be a casual poster to the blog, email me at with your full name, whether you are a student or adult and your association with the MSS. Anyone can post comments to MSS posts.

We are putting together an exciting second season of the Marin Science Seminar for 2008-2009. Check out the calendar and feel free to post relevant ideas, comments, links, videos, etc.

Looking forward,


"Transportation Research Panel" - An Interview with En-Ya Zhang from the MSEL Transportation Team

by Shoshana Harlem, Terra Linda High School En-Ya Zhang is a Sophomore at Terra Linda High School. She is part of MSEL's Transportati...

About Us

Marin Science Seminar is a one-hour science lecture/presentation with a question and answer period open to all interested local teenagers, educators and community. Seminar sessions are held 12 Wednesday evenings during the school year, from 7:30 to 8:30 pm in room 207 at Terra Linda High School, 320 Nova Albion Way, San Rafael. Seminar speakers are scientists, mathematicians, engineers, physicians, technologists and computer programmers. The topics presented are in a specific area of the speaker’s expertise, geared to interested high school students.