Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Physics for Future Presidents

with Professor Richard Muller of UC Berkeley
Wednesday, November 10, 2010 7:30 - 8:30 pm
Terra Linda High School, San Rafael, Room 207

Physics for future Presidents?  Yes, that is a serious title. Energy, global warming, terrorism and counter-terrorism, nukes, cancer, internet, satellites, remote sensing, ICBMs and ABMs, DVDs and HDTVs -- economic and political issues increasingly have a strong high tech content. Misjudge the science, make a wrong decision. Yet many of our leaders never studied physics, and do not understand science and technology.  I will .. give you a quick course in what you need to know about the physics of terrorism, nukes, alternative energy, and global warming.

Richard Muller is Professor of Physics at the University of California, Berkeley and Faculty Senior Scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Homeless Nemo: What Does the Future Hold for Coral Reef Communities?

Homeless Nemo: What Does the Future Hold for Coral Reef Communities?
with Vania Coelho, Ph.D. of Dominican University, San Rafael, CA

Coral reefs are undoubtedly among the most threatened ecosystems in the world. Studies predict that without increased conservation and restoration efforts a complete collapse is only a few decades away. This talk will focus on the current status of coral reefs around the world, including threats to them and the consequences of those threats. (April 30, 2008; September 29, 2010) Get the flyer here.
 
Dr. Coelho holds degrees in Biology, Ecology and Zoology and she completed doctoral research while working as a visiting scientist at the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution. After completing her doctorate she held research scientist positions at Columbia University. Dr. Coelho’s research focuses on the ecology and evolutionary biology of marine invertebrates including benthic community ecology, population biology, behavior, systematics of crustaceans, and coral reef ecology. She is currently Associate Professor of Biology at Dominican University.
 

Friday, September 24, 2010

Ants: The Invisible Majority

Brian Fisher, Ph.D.
Marin Science Seminar Presentation: "Ants: The Invisible Majority" (September 22, 2010) Download the flyer here.

Dr. Fisher is modern day explorer who treks through the last remote rainforests, deserts and plains of Madagascar in search of ants.  His research highlights insects as a useful tool to discover and preserve all plants and animals on this unique island.   Along the way he has discovered over 1000 new species including the jumping ants and Dracula ants. He has published over 75 peer reviewed articles in scholarly journals including the recently published “Ants of North America” with Stefan Cover. He has appeared in a number of BBC, Discover Channel, and National Geographic films and has been profiled in Newsweek and Discover magazine. When not working in the field, Dr. Fisher lives with the banana slugs in a treehouse in Marin County. 

Dr. Fisher is currently Associate Curator of Entomology at the California Academy of Sciences and adjunct professor of biology at both the University of California at Berkeley and San Francisco State University.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Cartoon Physics - How Scientists and Artists Make Pixar Films

with Rod Bogart of Pixar
Wed. Sept. 15, 2010, 7:30 pm, TLHS, San Rafael, CA

Pixar films are known for their characters and stories, but how is the film actually made? This talk will describe the various applications of math and science behind the art, from animation and
simulation, through shading and lighting, to mastering for the
audience.
 
Rod Bogart joined Pixar in 2005 after spending ten years as a software engineer at Industrial Light & Magic. He has a M.S. from the University of Utah, where he specialized in computer graphics. At Pixar, Mr. Bogart is in charge of color science at the studio, overseeing the technology for creating the final distributed masters of the movie.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Nanoscience Now (Let's move atoms one by one and watch them with powerful microscopes!)


with Miquel Salmeron, Ph.D. of Lawrence Berkeley Labs
Wednesday, September 8th, 2010
7:30 - 8:30 pm
Terra Linda High School, Room 207

Prof. M. Salmeron is the Director of the Materials Science Division at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Adjunct Professor at UC Berkeley Materials Science and Engineering Department. He is the Scientific Director of the Imaging and Manipulation Facility of the Molecular Foundry, the Department of Energy Nanoscience Institute in Berkeley.  He received his B.A. in Physics from the University of Barcelona, and his Ph.D. from the University Autonoma of Madrid, Spain, in 1975.  In 1984 he moved to the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory as a Divisional Fellow, becoming a Senior Scientist in 1996.


His research focuses on atomic scale structure and properties of surfaces and nanomaterials for applications in electronics, catalysis, tribology and environmental science.  He was elected Fellow of the American Physical Society in 1996 and of the American Vacuum Society in 2003.  He received the Outstanding Research Award in 1996 and the Outstanding Scientific Accomplishment Award in Materials Chemistry in 1995 from the U.S. Department of Energy.  In 2004 he received the Klaus Halbach Award for the development of innovative instrumentation at the Advanced Light Source.  In 2008 he received the Medard Welch Award of the American Vacuum Society and the Langmuir Lectureship Award of the American Chemical Society.


Prof. Salmeron is the President of the Scientific Advisory Board of the “Institut Catala de Nanotecnologia” inBarcelona, Spain.  He has published 390 Journal articles and book chapters.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

I can hardly believe this. This woman is making her own transistors with silicon wafers and a few chemicals, some of which are from the hardware store.

She made a MOSFET, incredibly.

Here is it

Monday, June 28, 2010

The Decision Tree with Wired editor Thomas Goetz

Marin Science Seminar visited Kishore Hari's Down to a Science cafe in San Francisco last week and participated in a fun game-show style presentation on using technology to make and track personal medical decisions.  One of the kids got to play the part of a basketball player with a genetic heart condition which might preclude him from continuing his lucrative career.  Wisely, he chose not to continue playing so he wouldn't suddenly drop dead.  Wired editor Thomas Goetz  ran the show while explaining how new technologies can help us to make better medical and personal health choices.  He then entertained a lively discussion on health care, bioethics and physician vs. patient access to expertise.  Here is a pic of some of the MSS young people with Kishore and Thomas, and a copy of Thomas's book The Decision Tree, which he very generously signed and gave to each of the game-show participants.  A edutaining time was had by all!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Sun, Skin Cancer, and the Highlands of Guatemala with James Cleaver, PhD of UCSF

Dr. Cleaver will describe the discovery of a Guatemalan village with a high incidence of skin cancer and his lab's plans for their care. The genetic cause is a failure to repair sunlight damage to DNA. Repair of DNA is a mechanism our bodies possess for protection against all kinds of environmental exposures. DNA repair defects are involved in many kinds of cancer and neurodegenerative disease. Get the flyer here. (April 21, 2010)
 
Dr. Cleaver gained his BA and PhD at the University of Cambridge, England. He spent two years as a postdoctoral student at Harvard, and joined the faculty of UCSF in 1966 in the Laboratory of Radiobiology and Environmental Health, and became the research director. He discovered that the basis of xeroderma pigmentosum was a DNA repair deficiency in 1968, and has worked on this and related diseases ever since. He was granted Emeritus status at UCSF in January 2004, but continues to carry out research.  His appointments as Professor are held in the Departments of Dermatology and of Pharmaceutical Chemistry and he is a member of the UCSF Cancer Center.

Dr. Cleaver is an internationally recognized expert on the molecular mechanisms of environmentally-induced and genetically-determined human cancers. He demonstrated as early as 1968 that cancer can be viewed as a genetic disease and his revolutionary work on xeroderma pigmentosum has led to breakthroughs in our understanding of the link between DNA repair efficiency and human disease. His pioneering work has resulted in more than 350 papers and reviews. He received research awards from the Radiation Research Society (1973), American Academy of Dermatology (1976), the Phycological Society (1991), Harvard University JB Little award (2003), the UCSF Faculty Research lectureship (2004) and the American Skin Association (2006), He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1999.

Analysis and Dating of Ancient Chinese Jade with Sam Bernstein

March 3, 2010
Analysis and Dating of Ancient Chinese Jade with Sam Bernstein

Mr. Sam Bernstein will lecture on the topic of stylistic and physical examination techniques utilized in authenticating ancient Chinese Works of art. The usefulness of art historical and scientific testing techniques give us a valuable tool kit for understanding how ancient artists worked. Get the flyer here. (March 3, 2010)
 
Sam Bernstein is an internationally recognized authority on Chinese jades. His company, S. Bernstein & Co., deals in Chinese jade, antiquities, and rare books on China and jade. It is located on the first floor of the Fairmont Hotel, San Francisco.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Why are there Stars?

with Steven Stahler, Ph.D.
Wed. February 24, 2010

On a clear night, the sky is filled with countless stars. Our Sun is one of them. How do these objects form? In recent decades, astronomers have begun answering this very old question. This progress has occurred despite the fact that the youngest stars are invisible to the eye and even to most telescopes. Along the way, we have learned how planets like the Earth are created as part of the stellar birth process. (February 24, 2010) Get the flyer here.
 
Dr. Steven Stahler is an astrophysicist at U. C. Berkeley. Raised in Maryland, he attended graduate school at UC-Berkeley in physics. He was a professor at MIT before returning to the Bay Area in 1992. His research centers on the problem of star formation, and he recently coauthored the first comprehensive textbook in the field (“The Formation of Stars,” Stahler & Palla, Wiley-VCH, 2004). Trained as a theoretical physicist, Steve especially delights in the esthetic aspect of his research, which he tries to convey in his numerous public talks.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

"We Are Stardust: Genesis of the Elements" with Mary Barsony, Ph.D.

Marin Science Seminar Presentation: “We Are Stardust: Genesis of the Elements” Dr. Barsony's talk focuses on how stars shine and how they have generated the elements. (February 3, 2010) Get the flyer here.

One of the fundamental goals of astronomy and astrophysics is to understand how the Universe and its constituent galaxies, stars, and planets formed, how they evolved, and what their destiny will be. Dr. Barsony's research is focused on the formation of stars out of the raw material provided by tenuous interstellar gas found in frigid clouds in our Galaxy. Since the present birthplaces of stars are hidden by interstellar dust mixed in with the gas, exploring the detailed mechanisms involved in star (and planetary system) formation requires observations at wavelengths whose passage is relatively unimpeded by the intervening dust: radio, millimeter, submillimeter, infrared, and X-ray wavelengths. 

Through submillimeter observations in the early ‘90’s, Dr. Barsony helped identify the first true protostar—an object surrounded by infalling gas that is in the process of accumulating the mass it will have as a full-fledged star. Such objects are rare, and the focus of intense current (and future) study, with space-based observatories such as the Spitzer Space Telescope, the Herschel Observatory, and the planned JWST (Hubble’s replacement that wil operate at infrared wavelengths). 

Dr. Barsony is Adjoint Professor of Physics & Astronomy at San Francisco State University and a Research Scientist at the Space Science Institute. She earned her Ph.D. from CalTech and her S.B. from MIT.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Meet the Researcher: Sophie Boddington of UCSF


Monitoring Stem Cell Based Therapies with MR and Optical Imaging 
with Sophie Boddington of UCSF Dept. of Radiology

January 27, 2010


Ms. Boddington will go over new methods to monitor stem cell therapies with Magnetic Resonance (MR) and Optical Imaging. She will give a brief description of new understandings in stem cell biology with an emphasis on advancements in the field of stem cell tracking. (January 27, 2010) Get the flyer here.
 
Sophie Boddington graduated from the University of Colorado in 2005 with a double major in Psychology and Pre-Med and a certificate in Neuroscience.  She is an author on several scientific papers and currently works as a Lab Manager and Junior Specialist at the UCSF Dept. of Radiology. 

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

“Infectious Disease and the H1N1 Virus”


with Charles Chiu, M.D. Ph.D
Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Research in the Chiu laboratory explores (1) the replication, biology, and pathogenesis of human cardioviruses and (2) detection of known and novel viral agents in acute diseases suspected to have an infectious etiology.

The Chiu lab is actively validating the Virochip and “deep” sequencing for use in clinical diagnostics and in outbreak investigation. Current projects include (1) a prospective longitudinal study of respiratory infections in immunocompromised patients at UCSF, (2) a metagenomics analysis of H1N1 influenza A strains, and (3) design of a respiratory / stool subtyping microarray for use in diagnosis of acute respiratory infections and gastroenteritis.

Dr. Chiu is currently Director of the UCSF Viral Diagnostics and Discovery Center and Assistant Director of the UCSF Microbiology Laboratory.