Dear Café Scientifiquers, our next café will happen on Tuesday May 28th, 7:30pm at The Railway Club. Our speaker for the evening will be Lars Martin. The details of his talk are as follows:
Nuclear Astrophysics at TRIUMF
Nuclear Astrophysics is the field of science that tries to explain the natural origin of all chemical elements. Scenarios that are studied in this field include the Big Bang, the life cycle of a regular star like our sun and cataclysmic events like supernovae. One key ingredient for this endeavour is the experimental study of nuclear reactions in accelerator labs like TRIUMF. In his presentation Lars Martin will give an introduction into the field of nuclear astrophysics and describe some of the experiments he was involved with as a PhD student at TRIUMF.
Dear Café Scientifiquers, our next café will happen on Tuesday April 30th, 7:30pm at The Railway Club. Our speaker for the evening will be Dr. Michael Kobor. The details of his talk are as follows:
A Dialogue in Epigenetics: How Does the Environment Get Under Our Skin?
The scientific community has known for some time that both genetics and the environment influence our health and well-being. While extensive research has focused on how our genes affect health outcomes, environmental factors have had less attention. Now a new area of research, known as epigenetics, is expanding upon our knowledge of the human genome. Epigeneticists study how our environment can have a long-term impact on the activity of our genes. Of particular concern to health researchers are the effects of socioeconomic conditions on children, and how early life stress may impact individuals and their genes down the road. Dr. Michael Kobor and his research team make use of recent advances in technology to study this interface between genetics and environment. And it is becoming clearer that what’s written in our DNA is only part of the story. Neither ‘nature,’ nor ‘nurture’ alone, is entirely one’s fate.
Dear Café Scientifiquers, our next café will happen on Tuesday March 26th, 7:30pm at The Railway Club. Our speaker for the evening will be Ian Bushfield, the executive director of the British Columbia Humanist Association and a passionate advocate for science outreach and education. The details of his talk are as follows:
Weighing Paper With Lasers
Until the 1990s, a narrow band of radiation in the far-infrared had remained largely unexplored. Terahertz radiation’s unique interaction with water molecules and weak interaction with most plastic and fabrics make it an ideal probe for a wide range of applications, from security scanners to death rays. One area of interest is in product testing and quality control. In this talk, Ian Bushfield will describe his masters of physics work in developing a technique to use terahertz radiation to obtain the thickness, weight, and water content of paper, for application in paper manufacturing. These non-contact sensors offer industry a way to improve accuracy and production speed by replacing sensors that rely on physical contact with paper reams. This work was supported by the NSERC Industrial Postgraduate Scholarship, SFU, and the Honeywell Vancouver Centre for Excellence.
Dear Café Scientifiquers,
Our next café will be a special event to celebrate Charles Darwin’s birthday, Darwin Day, on Tuesday, February 12th, 7:30pm at Science World. (Note: There is no charge to enter Science World for this event, but admittance is to the Science Theatre area, not all of Science World.) Our speaker for the evening will be Dr. Greg Bole from UBC’s Department of Zoology.
He will be appearing in costume and in character, portraying a young Charles Darwin, as he has been for several years to classes and conferences in a wide variety of locations. His talk is titled, “Charles Darwin: Citizen Scientist”, and it will deal with the life and times of the man who developed the theory of evolution by natural selection.
Following Greg Bole’s talk and the Q&A period, Ian Bushfield of the BC Humanist Association will show us the certificate he received from Mayor Gregor Robertson proclaiming February 12, 2013 as International Darwin Day in the city of Vancouver. Finally, we will be screening the 2009 biographical film, “Creation”, starring real-life couple Paul Bettany and Jennifer Connelly as Charles and Emma Darwin.
Dear Café Scientifiquers, our next café will happen on Tuesday January 29th, 7:30pm at The Railway Club. Our speaker for the evening will be Dr. Jim Rupert, an associate professor from the kinesiology department at UBC. He specializes in the genetics and genomics of exercise, human adaptation to altitude and the genetics of altitude-related illnesses, and genetic approaches to “doping” control. The details of his talk are as follows:
The use of Genetics in Doping and in Doping Control
Sports performance is an outcome of the complex interactions between an athlete’s genes and the environment(s) in which he or she develops and competes. As more is learned about the contribution of genetics to athletic ability, concerns have been raised that unscrupulous athletes will attempt to manipulate their DNA in an attempt to get an ‘edge‘ over the competition. The World Anti-doping Agency (WADA) has invested research funds to evaluate this possibility and to support studies into methods to detect so-called “gene doping”. Superimposed on these concerns is the realisation that, in addition to contributing to performance, an athlete’s genes may influence the results of current doping-control tests. Natural genetic variation is an issue that anti-doping authorities must address as more is learned about the interaction between genotype and the responses to prohibited practices. To help differentiate between naturally occurring deviations in blood and urine ‘markers’ and those potentially caused by doping, the ‘biological-passport’ program uses intra-individual variability rather than population values to establish an athlete’s parameters. The next step in ‘personalised’ doping-control may be the inclusion of genetic data; however, while this may benefit ‘clean’ athletes, it will do so at the expense of risks to privacy. In this talk, he will describe some examples of the intersection of genetics and doping-control, and discuss how genetic technology might be used to both enhance physical performance as well as to detect athletes attempting to do so.
Dear Café Scientifiquers, our next café will happen on Tuesday November 27th, 7:30pm at The Railway Club. Our speaker for the evening will be Dr. Anne Trudel, head of Environment Health & Safety at TRIUMF and involved with the field of radiation protection for the last 15 years. She has a background in subatomic particle physics research and will share her expertise in radiation and its interaction with matter and biological tissue. Details of her talk are as follows:
Radiation Exposure, Fukushima and Nuclear Power
In March 2012, as a result of a rare combination of a powerful earthquake and significant tsunami, the nuclear-power facility in Fukushima , Japan sustained heavy damage. The subsequent short and long term consequences of the accident will be described in layman terms. To help put the event in perspective, the risks associated with nuclear power will be compared to other risks associated with everyday life.
Posted on behalf of Vancouver SkeptiCamp
VANCOUVER SKEPTICAMP 2012
Vancouver SkeptiCamp is a fun, informative, one-day, free, open, attendee-driven, grassroots skeptic conference featuring many brief (~10 minute) presentations with Q&A sessions.
Saturday, November 3, 2012
9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
UBC’s Buchanan Bldg., Block A, Room A201, 1866 Main Mall, Vancouver, BC
Posted on behalf of LSI (Life Sciences Institute)
VIEWING THE BIOLOGICAL WORLD WITH X-RAYS AND MAGNETIC FIELDS
‘A picture is worth a thousand words’. Researchers at the Life Sciences Institute are exploring the molecular and cellular details of life as it relates to health and disease.
Wednesday, Nov 14, 2012; 6:00-8:00 p.m.
LSC3, 2350 Health Sciences Mall, UBC
RSVP by Nov 7, 2012: email@example.com
Dear Café Scientifiquers, our next café will happen on Tuesday October 30th, 7:30pm at The Railway Club. Our speaker for the evening will be Dr. Byron Jennings. Details of his talk are as follows:
Science: What is it?
Global warming and CO2 levels. Autism and vaccinations. Cancer and cell phones. What do they all have in common? At the heart of all these issues is the question of science and its validity. To understand these and many other policy issues it is necessary to understand what science is, how it works, and how its conclusions are justified. In the 17th century, science went mainstream. We’ve had three centuries to debate, argue, improve up the scientific method, and still today, there is considerable controversy over what science is and how it works. In this discussion, he will present a modern view of what science is, as gleaned from over forty years working in the trenches as a physicist. You will see what science is, to what extent it is reliable, and why.
He also writes for quantum diaries:
Check it out!
Dear Café Scientifiquers, our next café will happen on Tuesday September 25th, 7:30pm at The Railway Club. Our speaker for the evening will be Dr. Isabel Trigger, TRIUMF research scientist. Details of her talk are as follows:
Higgs for the Masses: A Peek Under the Hood of the Universe
This summer experiments at the world’s largest particle accelerator at the CERN laboratory in Geneva announced discovery of a subatomic particle “consistent” with the one believed to give matter its mass. The Higgs Boson sparked extraordinary levels of public attention and media interest, in part due to the particle’s nickname (“god particle”), but also since its discovery is the result of a 40-year quest involving tens of thousands of scientists. But what, exactly, is a Higgs Boson? Why is it important? Who found it, and how? And what do we do with it now that we think we’ve found it? This talk will explore the Higgs Boson and what it means for our understanding of the universe at its most basic level.
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