Dear Café Scientifiquers, our next café will happen on Tuesday, August 28th at 7:30pm in the back room at Yagger’s Downtown (433 W Pender). Our speaker for the evening will be Dr. Katie Marshall from the Department of Zoology at UBC. Her topic will be:

Getting the message: what is gene expression and why does it matter?

Many of us think that DNA is like a light switch; you have a particular sequence of base pairs or a particular chromosome, and these directly cause a large change in biological functioning. But the truth is that any given gene can be up or downregulated through a dizzying array of biochemical “dimmer switches” that finely control how much that particular gene is expressed. Understanding how this works is key to answering questions like “How does a sequence of base pairs in DNA become a whole organism?” and “Why is it that every cell has the same DNA sequence but different function?”. We’ll chat about the advances in computing needed to answer these questions, the importance of gene expression in disease, and how this science can help us understand social issues better too.


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