Environmental DNA: Searching for a signal

The Wet Lab is hosting an ecology lecture at the San Diego Central Library on Thursday, April 20 from 6:30pm – 7:30pm.  Kristen Harper, PhD from the University of Stirling will discuss how environmental DNA can be used to detect invasive species and ecological patterns.

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Environmental DNA (eDNA) is a powerful tool for detecting species using DNA deposited in the environment. It has been used in oceans, lakes and rivers to detect rare and invasive species. Most studies have focused on fish and amphibians, but what about crustaceans? The American signal crayfish is highly invasive in Scotland. Faster detection can mean better control, or even prevention. eDNA may be the key to saving Scotland’s lochs and rivers from this unwanted invader.

This event is part of the San Diego Wetlab’s citizen science lecture series held every first Tuesday at 6:30pm at the La Jolla Library and every third Thursday at 6:30pm at the Downtown Library.   Please check the San Diego library system events page for location details and changes in the upcoming schedule.

Use of the Olfactory System to Understand Neurological Disease

The Wet Lab is hosting a neuroscience lecture at the La Jolla Riford Library on Tuesday, April 4th from 630pm – 730pm.  Samantha Jones, a graduate student in UCSD’s biomedical sciences program will discuss how mutations in genes associated with RNA degradation pathways can cause neurological disease.

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Intellectual disability (ID), formerly called “mental retardation,” is estimated to affect ~2% of the world’s population and have a considerable socio-economic impact, yet its underlying cause is often unknown. My work focuses on one form of intellectual disability and how it is caused by mutations in a gene (UPF3B) important for proper RNA decay. I hope to understand the effect of UPF3B depletion on the nervous system by using the olfactory system (our smell center) as a model of neurogenesis.

This event is part of the San Diego Wetlab’s citizen science lecture series held every first Tuesday at 6:30pm at the La Jolla Library and every third Thursday at 6:30pm at the Downtown Library.   Please check the San Diego library system events page for location details and changes in the upcoming schedule.

Strawberry DNA Extraction

The Wet Lab is hosting a DNA extraction workshop at the La Jolla Riford Library on Saturday March 25th from 3pm – 5pm.

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DNA extraction is the first step involved in learning about the genetic composition of living things and it is surprisingly simple if you know what to do!  In this workshop we will demonstrate how to extract the DNA from a tasty strawberry. If you’d like to attend, please RSVP on the library events webpage.  Recommended ages 8 – 13.

This event is part of the San Diego Wet Lab’s science workshop series.  Science workshops are usually held every 1st Saturday and 3rd Saturday at 3pm at the La Jolla Library.   Please check the La Jolla library events page for location details and changes in the upcoming schedule.

The Role of Chance in US Presidential Elections

The San Diego Wet Lab is hosting a political science lecture on Tuesday March 7th from 630pm – 730pm at the La Jolla Riford Library.  David Forney, MIT PhD, from the San Diego Wet Lab will discuss the policies and mechanisms responsible for the difference between the popular vote and the electoral vote, as well as how the electoral college amplifies noise from the polls.

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Electoral vote margins in US presidential elections tend to vary widely from popular vote margins.  The 2016 election however, appears as an outlier compared to all other elections from past 100 years. To understand the factors driving this variance, historical data from the National Archives was used to quantify the effects of three policies on the observed variance between the electoral and popular vote. Results indicate that these policies and the various mechanisms that derive from them explain 96% of the variance.  Random noise contributing to narrow state victories has the largest effect, resulting in about 37% of the observed variance in electoral vote – enough to swing victory from one candidate to another.  Furthermore I find a gap growing between left and right that may lead to more discrepancies between popular vote and electoral vote in the future.

This event is part of the San Diego Wetlab’s citizen science lecture series held every first Tuesday at 6:30pm at the La Jolla Library and every third Thursday at 6:30pm at the Downtown Library.   Please check the San Diego library system events page for location details and changes in the upcoming schedule.

*Cancelled* Muscle Dystrophy: Hope for Tomorrow *Cancelled*

The following lecture is cancelled, it will be re-scheduled for later this year.   Instead, please check out the replacement lecture for Tuesday March 7

The San Diego Wet Lab is hosting a lecture on Muscular Dystrophy on Tuesday March 7th from 630pm – 730pm at the La Jolla Riford Library.  Constanza Cortez, PhD from UCSD and Stanford Consortion for Regenerative Medicine will review the disease and discuss recent advances in treatments.

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Muscular dystrophy is a group of diseases that cause progressive weakness and loss of muscle mass. Recent advances in basic research have revealed new therapeutic targets that are now in promising human trials. In this talk, I will present the our current understanding of the mechanisms of muscle dystrophy, and discuss some of the novel compounds for the treatment of these debilitating disorders.

This event is part of the San Diego Wetlab’s citizen science lecture series held every first Tuesday at 6:30pm at the La Jolla Library and every third Thursday at 6:30pm at the Downtown Library.   Please check the San Diego library system events page for location details and changes in the upcoming schedule.

Sleep and Temperature: Partners in Crime

The San Diego Wet Lab is hosting a lecture on healthy sleep on Thursday March 16th from 630pm – 730pm at the San Diego Central Library.  Ruggero Scorcioni, PhD and founder of Polar Sleep will discuss how temperature can influence how well you sleep.

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We spend a third of our lives asleep. Why do some people try to reduce sleep to a waste of time, but for others it is the unreachable promised land? Let’s explore why we sleep, and why temperature is important to a good night of rest.

This event is part of the San Diego Wetlab’s citizen science lecture series held every first Tuesday at 6:30pm at the La Jolla Library and every third Thursday at 6:30pm at the Downtown Library.   Please check the San Diego library system events page for location details and changes in the upcoming schedule.

A House Built on Sand: Coral Reef Foundations in a High CO2 World

The San Diego Wet Lab is hosting a lecture on climate change and ocean acidification on Tuesday February 7th from 630pm – 730pm at the La Jolla Riford Library.  Alyssa Finlay from the Scripps Institute of Oceanography will discuss the effects of elevated CO2 on the ocean ecosystem.

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Coral reefs are some of the most biologically diverse and naturally beautiful ecosystems on the planet. Ocean acidification (OA), the “other CO2 problem”, may have serious implications for the preservation of coral reefs. OA could negatively affect not only how corals grow, but also the foundations of coral sand upon which they grow and expand. Come learn about how studying the response of coral sand to OA could help us protect the future of these precious ecosystems.

Personal genomics- a matter of taste

The San Diego Wet Lab is hosting a molecular biology tools workshop on Saturday February 18th from 3pm – 5pm at the La Jolla Riford Library.

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99.9% of the human genome is identical among individuals. The other 0.1% makes us biologically unique. Sometimes the difference between two traits can be traced to a single chemical change in our DNA. In this hands-on workshop we will explore the genetics of perception and test our own DNA for a bitter taste receptor. Recommended for ages 14-adult.

This event is part of the San Diego Wet Lab’s science workshop series.  Science workshops are held every 1st Saturday and 3rd Saturday at 3pm at the La Jolla Library.   Please check the La Jolla library events page for location details and changes in the upcoming schedule.

Research Integrity

Please join the San Diego Wetlab for a lecture on Thursday, Feb 16, from 6:30pm -7:30pm at the San Diego Central library.  Prof. Micheal Kalichman from the Research Ethics Program at UCSD will discuss the latest trends and concerns regarding research ethics.

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In recent years, concerns about the integrity of research have increased. Questions to be addressed include: What is meant by “Research Misconduct”? Why would a scientist choose to engage in misconduct? and What should we do to promote integrity in science?

This event is part of the San Diego Wetlab’s citizen science lecture series held every first Tuesday at 6:30pm at the La Jolla Library and every third Thursday at 6:30pm at the Downtown Library.   Please check the San Diego library system events page for location details and changes in the upcoming schedule.