Environmental DNA: Searching for a Signal

The Wet Lab is hosting a lecture on environmental DNA at the La Jolla Riford Library on Tuesday, June 6th, from 6:30pm – 7:30pm.  Kirsten Harper, PhD from the University of Stirling, Scotland will discuss how scientists can use DNA from the environment to detect (and work to stop!) invasive species from taking over a habitat.

 

 

Environmental DNA (eDNA) is DNA collected from the environment (in soil, water, air, etc.) and can be used as a powerful tool for detecting the presence of certain animals. 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.

Model Organisms

The Wet Lab is hosting a model organism workshop at the La Jolla Riford Library on Saturday, June 3rd, from 3pm – 5pm.

Why do scientists study fruit flies (Drosophila), round worms (C. elegans), Arabidopsis, and many forms of microbes? Together we’ll go over the many big discoveries these little creatures have unveiled. Then in a hands on workshops, we’ll use these model organisms to probe various biological problems.

This event is recommended for ages 10-18. Limited to 20 participants.  Please register on the La Jolla Library events page.

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.

CSI: La Jolla (Crime Scene Science)

The Wet Lab is hosting a crime scene investigation workshop at the La Jolla Riford Library on Saturday May 20th from 3pm – 5pm.

How do scientists determine the identity of a criminal from a tiny piece of evidence? In this hands-on workshop you will learn powerful molecular techniques for solving crimes with DNA analysis, fingerprint analysis, chromatography, and other scientific methods. This program is a collaboration between The Wet Lab, AWIS, and the La Jolla Library BioLab. Recommended for ages 12-18, and adults are welcome too. Limited to 30 people.  To attend, please RSVP here.

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.

Investigating Human Evolution

The Wet Lab is hosting a bioinformatics workshop at the La Jolla Riford Library on Saturday May 6th from 3pm – 5pm.

Bioinformatics is the use of computational methods to understand biological data. It’s also a great way for citizen scientists for get involved in the biotechnology revolutions going on right now. In this workshop we will use publicly available data sets and free online tools to access genomic data and analyze the patterns of human evolution. Bring a laptop if you have one. We have a limited number of laptops for participants to use. Recommended for ages 16-adult.  Limited to 25 people, to attend please RSVP here.

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.

Fighting Super Bug Infection with Nanotherapeutics and Nanovaccines

The Wet Lab is hosting an antibiotic-resistant bacteria lecture at the San Diego Central Library on Thursday, May 18 from 6:30pm – 7:30pm.  Prof. Liangfang Zhang, from UCSD, Department of Nanoengineering and Moores Cancer Center UCSD will discuss the current technologies and strategies for fighting “super bug” bacteria which have evolved to resist all known antibiotics.

Figure: pathogenic bacteria and toxin nanosponge

The threat of antibiotics-resistant bacterial infections poses great challenges to the public health and demands bold and innovative approaches for disease treatment and prevention. The development of new antimicrobial drugs has failed to keep pace with the rise of antimicrobial-resistant bacteria. To address the waning effectiveness of classical antibiotics treatments, anti-virulence therapies and vaccines are becoming compelling strategies against antimicrobial resistance. At this lecture I’ll discuss a toxin-absorbing nanoparticle platform (also called “toxin nanosponge”) as a new virulence factor-based therapeutic candidate against invasive bacterial infections. The toxin nanosponge technique also reduces the selective pressure for further antibiotic resistance because no antibiotics are involved in the treatment.

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.

Developing Drugs to Stop Cancer in its Tracks

The Wet Lab is hosting a cancer drug development lecture at the La Jolla Library on Tuesday, May 2nd, from 6:30pm – 7:30pm.  Bryn Taylor, graduate student in the medical sciences program at UCSD, will explain how scientists design drugs that precisely target carcinogenic proteins and cells.

Figure: target cancer protein in cell wall, Bryn Taylor, UCSD

Using mathematical models, we predict new drug binding sites on a protein that controls cancer cell migration. These new binding sites are revealed by comparing the dynamic motions of the inactive and active state of the protein. The goal is to develop a drug that will “lock” the protein into the inactive state, rendering the protein non-functional and stopping the spread of cancer in the patient’s body.

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.

Exploring Colors in Nature

The Wet Lab is hosting a plant biochemistry workshop at the La Jolla Riford Library on Saturday April 1st from 3pm – 5pm.

Discover the colorful and complex world of plant pigments. In this hands-on workshop you will analyze the molecules that give plants their vibrant colors using chromatography, a fundamental and widely used scientific technique. Participants can bring leaves or flowers to analyze or use some of the ones we have picked out.  Recommended for ages 8-14. Limited to 20 participants.  Please register on the La Jolla Library events page.

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.

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.

crayfish

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.

olfactoryepiphileum

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.

strawberries-196798_960_720

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.