Nerd Nite #18 - Extrasolar Planets in a (very large) Nutshell
Wed, 03/04/2015 - 5:48pm
Extrasolar Planets in a (very large) Nutshell
In the past twenty years, astronomers have detected thousands of planets outside our solar system. In this talk, you’ll learn about the techniques scientists use to discover exoplanets and study their properties. You’ll also see some of the unusual findings of exoplanet research so far, and what questions astronomers in the field are currently trying to answer.
About Tim Chambers:
Tim earned a PhD in physics at the University of Arizona, but bleeds Maize and Blue from his years as an undergrad in Ann Arbor. He is currently dividing his time between teaching high school and developing educational materials for NASA and other space science organizations. Outside of work, he can be found brewing beer, slaying dragons, or rocking out.
Nerd Nite #16 - Growth Factor X: Superhero or Villain in the Depressed Brain?
Wed, 03/04/2015 - 5:34pm
Growth Factor X: Superhero or Villain in the Depressed Brain?
Elyse Aurbach talks about the role of two members of the fibroblast growth factor molecular family in major depression. In the hippocampus, a region of the brain critical for memory and emotion, these growth factor molecules become disrupted after stressful experiences. These changes may affect the way the hippocampus functions during health and during depression, so studying them may help the medical community to develop more effective treatments for mood disorders.
About Elyse L. Aurbach:
Elyse is a grad student studying the neuroscience of depression at UM (which isn’t as depressing as it sounds). When not obsessing over experiments, grammar, or her cat, she coordinates RELATE (Researchers Expanding Lay-Audience Teaching and Engagement) with collaborators Katie Prater and Leah Bricker. A relatively recent transplant to the Midwest, Elyse dreams of building igloos and catching fireflies.
Nerd Nite #20 - The Microbiome: Good for What Ails You
Thu, 02/19/2015 - 5:15pm
The Microbiome: Good for What Ails You
This is a discussion of what we currently know about the human microbiome, but mostly, an opportunity to point out a lot of really cool things that we don’t have any explanations for and how researchers are going about trying to understand what’s going on.
About Pat Schloss:
I get paid to see bacteria everywhere and spend a lot of time obsessing about whether we should be obsessing about them. I have been a professor at the University of Michigan since 2009 where I study the human microbiome. My family has a farm in Webster Township where we raise sheep, cows, pigs, chickens, and seven Homo sapiens and their microbiome.
Nerd Nite #21 - A Natural History of the Trumpet
Thu, 02/12/2015 - 11:13am
A Natural History of the Trumpet
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last 35 years, you’re familiar with the heroic trumpet fanfares that catapult the audience from the theater to a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away in Star Wars. But how did the modern trumpet come to look and sound the way it does today? The answer traces back to its primordial beginnings as “found objects” that gradually evolved more and more sophisticated technology through the centuries, influencing composition along the way. Brace yourselves for a combination of music and physics as we chart the natural history of the trumpet.
About Carl Engelke:
Carl had many, varied interests throughout the years, and he still sometimes wonders what he wants to do when (if) he grows up. He studied trumpet performance in college at Indiana University and the Royal Academy of Music in London, and performed with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago upon graduation. Currently, as a completely logical next step, he is an MD/PhD student at the University of Michigan Medical School, where he studies how RNA influences the development and progression of prostate cancer.
Nerd Nite #20 - What the $X#! is the anthropocene? An extraordinary moment in Earth and human history
Tue, 02/10/2015 - 5:15pm
James Arnott – What the $X#! is the anthropocene? An extraordinary moment in Earth and human history
This talk will introduce you to the extraordinary moment in Earth and human history that you (yes, you) are living through. We’ll look at why now is different than before and why the future is dependent on a unlikely species that grew out of a cave into a skyscraper and now shapes the future of earth, wind, and fire. The anthropocene is now—and here to stay—so come learn what we know, what you should know, and what we all must do!
About James Arnott:
James is a student, researcher, and enthusiast for thinking big. He is pursing a PhD at the School of Natural Resources and Environment at the University of Michigan. Meanwhile, he is Program Director of the Aspen Global Change Institute, an interdisciplinary think tank for global environmental issues.
Nerd Nite #16 - Recalculating Route: Go to the Post Office Before the Grocery
Wed, 02/04/2015 - 5:33pm
The talk will address the issue that when trying to pick the right order in which to run errands sometimes things do not go as planned due to traffic congestion. I will talk about under which conditions it is better to start reconsidering those decisions and more generally highlight what happens if traffic jams start interfering with a previously well planned sequence in which to visit locations of interest.
About Moritz Niendorf
Moritz received a German diploma in aerospace engineering from the University of Stuttgart, Germany in 2010. After graduation he worked as a researcher at the department for unmanned aircraft at DLR (German Aerospace Center) in Braunschweig, Germany. In August 2012 he joined the University of Michigan as a graduate student. His research focuses on stability analysis for solutions to integer optimization problem and its application to mission planning for unmanned aircraft.
Nerd Nite #18 - Bubbles and sound: Explosions in people for the greater good
Tue, 02/03/2015 - 5:50pm
Bubbles and Sound: Explosions in people for the greater good
Everyone knows that bubbles delight children, clean dishes, and add the fizz to champagne. But it may surprise you to find out that they can also wreak havoc on ships, deliver cancer drugs to the brain, and break apart anything from steel to human tissue. During this talk we’ll step into the wonderful world of bubbles and take a look at how scientists are trying to use ultrasound to trigger carefully controlled bubble collapses and explosions in the body to fight cancer, kidney stones, and other ailments.
About Brandon Patterson:
Brandon is a cheerful and curious fellow, haphazardly wandering through life as he tries to figure out how the world works. For now his wandering has brought him to the University of Michigan to pursue a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering, studying how bubbles collapse and explode in tissue. When not playing with bubbles, Brandon enjoys biking, reading, tinkering, and arguing.
Nerd Nite #16 - Fat and Diabetes: What it is, how it works, and how to get rid of it
Tue, 02/03/2015 - 5:33pm
Gabriel Martinez-Santibañez - Fat and Diabetes: What it is, how it works, and how to get rid of it
Gabriel addresses the many hats worn by the macrophage; the underappreciated sentinels that play key roles in regulating how our fat grows, shrinks, and functions. He will describe the ins and outs of Type II diabetes and how these macrophages are involved in its development. He also shares tips on how to lose weight and prevent the development of diabetes by comparing and contrasting some of the most popular and successful diet strategies (Atkins, Zone, glycemic index, Mediterranean, paleo, juicing). Finally, he discusses the most successful weight loss strategy that uses “THIS ONE SECRET!!!”
About Gabriel Martinez-Santibañez:
Gabriel is from Southern California and is currently a Ph.D student at the University of Michigan, where he studies obesity and the immune cell components involved in the development of Type II Diabetes. When not in lab, he likes to grow things in the garden, read about international cuisine, and discuss the merits of jam.
Nerd Nite #19 - Fear + Brains ≠ Zombies
Tue, 02/03/2015 - 1:07pm
Have you ever been cornered by zombies and not had a shotgun on hand? Did your palms sweat and your breathing increase? If so, you’ve experienced fear! Fear is one of our most basic emotions, and it is necessary for living beings to avoid undeath. During this talk, we will discuss the brain regions that help individuals determine what and when to fear. There will also be a demonstration of how scientists study fear in the laboratory. If you are interested in feeling the back of your neck prickle on the week before Halloween, you’re probably not a zombie, so this talk is for you!
About Katherine Prater:
Katherine adores science (both with and without the fiction). When she is not sciencing with her labmates, Katherine can often be found playing computer games with her husband, playing board games, or reading a good book. She also may be found playing with her “love”bird, known to some as “the destroyer of worlds.” Recently, Katherine has had the great pleasure of being a co-founder of RELATE, an organization at the University of Michigan that endeavors to teach STEM graduate students to better explain their research to lay-audiences.
Nerd Nite #19 - What is in your Brains: Why Zombies are Malnourished
Tue, 02/03/2015 - 1:06pm
Ever wondered what your brains are made up of, beyond the Beginning Biology textbook discussion? Ever wonder how Zombies could possibly get enough nutrition from one food source? Ever heard that ridiculous statement that we only use 10% of our brains? Hopefully you said yes to at least one of these, because that is what you will hear about in my talk. I will explore some real neuroscience, but mix in some Halloween fun.
About Susan Starr:
I am a born teacher. Maybe I just like to think I’m always right. Anyway … I have taught at the college level for almost 30 years. I have taught just about every Biology class you can think of (Medical Parasitology anyone? Economic Zoology? Neuroanatomy?), but spent the majority of my career teaching Human Anatomy and Physiology to future nurses, doctors, physical and occupational therapists, and now Physician’s Assistants in the new EMU program. I LOVE my new job … like the cherry on top of a great career. My favorite places in the world are the woods (especially if mountains and/or water are nearby), my home & garden, and my Anatomy (cadaver) Lab. I’ve been married over 35 years to the same (very patient) guy, and we have a wonderful, compassionate son and daughter-in-law on the East Coast and a beautiful, talented daughter on the West Coast.