Watch as our three presenters illuminate you with new knowledge that just mite make you smile. Also, puns. Our last two nights have sold out and Nerd Nite #6 has another fantastic line up. So don’t be left out, grab tickets before they’re gone!
When: May 23, 2013 (doors @ 7:30p, show @ 8)
Where: Haven Social Club – 15120 Stony Plain Road
$10 in advance + service charge (includes a free drink!)
Tickets on sale now!
$15 at the door (includes a free drink!)
#1 – The Walking (Nearly) Dead: Parasite Manipulation of Host Behaviour
Though at times it may be refreshing to have decisions made for us, the ability to choose how we spend our days is something we non-parasitized may take for granted. From fungi, to nematodes, to wasps, some parasitic species have adapted the amazing ability to manipulate their host’s behaviour in a way that goes beyond the horror of any George A. Romero film. Join us while we explore the fascinating world of host-parasite interactions where the microscopic have tremendous influences. We will discuss the diversity of parasites that manipulate not only host behavior but also host appearance; all in an effort to complete their life cycle and start the process all over again.
Bio: Kaylee is currently an MSc student at the University of Alberta where she studies the reproductive morphologies of feather mites. While she specializes in acarology (the study of mites), she is particularly fascinated by the bizarre biology of parasites. In Fall 2013, Kaylee will be commencing a PhD at the University of British Columbia where she will be studying urban rat ectoparasites and their potential to transmit disease (vancouverratproject.com). In her spare time, Kaylee enjoys travelling and acquiring her own parasites, all in the name of Science.
#2 – It’s About Time!
Digital-savvy generations have developed a nostalgic interest in vintage technologies like vinyl records and pinball machines. Similarly, Mechanical wrist and pocket watches have stimulated a new wave of attention. It’s no wonder why, the best Swiss timepieces satisfy on many levels; complex engineering, precise construction, beautiful design, and flawless craftsmanship. Beyond these physical characteristics, the vintage watch answers a primeval need to touch history. With patience and curiosity, one can discover a portal into the past; the people and events that provide context to the physical object. To illustrate, I will present a few pieces from the 1860s to 1950s and share their stories. I promise that your inner nerd will find it fascinating, romantic, and even disturbing.
Bio: Dean Albrecht is a retired cop with too much “time” on his hands. Although an avowed adrenaline junkie, he finds welcome respite in collecting and writing on Swiss watches of the golden age from the mid-19th to 20th centuries. Dean will be returning to Switzerland this spring for his third visit, to literally walk the hills and valleys of watchmaking history.
#3 – Glowing Animals: A Neuroscience Toolkit at the End of the Rainbow
Remember when the only animals that glowed were the ones that nature intended to glow? I do. It was the 1980s and the only things that glowed were fireflies, deep sea creatures, and those neon shirts that I loved. Fast forward to 2013 and you can’t swing a red fluorescent cat without hitting some new glowing freak of science. In the last couple years we’ve seen red fluorescent dogs, yellow fluorescent pigs, green fluorescent monkeys, “GloFish”, and don’t even get me started on the genetically altered mice! What the hell happened? The answer to this question starts with a humble jellyfish and ends with current efforts to completely map the activity of the brain. In this presentation I will demonstrate how making fluorescent animals has revolutionized our ability to peer into the inner workings of cells and live animals. Specific emphasis will be placed on how my research at the University of Alberta is enabling scientists to do the previously unthinkable: visualize the activity of every neuron in the brain of a living animal!
Bio: Robert E. Campbell Ph.D. (UBC, 2000) is an associate Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Canada Research Chair at the University of Alberta. He is also a certified nerd that loves all things sciency. From 2000-2003 he had the good fortune to undertake his postdoctoral research in the lab of a soon-to-be-Nobel-prize-winner; an experience that launched Robert’s career as the world’s expert on fluorescent proteins. Today, he and and his minions (13 super-talented graduate students that represent the most concentrated talent pool of protein engineers in the world) are all working hard to create a new generation of fluorescent proteins that will enable the visualization of brain activity in real time.