January 22, 2020
If you stretched the DNA in one human cell all the way out, it would be about two meters long. How does all that DNA fit into one tiny cell? How does the way it is packaged matter for human health? Join Gyorgyi Csankovszki of the Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology for a discussion of current research into basic cellular biology and the implications this research may have on human health. This Science Café is part of a grant from the National Science Foundation.
February 19, 2020
Great Lakes fisheries are managed intensively to reduce nutrients from fertilizer runoff and to increase game fish populations such as trout and salmon. When you add invasive species such as non-native mussels and the possibility of carp, we have a very fragile system. Join us to discuss the past, present, and possible futures of Lake Michigan fisheries with Bo Bunnell of the U.S.G.S. Great Lakes Science Center and U-M School for Environment and Sustainability, Yu-Chun Kao of MSU's Center for Systems Integration and Sustainability, and Ed Rutherford of the NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Lab.
October 16, 2019
Hidden in the feathers of museum specimens of birds is information on the air quality of past decades - very detailed information. These specimens also contain evidence of the impacts of recent climate change on birds. What do these birds have to say? Join Shane DuBay and Ben Winger of the U-M Museum of Zoology to discuss what bird specimens can tell us about air quality, climate change impacts, and what we can all do to help rapidly declining bird populations now.
November 20, 2019
Microbes in the water take carbon from the atmosphere, break down plastics, and even cause and prevent toxic algae blooms. Join Dr. Melissa Duhaime of the U-M's Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and members of her lab team to discuss the ecology of aquatic microbes, and how what we learn about them now could have huge impacts on our future.
January 24, 2018
What are the stories of contemporary Latin American migration, and how do we uncover them? What can these stories tell us about borders, their impact, and the struggles of many families to find a new life? How can such stories inform policy and/or political action?
March 21, 2018
Human beings have changed Earth so extensively that geologists now propose renaming our current epoch as the Anthropocene—the era defined by people. Human influences are apparent in the shape of landscapes, the extent of biodiversity, ocean chemistry, and our climate. We will explore the history of human influence on Earth and the ideas driving the concept of the Age of Humans, taking time to discuss consequences and implications for our future world.
April 11, 2018
New technology makes gene editing easier. Its use is being explored to correct diseases caused by genetic mutations, to fight cancer, and even to learn about human evolutionary adaptations, and its potential is amazing. We'll explore the capabilities and research that CRISPR Cas9 gene editing brings, as well as its ethical, legal, and social implications.
October 17, 2018
Have you ever helped with research by doing a Christmas bird count, helping to identify photos for an online project, or participating in local water testing? Join us as we explore the potential roles of citizen and community science projects in scientific research and public policy. We’ll highlight some U-M projects, with opportunities for involvement.
November 14, 2018
You've probably heard of the harmful "algal" blooms in Lake Erie. These are caused by cyanobacteria (the organisms formerly known as blue-green algae), which grow in nutrient-rich water, often overpopulating due to fertilizer run-off. But did you know that cyanobacteria also absorb CO2 and that researchers are studying whether they might affect, or even mitigate, global warming? Learn about water quality and the carbon cycle, and discuss the possible policy implications.
January 25, 2017
A discussion of the history and social psychology of nationalist and fascist politics and what light this scholarship may or may not shed on current events.
February 22, 2017
A discussion on how the Earth's climate has changed many times, and the mechanisms of these changes may shed light on what we can expect in the future.
March 22, 2017
A discussion on the biological effects of past nutrition, stress, and toxicant exposures on our health and well-being. Are these changes heritable? Can diet and exercise protect our DNA?
April 12, 2017
A discussion with U-M faculty and librarians participating in the national DataRefuge project, which looks to preserve, organize, and increase access to publicly-funded research data.
October 4, 2017
A discussion on the politics of oil, water, and food production and how they are deeply intertwined with human-caused climate change and political upheaval, especially in the Middle East.
November 8, 2017
Basic science research seeks to improve our understanding of the world, without any direct, obvious application. Much of it is funded by government grants, including those from the National Science Foundation. That funding may soon face cuts. A discussion on how much we spend on such research, what the rationale is, and what the implications of such cuts might be.
September 28, 2017
Today's geologic era—the Anthropocene—is dominated by human activity. In this talk, Ben van der Pluijm explored the impacts of a growing human population and our increasing needs for resources, such as food, water and energy, and solutions toward a thriving human society in this new era.
January 27, 2016
In the fall of 2015, a farmer near Chelsea discovered part of a mammoth skeleton and donated it to U-M. U-M scientists discussed the excavation and early research on the Bristle Mammoth -- named for Jim and Melody Bristle on whose land it was found.
November 16, 2016
In 2012, physicists at large particle accelerators such as the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) found evidence of the Higgs boson, long predicted by the Standard Model in physics. But since then, they have yet to find evidence of other predicted particles.