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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
Sponsored by Science for the People and MC²: Michigan & the Climate Crisis which is presented in conjunction with the Bicentennial LSA Theme Semester.
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.
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.
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?
March Science Café Handouts:
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.
February Science Café Handouts:
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.
January Science Café Handouts:
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.
November Science Café Handout:
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.
Duration: 1 minute 14 secondsThis videocast is based on “B-roll” video footage taken at the Bristle Mammoth excavation site. Relevant Science Café audio has been added to “narrate” the video.
For best viewing use Chrome or Firefox.
Speakers: Daniel Fisher, Director, U-M Museum of Paleontology
Adam Rountrey, Collection Manager for Vertebrate Fossils, U-M Museum of Paleontology
Duration: 7 minutes
A brief PowerPoint presentation was projected as a part of the January 27, 2016, Science Café. The still images are presented here, with relevant Café audio to “narrate” the images.