August 20, 2008

The Secret Science Club presents Neuroscientist (and Smell-ologist) Leslie Vosshall of Rockefeller University on Wednesday, September 3 @ 8 PM

Smell is the most primitive of senses. The world is filled with scents that suggest danger, the presence of food—and mating opportunities. Humans can detect about 10,000 different odors—while insects can perceive only those that are essential for their survival.

Dr. Leslie Vosshall, head of the Laboratory of Neurogenetics and Behavior at Rockefeller University and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator, probes the brains and neural networks of creatures from fruit flies to Homo sapiens. She asks: Is love in the eye of the beholder—or in the schnoz? How do different animals detect smell? How do sweet and stinky scents influence behavior? And why does camembert cheese smell like heaven to some people and offal to others?

Some of Vosshall’s current investigations include:
  • Sexual attraction. Are ovulating women drawn to (or repulsed by) androstenon, a possible pheromone produced by men’s sweat glands?

  • Global health. Could millions of lives be saved by scent research? Malaria-carrying mosquitoes use their sniffers to hone in on human blood meals. But what if they couldn’t smell their victims—and therefore didn’t bite them? Vosshall’s lab is investigating how to “blind” the mosquito nose.

It would stink to miss this odiferous lecture . . .

Before and After
--Groove to sweet-smelling tunes & video in Union Hall’s subterranean grotto

--Stick around for the scent-illating Q&A

--Want to get stinko? Try our cocktail of the night, the Schnoz-mopolitan!!

The “Secret Science Club” meets September 3 at 8 p.m. in the basement @ Union Hall, 702 Union St. (at 5th Ave.) in Park Slope, Brooklyn, p: 718.638.4400 Subway: R to Union St.; F to 4th Ave.; Q, 2, 3, 4, 5 to Atlantic Ave.

No cover charge. Just bring your smart self.


August 14, 2008

Calling All Filmmakers . . . Send in Your Science-Loving Film Now!!

The first-ever Imagine Science Film Festival runs from October 16 to October 25 in NYC. And the deadline for submitting original films---Tuesday, August 26---is fast approaching.

Drama. Comedy. Techno thriller. Animation. Music video . . . As long as your theme is science-oriented, your film is eligible. Click
here for a complete set of festival submission guidelines, and submit your film today to: Imagine Science Films Corp., 1230 York Avenue, Box #252, New York, NY 10021

Once entered, your film is up for 2 awards, both sponsored by the science journal, Nature. The $2,500 Nature Scientific Merit Award will go to the film that most accurately portrays science. The $2,500 Nature People’s Choice Award will go to the film voted the best by audience members.

For updates on the Imagine Science Film Festival, click here. And stay tuned . . .

August 4, 2008

The Secret Science Club Presents Award-winning Cancer Researcher Scott Lowe of Cold Spring Harbor Lab on Wednesday, August 6 at 8:30 pm

Hold onto your wigs and key, ladies and gents, Dr. Scott Lowe is taking the Secret Science Club on a fantastic voyage through inner space to explore the microscopic machinery of the cell…

Scott Lowe explores “apoptosis”—the programmed death of damaged cells—a process necessary for organisms to properly develop and survive. He asks: How do cancer cells thwart the apoptotic machinery, enabling them to proliferate uncontrollably? What mutations may affect tumor development and responses to cancer therapies? If cancer genes are “switched off,” can cancer be cured?

Deputy Director of the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Cancer Center and an investigator for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Scott Lowe has developed mouse models and genomic technologies to study the complexities of tumor evolution and resistance to chemotherapy. He is also involved in the search for the human cancer genome—“a comprehensive collection of the genetic alterations responsible for major cancers.”

The recipient of the Sydney Kimmel Foundation Scholar Award, a Rita Allen Foundation Scholar Award, the AACR Outstanding Investigator Award, the AACR-NFCR Professorship in Basic Cancer Research, the Paul Marks Prize for Cancer Research, and the AAAS Fellow Award, Dr. Lowe is working to apply findings to developing improved cancer treatment and methods of overcoming drug resistance.

--Groove to genetically altered tunes and s
tick around for the scintillating Q&A

--Try our cocktail of the night: the Lab Rat . . . it's one experiment, you won't want to miss!

--Check out the
physics experiments at 6:30 pm in Brooklyn Bridge Park (see previous post)

The “Secret Science Club” meets August 6 at 8:30 pm in the subterranean grotto @ Union Hall, 702 Union St. (at 5th Ave.) in Park Slope, Brooklyn, p: 718.638.4400 Subway: R to Union St.; F to 4th Ave.; Q, 2, 3, 4, 5 to Atlantic Ave.

No cover charge. Just bring your smart self.

Doors open at 8 pm. LIMITED SEATS AVAILABLE.

PLEASE BRING ID: 21+. Pocket protectors suggested.