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.


1 comment:

Unknown said...

What an intriguing talk Vosshall gave. So thought-provoking I did a a post about it on my blog. Find it here:

Also a shout out to Dorian and Margaret. Kishore Hari is a friend of mine and he told me to look for you two. The basement was so crowded I couldn't find you, so let me extend a belated hello!