April 17, 2006

Event - Applied Evolution: Domestication, Disease, Crime and Culture

Saturday, April 22
Applied Evolution: Domestication, Disease, Crime and Culture

David Mindell, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan
Saturday Morning Physics series
10:30 am, 170 Dennison Building, 500 Church. St.
(arrive early, seats fill quickly)

Understand how evolutionary biology is much more than an explanatory concept, and that it is indispensable to the world we live in. When we domesticate wild species for agriculture or companionship; when we manage our exposure to pathogens and prevent or control epidemics; when we foster the diversity of species and safeguard the functioning of ecosystems; and even when we link biological crime scene evidence to suspects: in each of these cases, evolutionary biology is applied.

Posted at 12:31 PM

April 03, 2006

Event - An Evolutionary Guide to the Tree of Life

Saturday, April 8
An Evolutionary Guide to the Tree of Life

David Mindell, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan
Saturday Morning Physics series
10:30 am, 170 Dennison Building, 500 Church St.
(arrive early, seats fill quickly)

Observe an illustrated overview of life's diversity together with discussion of the history of evolutionary thought, and the computational challenges involved in discovering the patterns of life's diversification over the past 3.8 billion years.

Posted at 12:15 PM

March 27, 2006

Event - Evolution of Robots

Saturday, April 1
Evolution of Robots

Peter Swanson, Fanuc Robots America
Saturday Morning Physics series
10:30 am, 170 Dennison Building, 500 Church St.
(arrive early, seats fill quickly)

Take a look at how an industrial robot works, and how it has evolved with improvements in processing power and control technology. See how robotic technologies are being used in telepresence and autonomous vehicles. Look to the future as haptics, prosthetics, and exoskeletons begin to blur the line between human and robot.

Posted at 01:10 PM

March 20, 2006

Event - Mars and the Evolution of Thought

Saturday, March 25
Mars and the Evolution of Thought

Eric Rabkin, English Language and Literature, University of Michigan
Saturday Morning Physics series
10:30 am, 170 Dennison, 500 Church St., Ann Arbor
(arrive early, seats fill quickly)

Once the gods fought in our heavens; now we see the orderly progress of stars. Once the night sky harbored our enemies; now we see planets as resources for the taking. This lecture will consider how, driven in part by our changing understanding of the Red Planet, these shifts and others reflect the evolving of self-conceptions of humanity.

Posted at 12:17 PM

March 13, 2006

Event - Scientific Uncertainty and Public Policy

Saturday, March 18
Scientific Uncertainty and Public Policy:
moving on without all the answers

Henry Pollack, Geological Sciences, University of Michigan
Saturday Morning Physics series
10:30 am, 170 Dennison Building, 500 Church St., Ann Arbor

One frequently hears scientific uncertainty offered up as an excuse to avoid making important public policy decisions. We will hear about sources of uncertainty, both real and 'manufactured', and offer perspectives on why policy formulation must proceed in the face of uncertainty.

Posted at 12:37 PM

March 06, 2006

Event - Physics of Dating Technologies

Saturday, March 11
Physics of Dating Technologies

Fred Becchetti, Physics, University of Michigan
Saturday Morning Physics series
10:30 am, 170 Dennison, 500 Church St., Ann Arbor
(arrive early, seats fill quickly)

Documenting the course of evolution depends on the accurate dating and sequencing of ancient artifacts. Physics has provided some of the primary techniques for doing this, in particular radioactive dating such as C14 dating. The basic techniques and some of the recent developments in this field will be reviewed together with some of the implications.

Posted at 12:24 PM

February 13, 2006

Event - Natural Selection and the Regulation of Defense Responses

Saturday, February 18
Natural Selection and the Regulation of Defense Responses:
How much suffering is enough?

Randolph Nesse, Psychiatry and Psychology; University of Michigan
Saturday Morning Physics Series
10:30 am, 170 Dennison, 500 Church St., Ann Arbor
(arrive early, seats fill quickly)

If natural selection is so great, then why is life so full of pain, cough, nausea, fever, anxiety and fatigue? A signal detection analysis reveals it is for the same reason that smoke detectors scream when we make toast. Knowing that most instances of defensive arousal are unnecessary but completely normal offers the missing scientific foundation for deciding how we should use new drugs.

Posted at 12:26 PM

February 06, 2006

Event - Genomic Revolution of Evolutionary Biology

Saturday, February 11
Genomic revolution of evolutionary biology

George Zhang, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Michigan
Saturday Morning Physics series
10:30 am, 170 Dennison Building, 500 Church St., Ann Arbor
(arrive early, seats fill quickly)

How big is a genome and what elements are in a genome? How does the genome change in evolution? Do genomic studies provide any novel perspectives on the structure, function, and evolution of cellular life? How will genomics change our daily lives in the future?

Posted at 09:17 AM

January 30, 2006

Event - Evolution of Infectious Diseases: From Host-parasite Arms Races to Superbugs

Saturday, February 4
Evolution of Infectious Diseases: from host-parasite arms races to superbugs

Johannes Foufopoulos, School of Natural Resources and the Environment
Saturday Morning Physics Series
10:30 am, 170 Dennison, 500 Church St., Ann Arbor
(arrive early, seats fill quickly)

Pathogens have always existed in a changing environment where keeping up with the quickly shifting immune defenses of the host is key for survival. Because of their impressive capacity to respond rapidly to change, bacteria and viruses have been able to evolve multiple molecular answers to many of today’s antibiotics. Learn how the rise of antibiotic resistance can impact your life and what is being done to deal with this challenge.

Posted at 12:47 PM

January 23, 2006

Event - Nanomedicine: a New Frontier for Physics

Saturday, January 28
Nanomedicine: a New Frontier for Physics

Jens-Christian Meiners, Physics, University of Michigan
Saturday Morning Physics series
10:30 am, 170 Dennison Building, 500 Church St., Ann Arbor
(arrive early — seats fill quickly)

Life emerges on the nanometer length scale between the size of a molecule and a cell. Discover the often surprising and counterintuitive physical principles that govern biological systems on that scale, and look at how they inspire new approaches in the development of medical diagnostics and therapeutics.

Posted at 12:31 PM

January 16, 2006

Event - Evolution: The Fossil Record and the Origin of Whales

Saturday, January 21
Evolution: The Fossil Record and the Origin of Whales

Philip Gingerich, Museum of Paleontology and Geological Sciences, University of Michigan
Saturday Morning Physics series
10:30 am, 170 Dennison Building

Evolution is a science of change through time, founded in the 18th and 19th centuries to describe and explain fossils that geologists observed to differ in successive layers of the earth’s crust. Microevolutionary studies in paleontology link species through close intermediates and address change on short time scales. Macroevolutionary studies trace profound changes in body plans through longer intervals, as seen in the origin and early evolution of whales.

Posted at 12:21 PM