February 26 • Daniela Necastro, Ph.D., UT Southwestern Mesical Center
“Ice Age” Imaging Opens a New Window Into Cells
“Seeing is believing” – the invention of microscopy was crucial for visualizing living cells for the first time in the late 17th century and for the discovery of cell organelles. Dr. Daniela Nicastro uses electron microscopy at super-low temperatures in an emergent technology called “cryo-electron microscopy” to explain how large protein complexes form macromolecular structures that enable cells to function. One focus of her research is the internal skeleton of the cell, the cytoskeleton. In the process of figuring out how the cytoskeleton functions, she has been able to uncover fundamental cellular processes that are integral to the health of all living organisms.
March 26 • Jerry Coyne, Ph.D., University of Chicago, Department of Ecology & Evolution;
Why Evolution Is Still True
Despite the mountain of evidence supporting the theory and fact of biological evolution, most Americans still reject the naturalistic version of the process that we teach in schools and colleges, according to Dr. Jerry Coyne. In this talk he’ll explain what the modern theory really says, and then show some of the multifarious evidence for evolution and natural selection— evidence that comes from many areas of science, including biogeography, the fossil record, embryology, natural history, and genetics. He’ll then briefly discuss why this most important of all biological ideas has been denied by so many people.
April 30 • Erin McKenney, Ph.D., The Public Science Lab, Ph.D., Duke University, M.S., North Carolina State University
Food, Guts, and Bugs: Keys to a Cultured Life
Dr. Erin McKenney studies how microbial communities form over time and how they adapt to their environments. In this presentation, she will discuss how ecology and nutrition impact the gut microbiomes of over 22 species, with implications for promoting health and understanding disease. Her interest in microbial cultures, such as those in fermented foods, have provided an opportunity to investigate the relationship to human cultures. Microbial cultures also provide accessible systems for studying microbiology without formal laboratory equipment. By combining citizen science and global collaborations, Erin brings research into the classroom to empower students of all ages.
To view an outline of past Horizons events, click here