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Nerd Nite East Bay: Animal Toxin Evolution, Brain Fonts, and More!

Their Chemical Romance: How Animals Create, Escape and Steal the Most Potent Poisons on Earth

Why don't poisonous animals poison themselves? Learn how poisonous frogs evolved genetic resistance to their own toxins, and why you should never, ever touch a Phyllobates terribilis. See the clever ways that insects deal with man made poisons, learn how animals co-opt toxins from the environment for their own uses, and see how humans use animal toxins to create otherwise unobtainable pharmaceuticals. Plus, watch beetles defend themselves with exploding butts.

Speaker: Rebecca Tarvin, UC Berkeley

Fortune Favors the (Britannic) Bold: How Different Fonts Interact With The Human Brain

Hey I just read you, and this is crazy, a weird font choice, better recall maybe? Learn how a change from familiar fonts breaks your brain out of automatic System 1 cognition and activates a brain state that evolved only in humans. Examine the data that demonstrates how everyday reality makes brains a bit flabby, and see how novelty tunes up tired neurons. Finally, consider how the tragedy of Comic Sans may yet turn into a uniquely human triumph.

Speaker: Connor Diemand-Yauman, Stanford

How Viruses Jump Species and then (Literally) Go Viral

Once publicly obscure, Ebola, Zika, and now coronaviruses have become household names and public enemy number one. Bats are implicated as the host reservoir for highly pathogenic coronaviruses, Ebola virus and many other deadly pathogens. What key genetic changes occurred when these viruses jumped species and transmitted between humans? Using the SARS outbreak as an example, I will discuss modifications made to the surface protein of the virus necessary for efficient binding to human cells. Then, discuss how identification of host receptor, or the first protein the virus must engage in order to infect a cell, explains the host range, tissue tropism, transmission routes and pathogenicity. Insight into virus-host receptor interaction not only sheds light on certain aspects of human pathology caused by these viruses, but can also provide new strategies for therapeutic intervention.

Speaker: Oscar Negrete, Sandia National Lab

Monday, 02/24/20

Contact:

Website: Click to Visit

Cost:

$8 - $10

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The Uptown Nightclub

1928 Telegraph Ave
Oakland, CA 94612

Website: Click to Visit