Jan. 23, 2019
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Lawrence Livermore's 'Science on Saturday' lecture series returns with a look at the brain

Carrie L Martin, martin59 [at] llnl.gov, 925-424-4715

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's (LLNL) popular lecture series, "Science on Saturday," returns Feb. 2 and runs through Feb. 23 at the Bankhead Theater, located at 2400 First St. in Livermore.

The series will offer four different lectures with a theme relating to the brain. Each lecture is presented by leading LLNL researchers who are joined by master high school science teachers.

Two presentations are offered each Saturday in February at 9:30 and 11:15 a.m. The lectures are targeted to middle and high school students and free to attend.

Kicking off the series on Feb. 2 is "Giving Your Brain a Voice: Engineering Sensors That Listen to Brain Cells," presented by scientists Anna Belle and Allison Yorita and joined by Erin McKay, a biology teacher from Tracy High School. They will discuss how the human brain is composed of billions of cells that communicate through chemical and electrical signals. LLNL microelectrodes can interface directly with the brain to allow us to monitor and manipulate the dynamics of these brain signals. LLNL microelectrodes are flexible and microfabricated in dense arrays that allow them to collect large amounts of information over long periods of time in the body. The lecture will cover how these arrays are microfabricated and their diagnostic and therapeutic applications.

Here is the complete schedule of lectures:  

  • Feb. 2 – "Giving Your Brain a Voice: Engineering Sensors That Listen to Brain Cells," presented by scientists Anna Belle and Allison Yorita with teacher Erin McKay from Tracy High School.  
  • Feb. 9 - "In the Mood: Deciphering Complex Brain Signals," by LLNL scientist Alan Kaplan with teacher Katherine Huang of Dougherty Valley High School.
  • Feb. 16 - "Seed, Soil and Spread: 3D-Bioprinted Model for Metastatic Brain Tumors," by LLNL scientists Monica Moya, Javier Alvarado, Karen Dubbin, William Hynes and Claire Robertson, with teacher Melody McGill of Roosevelt Junior High School.
  • Feb. 23 - "Crossing the Blood Brain Barrier: One Byte at a Time," by LLNL scientists Tim Carpenter and Nicholas Be, with teacher Dan Burns of Los Gatos High School.

Science on Saturday is sponsored by LLNL's University Relations and Science Education Programs. There is no pre-registration; seating is on a first-come basis.

The lecture series will be available to view at a later date via the LLNL YouTube Channel. Past Science on Saturday presentations can be viewed at the University of California Television network. For more information about Science on Saturday, vist the web or contact albala1 [at] llnl.gov (Joanna Albala) at (925) 422-6803.