LLNL's Saturday lectures explore cutting edge science

Jan. 17, 2013

LLNL's Saturday lectures explore cutting edge science

Linda A Lucchetti, lucchetti1@llnl.gov, 925-422-5815

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's popular lecture series, "Science on Saturday," returns Jan. 26 and runs through Feb. 23. This year's talks cover a wide range of current topics including detecting pathogen DNA; the Lab's technologies used on NASA's NuSTAR Mission; the next generation medical diagnostic devices; and biofuels -- the new energy from ancient life.

The lectures are free and will be held in the Bankhead Theater, located at 2400 First St. in Livermore. Two presentations are offered at 9:30 and 11:15 a.m.

Each lecture highlights cutting-edge Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) science presented by leading Lab researchers who are joined by master high school science teachers.

Kicking off the series of four Saturday sessions is: "Detecting Pathogen DNA," by LLNL scientist Reg Beer and teacher Erin McKay.

In the movies, when a killer infection spreads, doctors triage and isolate patients while a medical biologist races to diagnose the illness and find a cure. Inevitably, a national emergency follows as the virus or bacteria wipe out an unsuspecting population. This may be Hollywood's vision. The presenters will discuss how scientists at LLNL are developing tools to identify organisms in a few minutes so that doctors can be certain of the need for antibiotics, patient isolation or additional intervention.

Here is the complete schedule of lectures:

Lectures and demonstrations are targeted to middle and high school students. The lectures are sponsored by LLNL's Science Education Program. Seating is on a first-come basis. There is no pre-registration.

For more information about Science on Saturday, directions and a map, go to the Science on Saturday Website at or contact Richard Farnsworth, (925) 422-5059.