There’s a Café Scientifique meeting tonight, Sept. 18, 2013 in Surrey, BC (a municipality in metro Vancouver). Here’s more from a Sept. 12, 2013 Simon Fraser University news release,
Café Scientifique – brainpower, bacteria & super seniors
Simon Fraser University’s popular Café Scientifique series returns to Surrey this fall and the general public is invited to participate and learn more from what the experts have to say about key topics in health.
Three sessions will be held this fall at Surrey’s City Centre Library (main floor) from 7-8:30 p.m. The events are free.
SFU biological sciences professor Gordon Rintoul kicks off the first session on Wednesday, Sept. 18 with a discussion on the changes that occur in healthy brain cells versus those found in people with age-related brain diseases.
Rintoul, a neuroscientist, focuses on mitochondria, microscopic structures within brain cells, which provide energy for cellular process.
“Mitochondria have been called the powerhouses of the cell,” says Rintoul. “Our lab investigates the role of mitochondria in healthy neurons and in disease mechanisms.”
Rintoul will speak about his research and other recent findings linking changes in mitochondria to Parkinson’s disease, stroke and the process of aging.
The study involves over 500 “super seniors” between the ages of 85 and 105, who have never been diagnosed with cancer, cardiovascular disease, major pulmonary disease, Alzheimer disease or diabetes. The study looks at genetic features that correlate with long-term good health in these exceptional individuals.
The news release offers a bit more about the Fall 2013 season of Simon Fraser University Café Scientifique meetings,
Sessions to follow include:
Oct. 16: Julian Guttman, an assistant biological sciences professor, will explain how pathogenic bacteria such as E.coli create serious global health concerns, causing disease through their interaction and subsequent control of host cells’ normal cellular functions. Guttman will discuss the conditions that transform bacterial infection into disease.
Nov. 20: Angela Brooks-Wilson, an associate professor of biomedical physiology/kinesiology and a Distinguished Scientist at the BC Cancer Agency, will shares insights from her study on health aging.
These presentations are designed to stimulate conversation (from the news release),
Speakers will discuss their health or popular-science related topics for approximately 20 minutes, followed by a discussion with the audience. Reserve your free seat at: café_scientifique@sfu.ca.
The second Café Scientifique is being held in the back room of the The Railway Club (2nd floor of 579 Dunsmuir St. [at Seymour St.], Vancouver, Canada), and could be a more relaxed affair as it will be accompanied the sounds of slurping beer on Tuesday, September 24, 2013 at 7:30 pm. Here’s the talk description (from the Sept. 17, 2013 announcement),
Our next café will happen on Tuesday September 24th, 7:30pm at The Railway Club. Our speaker for the evening will be Ian Cromwell, MSc. The details of his talk are as follows:The HPV Vaccine and You: What You Need to Know to Make an Informed ChoiceWith British Columbia recently approving the HPV vaccine in young women across the province, members of the public have been engaged in a conversation about the value and safety of the vaccine. Ian Cromwell, a health economics researcher at the BC Cancer Agency, will discuss the vaccine and introduce the available evidence supporting the policy. He will also address some of the specific concerns people in British Columbia have about the vaccine, with a grounding in the scientific literature.
Ordinarily the talks at the Railway Club are pretty relaxed but those references to “evidence supporting the policy”, as well as, “a grounding in scientific literature” in the speaker’s description are a little concerning to me given that the “conversation [is] about the value and safety of the vaccine.” I suspect the only “informed choice” will be yes and any objections will be shot down while reams of scientific literature and evidence are being quoted at whomever has the temerity to question the BC Cancer Agency’s policy.