Matters of the Heart: Cells and Cardiovascular Disease


Biologist Julie Oliver explains the inner workings of our heart and circulatory system in “Matters of the Heart: Cell and Cardiovascular Disease.” With audience participation, Oliver will unravel how blood cells called platelets function at the site of an injury to form a plug. There’s good and bad news about our body’s ability to stop bleeding. While this rapid response is critical to wound healing, its regulation can be disrupted, causing a cascade of events that can lead to heart attacks and strokes. As she leads a tour into our veins, discover the what’s inside that activates the platelets – and what inhibits them. She also investigates how drugs like aspirin inhibit platelet’s clotting function. A demonstration reveals why platelets in mammals (that’s us!) respond particularly well to a daily, low-dose aspirin treatment for cardiovascular disease.