Friend or Foe? The Two Faces of Microbes

The Two Faces of Microbes” describes what a microbe is, and then covers some interesting facts and perspectives about microbes. On one hand, they are essential to life, on the other, the can cause devastating and sometimes fatal diseases. McLellan talks about some epidemics that have shaped history, and how today, we are using microbiology to assess pollution sources in the Great Lakes.

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.

Medical Imaging: Getting Under Your Skin

Sound, motion, and a bit of fury pulse through this dynamic investigation into several imaging techniques used to examine the human body. Physicist Paul Lyman immediately captures the attention of his audience with his entrance, bumping down the long flight of lecture-room stairs to the front of the room on his bicycle. He hops off, removes his helmet and plunges into the world of X rays, computer tomography (CT scan), nuclear magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and ultrasound.