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June 23, 2017 – Pollution in our sky and superhero flies

Grounds for Science

with Nick Jourjine & Tamara Sparks 

Friday, June 23, 2017 at 6:30 PM at Scarlet City Espresso Bar

Tiny Brains, Big Ideas

Fruit flies are pesky insects that accumulate in our kitchens on hot summer days; they are also a work-horse of biological research and have contributed enormously to our understanding of human health and disease. Most recently, they have powered new insights in our understanding of the nervous system and its role in regulating behavior. Come learn why fruit flies are super-heroes of science and what they can tell us about how our brains drive us to do what we do.

Drosophila: the superfly

Nick Jourjine

Nick Jourjine is a graduate student in the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology at UC Berkeley, where he uses fruit flies to study neural circuits regulating hunger and thirst. He has also spent time at the Max Planck Institute for Cell Biology in Dresden, Germany, researching how gene expression is regulated. Nick thinks Drosophila melanogaster is super fly.

Ozone Pollution in our Cities

Air pollution has been a problem for decades, and despite regulations and great improvements made over that time, it remains a problem in much of the country. Ground-level ozone is a pollutant that harms our respiratory systems and worsens asthma, but because it isn’t emitted directly out of a tailpipe or smokestack, it’s difficult to control. Come learn about what causes ozone pollution and what science can tell us about how to make our air cleaner!

Ozone skies

Tamara Sparks

Tamara Sparks is a 4th year PhD student at UC Berkeley studying atmospheric chemistry. Originally from Boulder, Colorado, she appreciated having the opportunity in her research to go back and study air pollution in and around her hometown. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, playing board games, and baking cupcakes.

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