Tag Archives: Northeastern

Boston & Cambridge Biology Talks: June 2nd through June 8th

Every week, I compile a list of biology-related talks at the universities and museums around the Boston Metro Area.

A pdf of this week’s complete list can be found here. (PDF includes links to event details.)

This week I added a new section called “Out of Town But Intriguing” that includes talks at colleges outside of the immediate Boston Metro area like Brown, Brandeis, and Woods Hole.¬† The scope of that section is going to be limited to places that are either closely affiliated with the Boston universities and/or easily accessible via commuter rail, but not ALL of the science happens in Boston/Cambridge.

Anyway, here are some of this week’s highlights:

Most Intriguing Dissertation Defense Title: “Judging a Planet By Its Cover: Insights into the Lunar Crustal¬† Structure and Martian Climate History from Surface Features” @MIT on Tuesday, 2:00 pm

Best Pop Culture Pun: “Breaking Bad: How Aneuploidy Drives Cancer” @Harvard Medical on Thursday, 4:00 pm

Highest Buzzword Density in a Talk Title: “A Probiotic Therapy for Autism Spectrum Disorders?” @MIT on Wednesday, 6:00 pm

Mini-Conference¬† I’m Most Psyched for: 2014 Boston University Bioinformatics Student-Organized Symposium @BU Main Campus on Wednesday, 9:30 am – 5:45 pm Continue reading “Boston & Cambridge Biology Talks: June 2nd through June 8th” »

Bioelectric signals tell organisms when to grow limbs (among other things) – Recap of talk by Dr. Michael Levin

[This post is part of a series called “Brown Bag Lunch Reports” where I recap some of the academic talks given at college campuses in and around the city of Boston. Let me know what you think of the post format and what kinds of talks you think I should recap next!]

The Talk’s Title:

Manipulating natural bioelectric gradients to control growth and form in embryogenesis, regeneration, and cancer

In Plain English:

Changing the ways electric signals flow through living tissues alters the organisms’ growth in profound ways, including (but not limited to) the regeneration of complex organs like eyes and limbs.

The Speaker:

Michael Levin, Ph.d. of the Tufts Center for Regenerative Medicine and Developmental Biology

The Location:

Northeastern University’s Center for Interdisciplinary Research on Complex Systems

What it covered:

Dr. Michael Levin’s lab investigates a little-known (and if half of what he says is true, very underappreciated) topic in biology: the effect of variation in the electric charges of cells on morphological development. If that last sentence sounded like a random string of sciencey-sounding words from different disciplines, there’s a reason for that: Dr. Levin’s work draws heavily from both physics and molecular biology. Continue reading “Bioelectric signals tell organisms when to grow limbs (among other things) – Recap of talk by Dr. Michael Levin” »