Sunday, August 23, 2015

TWO September Science Cafes!

  The Rochester Science Cafe organizers would like to welcome you to the Fall 2015 Science Cafe series, as we begin our seventh year of exciting talks, brilliant scientists, and the best audience in Rochester (along with coffee and cookies, of course!).

This September, we are happy to announce a first: TWO CAFES!  

On Tuesday, September 22, in our usual fourth Tuesday slot, we will have a talk on the University of Rochester's new $600 million photonics institute.  For more on that, you can follow this tinyurl link to the UofR website:

The next day, on Wednesday, September 23, we will have a special cafe:
"Mercury in fish, mercury in us: how do we deal with it?”
Dr. Matt Rand
Department of Environmental Medicine, University of Rochester

Mercury (Hg), a naturally occurring element that can be found in soil, water and air, is perhaps best known for its infamous role as a toxicant.  Methylmercury (MeHg), a naturally-derived organic form of Hg, can occur at elevated levels in some fish species that are consumed by people.  Decades of research have explored MeHg’s toxic potential including bio-magnification in large predatory fish, a long half-life in the body and a preference to attack the developing nervous system.  Despite these threatening features, studies have reported mixed results on the health effects of MeHg in people who consume large amounts of fish. Some of the key research on this topic has been conducted among people living in the Seychelles islands in the Indian Ocean by researchers here in Rochester. In this talk I will discuss the toxicology behind understanding how the human body deals with MeHg exposure.  I will first talk about the fate of MeHg in the body following a fish meal. Next, I will discuss current research efforts aimed at understanding how diet and genetics might influence the toxic potential of MeHg in different individuals.

As always, the talks will be 7:00pm at the Pittsford Plaza Barnes and Noble, upstairs in the Community Room.  Our regular fourth Tuesday talks will continue for the rest of the Fall and Spring.

We look forward to seeing everyone there as we kick off another exciting new year of the Rochester Science Cafe!