--FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE--
August 17, 2011
Contact: Tatiana Brailovskaya, Director of Communications, Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences, (207) 633-9633; email@example.com
WEST BOOTHBAY HARBOR, ME – Bigelow Laboratory will welcome Dr. Kevin Strange, Director of the Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory (MDIBL), as the final speaker of the Laboratory’s 2011 Summer Café Scientifique program on Tuesday, August 30 at 6 p.m. in the Boothbay Harbor Opera House, 86 Townsend Avenue in Boothbay Harbor.
Strange will lead a discussion titled “The Worm in Us All: What Our Primitive Ancestors Tell Us About Human Disease and Aging.” The talk will address the important role evolution plays in biomedical research, and why studying “simpler” organisms allows scientists to understand aging and other basic biological processes more quickly and economically.
The “worm” of the talk’s title is the roundworm C. elegans -- a non-mammalian model organism that helps define the genes and genetic pathways underlying physiological and pathophysiological processes.
Strange’s research focuses on understanding how C. elegans copes with environmental stress. “C. elegans lives in an environment where it is constantly challenged by dramatic changes in food and water availability and levels of oxygen, toxins and pathogens”, said Strange. “The worm’s genome has been fully sequenced, and gene function can be rapidly and economically manipulated in this animal, which greatly simplifies the job of investigating how its genes function to protect it from such changes. Because we share many of our genes with C. elegans, understanding these mechanisms has important implications for understanding numerous human diseases and the pathophysiology associated with aging.”
Café Scientifique talks are free and open to the public, with beer, wine, and sodas available for purchase. This summer’s “science conversations” have all been held in the main theater of the Opera House, and has consistently been drawing record crowds to the newly renovated, historic space.
Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences conducts research ranging from microbial oceanography -- examining the biology in the world’s oceans at the molecular level -- to the large-scale ocean processes that affect global environmental conditions. Recognized as a leader in Maine’s emerging innovation economy, the Laboratory is spurring significant economic growth in the state through construction of a major Ocean Science and Education Campus in East Boothbay. Photo: Dr. Kevin Strange, Director of the Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory.####