Third annual science lecture series opens with a splash

The opening lecture of the series this year covers biosonar used by toothed marine mammal including dolphins. ( CC BY 2.0)

Nicole Bullard

The Science Lecture Series at Saddleback College is an eight-part series consisting of weekly lectures designed to give students the experience of meeting world renowned scientists.

The event is being sponsored by the Associated Student Government at Saddleback, faculty in the Math, Science and Engineering division and the dean of MSE, James Wright.

This lecture series begins on Nov. 18 and ends on Apr. 6 of next year. This will be the third annual series organized by the MSE division.

Adjunct Professor of Research in the department of biology at San Diego State University, Dr. Ted W. Cranford, has been lecturing on the morpholic changes caused by evolution.

According to Cranford, marine mammals are great models for questions on mammalian anatomy and physiology.

Dr. Cranford mainly focuses on the functional morphology of biosonar, primarily sound generation and transmission. This includes intrigue on the evolution and origin of toothed whales.

The controversial topic in the last decade has been the effects of high-intensity sound on living marine resources. The acoustic physiology in the larger species of whales has been problematic.

The lecture focuses on “understanding dolphin biosonar by rocket science, finite element modeling, and high-speed video endoscopy.”

Another upcoming aspect of the lecture series is being presented by Dr. David Moffet, who earned a Ph.D in chemistry from Princeton University in 2002, and then completed his Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship at Brown University.

Moffet’s lecture delves into the subject of several diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease and type 2 diabetes, which can be attributed to the improper folding of proteins. These amyloid linked diseases pose a looming threat on human health.

The Alzheimer’s Association estimates that 5.1 million Americans are presently struggling with Alzheimer’s disease, and the American Diabetes Association estimates that 25.8 million children and adults are afflicted by diabetes. That is approximately 8.3% of the U.S. population.

Moffet’s lecture is titled “Untangled Amyloid: Slowing the Progression of Alzheimer’s Disease and Type 2 Diabetes.”

The lecture series is open to anyone who is interested in attending from the community or the college. The lectures are held to help people learn of emerging technologies, new discoveries, and advancements in research.

For more information on the lecture series, see http://www.saddleback.edu/mse/lectures2012.html

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