Have you ever wondered how your brain cells came into being? Why didn’t those cells develop into muscle cells instead? How we develop and age is a complex process. DNA is not the whole story and nature versus nurture isn’t so clear cut. While every cell in our body contains the same genetic information, it’s epigenetics (or “outside genetics”) that distinguishes our muscle cells from brain cells.
Sounds complicated, but it will be easier to understand when a pioneering scientist in the field of epigenetics leads a conversation at Science Pub RVA, Tuesday, December 4th. Dr. Shirley M. Taylor, Associate Professor in the Department of Microbiology & Immunology, VCU Massey Cancer Center, will talk about the chemical modifications that occur in our DNA and surrounding proteins. Join the conversation at this free, open-to-the-public gathering at The Camel.
Talk with Dr. Taylor and get answers to questions like: What causes complex illnesses associated with aging like cancer, obesity and heart disease? Discover why one identical twin remains disease-free, while their twin is stricken with an illness. Question a local scientist about how the experience of extreme starvation of an individual has a greater effect on their grandchildren than their children. Discuss how environmental factors cause long-term impacts on our epigenome.
The structured portion of the evening is just one hour (7:00 p.m. - 8:00 pm) at The Camel (1621 West Broad Street). Go early to grab a seat, drink, eat, and meet other curious-minded folks. Registration is requested via Eventbrite.
Science Pub RVA is an inspiration of NOVA, the iconic, long-running PBS program that covers science and NOVA Science Cafés have spread worldwide. Richmonder Cynthia J. Gibbs is the Coordinator and the spark plug for Science Pub RVA. To learn more, contact Cynthia with an email to SciencePubRVA@gmail.com
Check out this NOVA ScienceNow video on Epigenetics: