UW Science Now is an annual tradition where Town Hall teams with UW Science Engage to bring local graduate students to the stage to present their latest cutting-edge research. This year we’re thrilled to partner with Ada’s Technical Books to feature these illuminating talks in a casual setting where audiences can enjoy a drink and an evening of scientific breakthroughs!
Addiction to opioid pain pills can have devastating effects on lives and families, but these drugs can also change lives for the better by providing relief for patients with chronic pain. Katie Reichard believes that these addictive properties can be addressed through development of better, safer pain medications. Despite the current dangerous side effects of opioid drugs, it may be possible to redesign these medications to reduce their addiction risk while preserving their ability to relieve pain. Reichard reveals how, instead of continuing to weigh the importance of helping opioid addicts against helping chronic pain patients, we can bring relief to both populations by building better opioids.
Our human bodies are made of trillions of cells. While we can think of cells as parts of a whole, they can also act as individuals similarly to people living in a city. At a microscopic scale, cells experience their surroundings and decide what to eat, where to move, or whether to multiply. This has important consequences, as faulty decision-making can lead to diseases like diabetes and cancer. How does all this happen inside microscopic cells? Sam Entwistle shares research on the molecular transmitters inside cells that work together to communicate information to and from the cells’ surroundings. He explores new methods of taking a census of hundreds or thousands of these transmitters to gain a deeper understanding of how decisions are made.
Emilio Vilanova joins us for a discussion of Tropical Forests in northern South America and the Amazon. He explores their relevance for climate change mitigation and for the conservation of biological diversity, and provides some context of his research for sustainable management guidelines. Vilanova demonstrates different approaches to studying these complex ecosystems, highlighting the use of continuous inventories of tree populations across different types of forests and emphasizing processes of tree mortality, wood productivity, and carbon absorption.
Presented by UW Science Engage, Ada’s Technical Books, and Town Hall Seattle as part of the Science series.