Science Cafe to Present Serving Time: Flies in the big house

Dr. William Wozniak
professor, Department of Psychology, 308.865.8242

UNK- A nationally recognized, award-winning series at the University of Nebraska at Kearney, the Sigma Xi Science Cafe, will present “Serving Time: Flies in the Big House” on Monday, Feb. 9, at 5 p.m. at the Thunderhead Brewery in Kearney.

The presentation, which is free and open to the public, will be given by Dr. Kimberly Carlson, UNK associate professor of biology.

“Aging is a universal process characterized by a steady decline in an organism’s ability to perform life-sustaining tasks,” Dr. Carlson said. “The life span of an organism is based on both extrinsic factors, such as environment, and genetic intrinsic factors.

“Genetically-related populations of organisms undergo aging at a similar rate, but the genes underlying this process have not been extensively studied,” she said. Dr. Carlson will describe her research on populations of Drosophila melanogaster (fruit flies), and tell how this basic research can illuminate the genetics of aging.

“A Science Cafe is a way to help the public connect with science,” said Dr. William Wozniak, president of the UNK Sigma Xi chapter. “It’s a relaxed exchange of information and ideas that brings together scientists and lay people in an accessible venue. It puts the public on equal footing with scientists and engineers to discuss current research and its implications.”

The UNK Chapter of Sigma Xi: The Scientific Research Society recently received the highest national recognition from Sigma Xi–the Sigma Xi Chapter Program Award– for the Science Cafe program. In addition, the chapter received a Sigma Xi Certificate of Excellence, which recognizes both exceptional chapter activity and innovative programming, in general.

According to Dr. Carol Beck, chair of the Sigma Xi Committee on Qualifications and Memberships, UNK was one of only two chapters in the nation to receive both the Certificate of Excellence and the Chapter Program Award.