Ask a Scientist is a new and different kind of lecture series. If you love watching Nova and reading Scientific American at the doctor's office, then this event is for you. Enjoy food, drinks, socializing, and conversation about the universe's most fascinating mysteries! http://www.askascientistsf.com
This Month's Topic: Synthetic Sight
Last year Dirk Trauner and colleagues at Berkeley did something really interesting: they reengineered a non-photosensitive nerve cell so that it could be turned on or off in response to light. Come find out how they did it and how their technique could eventually become the basis of a gene therapy for certain kinds of blindness. Says Trauner: "We're taking a basic building block of life and souping it up to do something it did not evolve to do. This is true synthetic biology."
Added by fourquarts on January 10, 2006