Science Pub Portland - Mission Theater

Date: Sep. 17, 2013 Time: 7-9pm Located at: McMenamins Mission Theater, 1624 NW Glisan, Portland
Who is this for: 21+ (or minor with adult) Cost: $5 suggested donation

Science Pub Portland - Mission Theater

It IS the 98%: Recent Controversies Surrounding Junk DNA
with Sarah Schaack, PhD, assistant professor of biology at Reed College

The advent of the whole genome sequencing era has revealed an immense amount about the biological and genetic architecture of a wide array of organisms, including Homo sapiens.  The results have been surprising to scientists and non-scientists alike!  One result—that less than 2% of the human genome is comprised of protein-coding DNA—has inspired a great deal of research attempting to figure out what the rest of the genome is and does—if anything!  

In this talk, Sarah Schaack will give an overview of very heated, recent controversies among scientists surrounding claims that a very high proportion of DNA in the human genome is functional.  Why did the sparks fly? Come to Science Pub and find out!  Her talk will include a fly-over tour of the genomic landscape, including the vast stretches of so-called "junk DNA".  Where does junk DNA come from? Why does it persist? Is it useful, useless, or both?

Sarah Schaack is an assistant professor of biology at Reed College.  Previously, Sarah has given Science Pub lectures on the rampant movement of promiscuous DNA within and between genomes and explored some of the factors influencing the evolution of genome size.  Her research focuses on mutation, mutation rates, mobile DNA, genomic parasites, and genome evolution and her work has appeared in the many of the top journals in genetics and biology.

Science Pub-Mission Theater is a monthly event open to anyone aged 21+ (or minor with adult). No RSVP or scientific background required. Just bring your curiosity, sense of humor, and appetite for food, drinks, and knowledge!

$5.00 suggested cover charge. Tell your friends. We hope to see you there!
Questions? E-mail Visit for a description of upcoming topics.