Lunch with Dr. Dhabhar

Please join us for lunch with Dr. Firdaus Dhabhar (Stanford University School of Medicine) immediately following his CIDD seminar.  RSVP with your food preferences by Wednesday, Oct. 29 at 5:00pm.
When:   Thursday, October 30, 12:oo pm – 1:00 pm
Where: W203 Millennium Science Complex
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State College is bumping with science

State College has a lot going on. So much sometimes, it can be hard to keep on top of the who, what and when. This semester seems to have raised the caliber of science-related excitement with the number of high quality, popular science events. The trend seems only bound to continue with promising events on the calendar for the rest of 2014. So that no one in CGSA misses out, here’s a digest of science-related talks, workshops and fun that may have escaped your personal radar:

1)”Extrasolar Planets, Blue Dots, and the Origin of Life” lecture with Thomas Henning, director of the Planet and Star Formation Department at the Max Planck Institute. Oct. 21 @ 7 p.m. in 101 Thomas. That is today.

2) Margaret Atwood book discussion series on her latest science fiction book, Oryx and Crake, which brings up ethical issues related to genetic engineering. Webster’s Cafe @ 4 p.m. on Oct. 21 & 28, Nov. 4.

3) Science Pub Night at State Theater. The topic is “Maps and the Geospatial Revolution” with guest speaker Anthony Robinson who taught the MOOC offered by Penn State’s geography department. $5. Nov. 7 @ 7 p.m.

4) Should we have mandatory vaccinations? A Rock Ethics event in 102 Paterno library, Nov. 10 @ 12-1:15. The topic is of interest to infectious disease researchers and there is no scheduled CIDD lunch that week, meaning no schedule conflict for CIDD members. RSVP-ing is recommended and you can do so here.

5) Nancy Moran‘s two-part seminar on insect microbiomes. Dr. Moran has won a MacArthur “Genius” award and is a member of the National Academy of Sciences. Dec. 8 @ 5 p.m., Dec. 9 @ 4 p.m. in the Berg.

6) Marcellus Shale Documentary showing at the Palmer Museum of Art. The exhibit provides an artistic approach to learning about how the gas industry is influencing our local community and to start conversations on sustainability. Now through Dec 14. Closed on Mondays.

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Infectious Disease Conversation on WPSU, Live with Andrew

Earlier this month, if you had turned on your radio around 8 p.m., Andrew Read and Jose Stoute would have come through the speakers with a live conversation on infectious diseases. The program aired on WPSU-FM, the local NPR station, and on WPSU-TV, as part of a series called Conversations LIVE, which has frequent public health-related conversations with experts, and which welcomes the public to phone in questions during the show for the host experts to provide answers.

For those of us that missed the live show, the link to the taped show is here. Watching  CIDD members communicate some of what we research to the public in this type of live conversation format is valuable and I think science needs more public outreach in these forms. Communication drives science forward and helps scientific findings integrate into common parlance, good for both halves in the conversation.

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Lunch with Dr. Thomas Van Boeckel

Please join us for lunch with Dr. Thomas Van Boeckel (Princeton University) immediately following his CIDD seminar.  RSVP with your food preferences by Wednesday, Oct. 22 at 5:00pm.
When:   Thursday, October 23, 12:oo pm – 1:00 pm
Where: W203 Millennium Science Complex
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Lunch with Jane Heffernan

Please join us for lunch with Dr. Jane Heffernan (York University) following her CIDD seminar on October 16th from 11-12PM in W203! RSVP with your food preferences below by Wednesday, October 15th at 5pm.

When: Thursday, October 16th 12:00pm – 1:00pm

Where: W-203 Millennium Sciences Complex

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Mandatory vaccination discussion

The Rock Ethics Institute at Penn State is hosting Arthur Caplan on November 10. He will be arguing the case for mandatory vaccination of individuals in certain workplaces. Questions likely to be brought up (Where and when should mandatory vaccines be imposed? Which vaccines should be prioritized in mandates?) are questions we all need to think about in order to implement broad-scale measures to control infectious diseases.

Should be an interesting discussion. Mark your calendars: November 10, 12 – 1 p.m., 102 Paterno Library. Registration is recommended.

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Journal Club on Disease Surveillance

There were a lot of questions following Nkuchia M’ikanatha’s seminar today about disease surveillance.  He’s been instrumental in publishing two books – one called “Concepts and Methods in Infectious Disease Surveillance” and another called “Infectious Disease Surveillance” that’s available as an e-book from the library.  I have copies of both these books, and thought it would be nice to discuss methods for and uses of disease surveillance on Monday (at 4:30, in W-230 MSC).  While you don’t have to come with any prior knowledge or opinions, it seems like something that’s relevant from a global health perspective.

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Lunch with Nkuchia M’ikanatha

Please join us for lunch with Dr. M’ikanatha (University of Pennsylvania) following his CIDD seminar on October 2nd! RSVP with your food preferences below by Wednesday, October 1st at 5pm.

When: Thursday, October 2nd 12:00pm – 1:00pm

Where: W-203 Millennium Sciences Complex

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Papers from today’s talk

Thanks to everyone who came to today’s CIDD grad student talks on gypsy moths, MRSA and malaria (oh my!). I mentioned a couple of papers during the Q&A, so if you’re interested in learning a little more about fungal biocontrol, here are the references:

  • Spore aeroallergenicity: Darbro JM, Thomas MB (2009) Spore persistence and likelihood of aeroallergenicity of entomopathogenic fungi used for mosquito control. Am J Trop Med Hyg 80:992–7.
  •  Spore persistence in field situations: Blanford S et al. (2012) Storage and persistence of a candidate fungal biopesticide for use against adult malaria vectors. Malar J 11:354–367.
  •  As a bonus, here’s a paper that describes the difficulties of bringing Green Muscle, a locust fungal biopesticide, to market: Thomas MB, Kooyman C (2004) Locust biopesticides: a tale of two continents. Biocontrol News Inf 25:47N–51N.
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Lunch with Grant McFadden

Please join us for lunch with Dr. Grant McFadden (University of Florida) following his CIDD seminar on September 18th from 11-12PM in W203! RSVP with your food preferences below by Wednesday, September 17th at 5pm.

When: Thursday, September 18th 12:00pm – 1:00pm

Where: W-203 Millennium Sciences Complex

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