Extraordinary Variations of the Human Mind

8232Experts who have addressed cases of extraordinary human cognitive abilities, from memory to music to language, explore what understanding cognitive anomalies can tell us about the development and evolution of uniquely human mental characteristics. Enjoy these fascinating explorations with the series Extraordinary Variations of the Human Mind: Lessons for Anthropogeny. This series is co-sponsored by the Center for Academic Research and Training in Anthropogeny (CARTA) and the Kavli Institute for Brain and Mind (KIBM).

For more programs from CARTA, click here.

Neurotransmitter Switching

8232If a neuron has sustained activity over a long period of time (visual stimulus, stress, etc.) it can change the type of neurotransmitter that it makes. This gives our neurons many languages to communicate with and makes our brain more adaptable. Nick Spitzer explains this neurotransmitter switching and how that process impacts our physical abilities, disease processes, and more.

Watch Neuroplasticity: Our Adaptable Brain with Nick Spitzer.

Click here for more programs from the Brain Channel.

Cropping Systems and Cows – New from Sustainable California

Sustainable California brings you more programs about how we use, support and interact with California’s natural assets.

8232With an over 700 percent increase in productivity in the last century, the California tomato industry represents 95 percent of all processing tomatoes produced in the US. That boom in productivity is due in no small part to UC Agricultural Extension efforts with California farmers. Learn more about conservation tillage – where cover crops or crop residue is left to decay aiding the bio-activity and water retention of soils, reducing or even eliminating costly or artificial inputs and improving the sustainability of this important crop. Watch Conservation Tillage Tomato Cropping Systems

8232And for a fun change of pace – if you’re out and about on California’s trails during your summertime adventures, there’s a chance you just might come across livestock enjoying the California landscape. A Year in the Life of a Cow, the third in the Sharing Open Spaces With Livestock series gives you a fun look at the life of a cow, so you’ll have a better idea what’s going on with that herd – winter, spring, summer or fall.

Self-driving Cars

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As self-driving cars get closer to being part of everyday life on the road, what are the broader social, legal, and even ethical questions they present? Such issues will become more urgent and important as collisions and accidents involving self-driving or semi-autonomous vehicles occur more often. Mohan Trivedi, Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, founding director of the Computer Vision and Robotics Research Laboratory, as well as the Laboratory for Intelligent and Safe Automobiles (LISA) at the University of California San Diego, discusses these challenges.

Watch: A Quest for Human Robot Cohabitation: Humans in the Age of Autonomous Driving – Exploring Ethics

Click here to view all the programs in the Exploring Ethics series.

Join us on Science Field Trips to Lawrence Livermore National Lab!

8232Join a group of science teachers and middle and high school students on a field trip to Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) for the annual Science on Saturday (SOS) lecture series. Presented by leading LLNL researchers and supported by master high school science teachers, each topic highlights cutting-edge science occurring at the lab.

Check out this year’s field trips:

82323D Printing: From Imagination to Realization
Revolutionary changes to materials and structures are now possible with 3D printing, bringing concepts that were previously only imagined into reality. This breakthrough technology fabricates components by adding material layer by layer from the bottom up allowing for the creation of highly complex and previously unrealizable structures.

8232Reconstructing a Rabies Epidemic: Byte by Byte
A vast majority of the newly discovered human pathogens are viruses that have jumped to humans from an animal host (“cross-species transmission”). Find out how biologists and computer scientists have collaborated and used cutting edge ultra-deep sequencing technology to study the dynamics of a 2009 rabies outbreak to better understand emergent viruses, such as Ebola and Zika.

8232Forensic Science in Crisis: How Proteins Can Help
In the last decade, the scientific foundations of a number of traditional forensic methods have come under increasing criticism by the scientific community, leading to their discontinuation or reduced effectiveness in criminal prosecutions. These challenges raise questions about the admissibility of certain type of evidence in current cases and the validity of previous convictions. We will discuss the basis of these issues and describe some of the work ongoing at LLNL to try and address some of them. In particular we will describe an entirely new science-based approach to human identification.

Browse Field Trip at the Lab: Science on Saturday to discover more from past field trips!