Building Molecules and Drug Discovery

8232Contrary to what you may think – or perhaps remember from school – “O Chem”, or organic chemistry, is really deceptively simple in principle, and The Scripps Research Institute’s Keary Engle takes you on a thorough exploration of how the initial simplicity of “O Chem” can be exploited to great use in drug discovery.

From a simple understanding of how carbon atoms make bonds, Keary reveals the “language” of chemical structure and formulas and how he and his lab ultimately use this to create new substances to speed the creation of more novel molecules for therapeutic uses.

Watch: Saturday Science at Scripps Research: The Nuts and Bolts of Building Molecules with Keary Engle

How Could This Happen?

8232How could Buczacz, the European town that was home to Jews, Poles and Ukrainians for hundreds of years, be turned into a community of genocide in the early 1940’s? Using eyewitness reports, documents, and memoirs from that period, historian Omer Bartov answers this question in chilling detail as he describes how the Nazis recruited the Ukrainians to assist in annihilating their Jewish and Polish neighbors. As painful as this is to hear, it’s vital that these stories be told so that future generations don’t repeat the horrors of the past. Bartov’s talk, The Voice of Your Brother’s Blood: The Murder of a Town in Eastern Galicia, is the latest presentation of the Holocaust Living History Workshop at UC San Diego.

Rare Disorders and Glycobiology

8232There are more than 7000 rare disorders affecting more than 30 million Americans. Only half have a known cause. Hudson Freeze, PhD, Professor of Glycobiology & Director of the Human Genetics Program at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute examines how we should treat these disorders as well a new ones that will be discovered in the coming years. Freeze posits that glycobiology – the study of the structure, biosynthesis and biology of sugar chains (also called glycans) – may be the key to unraveling the mysteries of these devastating diseases.

Watch Rare Disorders: Why Should You Care? – Exploring Ethics

To see more from the Exploring Ethics series, click here.

How Should the US Approach China?

8232When then-President-elect Trump took a phone call from the leader of Taiwan in December, he threatened to upend the “One China” policy that has been in place since the Nixon administration. That breach of protocol alarmed many, including the authors of a widely circulated new report by China specialists Susan Shirk of UC San Diego and Orville Schell of the Asia Society. Hear their strategies for improving the US relationship with China as they, along with former US Ambassador to China Winston Lord, steer both countries away from a trade war or other potentially destructive actions.

Watch How Should The US Approach China? — Winston Lord, Orville Schell and Susan Shirk

Saving the Manta Ray

8232Demand for gill rakers for use in alternative medicine has put the oceanic manta ray (Manta birostris) population at risk. With their extremely low reproductive rates, large scale and even small artisanal fisheries may lead to population decline and perhaps local extinctions. Understanding the basic ecology and population dynamics of the species is a prerequisite to developing effective conservation and management strategies. In the hopes of keep manta rays a vital part of the ocean’s ecosystem, Ph.D. student Josh Stewart of the Semmens Lab at Scripps Institution of Oceanography studies them in the Indo-Pacific to identify space use, migratory corridors, regional subpopulations and connectivity between oceanic manta hotspots and aggregations.