Friday, February 23, 2018

Announcement: This Week At The Science Circle: "Discrepancies" and "CRISPR"

“Discrepancies in the Measured Expansion Rate of the Universe”
Saturday February 24 at 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM SLT
by Rob Knop

The most basic parameter in our description of the expanding Universe is the current expansion rate, given by the Hubble Constant.

A mere two decades ago, the value of that constant was uncertain to a factor of two. Since then, the face of cosmology has changed, and we are now in an era of precision cosmology. We are able to measure the value of the Hubble Constant to within a few percent. The problem is, we now have two measurements– one from nearby objects such as variable stars and low-redshift supernovae, and the other from statistics of fluctuations in the early Universe. The two measurements are different at about the six-percent level, which is greater than the uncertainties on the individual measurements. While astronomers of two decades ago would dream to be in this situation, we find ourselves questioning whether there is something going on in the expanding universe that we haven’t figured out, or whether it is a matter of systematic uncertainties that we haven’t yet identified.

In this talk, I will discuss the history of both the Universe and of our dominant model of the Universe. I will describe how the Hubble Constant went from being extremely uncertain to relatively well known… well enough that we can see a discrepancy in two different measurements. I will describe the two ways we measure the Hubble Constant, and talk about possibilities for resolving the discrepancy in their results.

Read more information here.

The Science Circle (61/126/32)

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“New Advances in Genetic Engineering: The Nuts, The Bolts, Frankenstein Monsters?, and Ethics”
Sunday Feb 25 at 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM SL Time
by Stephen L. Gasior 

In the last 150 years we’ve had an amazing advancement in our understanding of the genetic code that programs life. While some technologies for manipulating genes have developed in the last few decades, new programmable systems have been discovered in the past few years. Developed from bacteria, the CRISPR/Cas systems allow a new level of ease for genetic changes in cells. This presentation will describe the origins of the CRISPR/Cas9 system, how it works, applications for its use, and implications for the future.

Read more information here.

The Science Circle (61/126/32)

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