Science Pubs 2017-2018

August 21, 2018 - McMenamins Old St. Francis School, Bend - Father Luke's Room

Marijuana as Medicine


photo - jane ishmael, oregon state university

Jane Ishmael, Associate Professor, OSU College of Pharmacy

Oregon voters approved the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes in 1998, when Oregon Ballot Measure 67 passed and the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act removed penalties for marijuana use under state law. In the last few years we have seen the establishment of medical marijuana dispensaries and the legalization of marijuana for recreational purposes here in Oregon and in other states. Dispensaries have enabled people to use the federally controlled substance to treat pain, nausea and other illness symptoms. But what do scientists actually know about how marijuana behaves in the body? How is it metabolized? How does it interact with cellular pathways involved in pain perception, appetite and the immune system? Is it biochemically related to other compounds produced in the body? Join OSU researcher Jane Ishmael, a member of a task force authorized in 2015 by the State Legislature to study the medical and public health properties of cannabis, for a fascinating discussion about current trends in marijuana use and recent progress in understanding how cannabinoids act on the body.

Registration is closed.

June 19, 2018 - McMenamins Old St. Francis School, Bend - Father Luke's Room

Drugs from Dirt and Oceans: Microbial Natural Products in Drug Discovery 


Sandra Loesgen

Sandra Loesgen, Assistant Professor of Chemistry, Terence Bradshaw Scholar, OSU College of Science

More than half of clinically approved drugs are derived from products found in the natural world. After years of study, researchers have yet to exhaust the chemical diversity available in natural products. It’s estimated that just a small fraction – less than 10 percent - of known bacterial species have been examined for bioactive compounds. What’s more, there are millions of fungal species still to be studied. In this Science Pub, chemistry researcher Sandra Loesgen will introduce you to chemistry found in nature that has changed the world, including new developments that may allow new drugs to be developed from dirt and oceans. She will also give an overview of the drug discovery program underway in OSU’s Loesgen Lab, where researchers find and develop new antibiotics, antivirals, and cytotoxic compound from microbial natural products.

Registration is closed.

May 15, 2018 - Meadow Lakes Restaurant, Prineville

Biomechanics of Running Shoes: Is there an Ideal Shoe?


christine pollard

Christine Pollard, Associate Professor of Kinesiology, OSU-Cascades

Running shoes prevent injury and improve performance. They date as far back as the late 1800s, and the first cushioned running shoe was introduced in 1964. Since then running footwear has evolved. Recent trends include a dramatically different shoe style – the minimal and maximal running shoe. Maximal running shoes provide runners with a highly cushioned midsole. Minimal running shoes provide little cushioning, if any. Kinesiology professor Christine Pollard, a biomechanist and physical therapist, is the director of the FORCE Laboratory. She’ll share what is known about the influence of various type of running shoes on our legs, knees and ankles - including the latest research. By the conclusion of her talk, you may have a better idea of things to consider when choosing your “ideal” running shoe.

Registration is closed.

April 17, 2018 •  McMenamins Old St. Francis School, Bend - Father Luke's Room

Saving Atlantis: A Special Documentary Screening


scuba diver, coral reefs, OSU researchers

Ryan McMinds, Ph.D. candidate, Rebecca Vega Thurber Lab, Department of Microbiology, OSU College of Agricultural Sciences & College of Science David Baker, Co-director/Producer of Saving Atlantis; OSU media producer

Saving Atlantis is about one of the most consequential issues of our time: the dramatic decline of global coral reef ecosystems and the impact on human populations that depend on them. Produced by OSU media experts, the film shows the work of researchers from OSU's Rebecca Vega Thurber lab, marine science experts who are fighting to uncover the causes of coral decline and find solutions before it’s too late. The film is an exploration of some of our planet's greatest natural wonders at a tipping point in their ecological history. Following the film, join a discussion with members of the team of award-winning filmmakers and researchers.

Registration is closed.

March 20, 2018 - The Belfry, Sisters

The Ordered Dissipation of Energy in Nature

Roderick Ray, Courtesy Professor; former Chief Executive Officer and President, Bend Research, Inc.

Patterns can be seen throughout nature, and are astonishing and beautiful when created by weather. In this Science Pub, OSU alum and Courtesy Professor Rod Ray will draw from his graduate studies, as well as research by scientists at MIT, NOAA and OSU to explore how the sun’s energy is the catalyst for repetitive and natural patterns like highly regular cloud formations, ocean currents, snowflakes, Arctic stone patterns, hurricanes, river paths, beach patterns and many types of waves. Using photographs, he’ll discuss several examples of ordered structure, including their key physics and how each structure dissipates energy in the environment.

Registration is closed.

February 20, 2018 •  McMenamins Old St. Francis School, Bend - Father Luke's Room

Gonads and Goiters: Stickleback Fish Health and Disease in the Deschutes River


ann petersen

Ann Petersen, Instructor, Biology, OSU-Cascades

Stickleback fish are models for studies about the impact of pollution on animal and human health. Humans and stickleback share about 70 percent of known human disease-causing genes. Stickleback are considered a “canary in the coal mine” for river and lake health by researchers worldwide. Health effects of aquatic pollution on this small fish are a proxy for the health impacts of aquatic pollution on all vertebrates, including humans. Stickleback are abundant in the Deschutes River and also found in the John Day and Crooked Rivers. OSU-Cascades biologist Ann Petersen will share how some local populations of wild-caught stickleback demonstrate distinct types of organ and tissue abnormalities and disease, including reproductive abnormalities. These health problems are consistent with signs that at certain locations on the Deschutes, the fish have been exposed to steroids from livestock or human waste, pesticides, herbicides, pharmaceuticals, plastics or other endocrine disrupting chemicals. She’ll also share OSU-Cascades researchers' long-term plans to use the stickleback as a powerful biomonitoring tool to help maintain healthy waterways in Central Oregon.

Registration is closed.

January 16, 2018 •  McMenamins Old St. Francis School, Bend - Father Luke's Room

The Search for the First Americans: Perspectives from Western North America



Loren G. Davis, Ph.D., Professor of Anthropology, OSU Department of Anthropology; Executive Director, Keystone Archaeological Research Fund

The archaeological record is comprised of artifacts, often found buried in archaeological sites, which reveal patterns of past human cognition and behavior. Archaeological evidence indicates that humans were present in the Americas by at least 14,500 years ago and most probably initially migrated from northeast Asia during the last glacial period. The initial timing and route of entry into the Americas is not clearly understood; however, efforts to discover, excavate, and interpret early archaeological evidence of the first Americans continue to reveal important information about this exciting chapter of human history. 

Registration is closed.

September 19, 2017 •  McMenamins Old St. Francis School, Bend - Father Luke's Room

Lift: The Science and Surprising History of Leavening Agents


Sue Queisser

Sue Queisser, Project Manager at OSU's Center for Sensory and Consumer Behavior Research

Did you know that some of the earliest leavening agents were derived from antlers, ashes or even urine? Ever wonder what exactly is the difference between baking soda and powder and how much to use? Have you been disappointed to follow a recipe exactly only to have your cake collapse? Sue Queisser, project manager at OSU's Center for Sensory and Consumer Behavior Research, will explain how the products we use bring our culinary wonders to lofty heights as well as the interesting stories behind their origins. You’ll also learn useful troubleshooting tips that will help you achieve optimal results in the kitchen.

Registration is closed.