http://sitn.hms.harvard.edu/science-by-the-pint/ Aeronaut Brewing Co.
14 Tyler Street
Somerville, MA 02143
Alcohol, Date Idea, Food, Innovation, Lectures & Conferences, Tech, University
Science by the Pint is a free science café in which we invite a Boston-area research lab out to a pub or brewery to tell us about what they do and chat science over a cold one. The events are geared toward a general audience – all are welcome and no experience is necessary!
This week's event features Dr. Chris Miller, a Professor of Biochemistry at Brandeis University.
The interior of the living cell, where the action takes place, is separated from the cruel world on the outside by a thin membrane made of greasy, insulating material. This membrane houses many types of proteins; some signal events on the outside to trigger responses on the inside, while others serve as “pumps” that use cellular energy to accumulate nutrients or expel toxins. But membranes also house a vast variety of proteins called ‘ion channels,’ which are just leaks through which ions diffuse through the cell membrane. Why don’t such leaks just screw things up? What are they doing there?
Dr. Miller will discuss how ion channels give “electrical life” to cells by being selective to what ions can pass through and by changing shape (“conformational switching”), as well as recent advances in our understanding of these proteins down to the atomic level.