UPCOMING SKEPTALK

Nathan H. Lents, Ph.D.

WHAT: From Junk to Genes: The birth of new miRNA genes in the human genome.
One of the biggest surprises of the genomics era is the discovery that every family, genus, and even species, has a shocking number of unique genes that are not found in closely related species. These so-called “orphan genes” have intrigued scientists for the past two decades and their diverse origins are beginning to come to light. In this presentation, I will present evidence that at least two families of human-unique micro-RNA genes have been created through random genomic rearrangements. These micro-RNAs tweak the expression of hundreds of genes in tissues throughout the body and may have played a role in the unique evolutionary trajectory of our species.

WHO: Nathan H. Lents, Ph.D. is Professor of Biology at John Jay College of The City University of New York and the author of the popular science books Not So Different and Human Errors. He holds a Ph.D. in human physiology and completed postdoctoral training in genomics and bioinformatics at NYU Medical Center. In addition to dozens of research articles and book chapters, his writing on human evolution can be seen in the pages of Science, the Wall Street Journal, Skeptic, Skeptical Inquirer, and many others. His laboratory studies the evolution of the human genome and the genetic basis of human uniqueness.

WHEN: 7:30PM Thursday February 11

WHERE: Online. (Link coming soon)

HOW: This event is presented FREE by the Bay Area Skeptics.

WHY: Because we’re curious creatures.

Previous SkepTalks:

 14 Dec 2021  The Continuing Relevance of America’s Eugenic Legacy – Paul Lombardo, Ph.D., J.D.
 10 Dec 2020  Deepfakes, GANs and Visual Misinformation – Nick Dufour
 12 Nov 2020  The Debate about Dark Matter:  Is the Matter Settled? – Don Lincoln, Ph.D.
  8 Oct 2020  Facilitated Communication: Holding on to (False) Hope – Janyce Boynton
 10 Sep 2020  Mad Myths: The Case for Using Persuasion to Promote Critical Thinking – Jay Diamond
 13 Feb 2020  Big Data: What it is, how it’s used, where it’s headed – Mike Olson
 12 Dec 2019  Are you sure that sippy-cup is safe? – Layla Katiraee
  7 Nov 2019  Why Do People Reject Good Science? – Eugenie Scott
10 Oct 2019  Shit Students Say: Chem trails, hollow earths, and other strange ideas – Steven Newton
12 Sep 2019  Successful Skepticism: Creating Lasting Community – Tucker Phelps
  9 May 2019  The Bitter M&Ms of Climate Change: Misconceptions and Misinformation – Brad Hoge
11 Apr 2019  The Year in Anti-Science-Education Legislation – Glenn Branch
14 Mar 2019  Australia’s Psychic Detectives and Psychic “Predictions” – Richard Saunders
14 Feb 2019  What Would Darwin Say to Today’s Creationists? – Eugenie Scott
10 Jan 2019  Common Misconceptions About CRISPR Genome Editing – Kevin Doxzen
13 Dec 2018  BAS BAH Fest
  8 Nov 2018  A Skeptic’s Guide to Planet Hunting – Josh Lofy
11 Oct 2018  Beyond a Candle in the Dark – Mick West
13 Sep 2018  When a Biology Meets a Biology – David Almandsmith
10 May 2018  Misconceptions in Anthropology – Julie Hui
12 Apr 2018  Skepardy! — Bill Patterson
  8 Mar 2018  A Quirky Colloquium Quashing Quantum Quackery — Miriam Diamond
  8 Feb 2018  The Human Drive to Explain — Tania Lombrozo
14 Jan 2018  Neuroscience and the Great Questions — Ransom Stephens
14 Dec 2017  Top Ten Myths of Homelessness — Carrie Sager
  9 Nov 2017  Myths of Mass Extinctions — Kevin Padian
12 Oct 2017  Hurricanes and Heat Waves: Is This Climate Change? — Brad Hoge
11 May 2017  Beyond the Choir – Guerrilla Skepticism on Wikipedia — Susan Gerbic
13 Apr 2017  An Invisible Plague: the Growing Threat of Tuberculosis — Lauren Popov
  9 Feb 2017  Are Saturated Fats Bad for You? Separating Fat from Fiction — Kent McDonald
12 Jan 2017  Harry Houdini vs. Psychics & Mediums — Mark Tarses
29 Dec 2016  Too Good to be True? – Richard Saunders
10 Nov 2016  Myths of Astronomy — Thomas Targett
  8 Jan 2015  The Manson Family, Cults, and the Psychology of Commitment – Dr. Patrick O’Reilly
12 Feb 2015  Quantum Pseudoscience and the Nature of Mind — Russel Willcox
  9 Apr 2015  Herding Cats and Teaching Science — Dan Pemberton
14 Nov 2012  Climate Change: From the Biotic to the Exotic — Minda Berbeco
10 Oct 2012  Writing About Vaccines When Evidence Doesn’t Matter — Liza Gross
12 Sep 2012  Gay Conversion Therapy: You Make Me Sick — Sheldon Helms
  8 Aug 2012  Documentary & Skype — “In God We Teach”
11 Apr 2012  A Skeptical View of Climate Change Skeptics — Mark McCaffrey
12 Oct 2011  A Unicorn in Your Tank: Magic Tablets That Won’t Improve Gas Mileage — Yau-Man Chan
14 Sep 2011  Catastrophes! — Don Prothero