Presentation Topics, University of Missouri 2008-2010

Presentations prepared by the class of Fall 2008

It’s getting hot in here: What’s the big deal about climate change?

There’s a lot of talk about global climate change, but what does that term really mean? Come learn the science behind climate change and how this phenomenon might affect you, your health, and your interests.  Handout

The aging brain: What to Remember about Memory Loss?

Do you ever feel like you just can’t remember things the way you used to, or you occasionally have to “jog your memory” to come up with names and places? Don’t worry you are not alone.  This presentation will explore the intricacies of the brain, how memory loss occurs and more importantly how to have more control over the aging brain. Handout

Land-use effects on biodiversity: How can my golf game help frogs and salamanders?

What is biodiversity? Come learn how roads affect wildlife and how golf courses affect amphibians. The answers may not be what you think! Come see how scientists answer these questions. Handout

Critters in my backyard: Why do they keep eating my flowers?

Everybody likes having a nice looking yard, but what do we do about animals wreaking havoc on our plants? What causes this problem? What can we do to deal with all those critters? Handout

The ever changing flu virus and elephants with short tusks – what do they have in common? “Why is it so hard to guess the correct flu vaccine?”

How can changes in an environment can lead to changes in an organism’s traits?  We will look at examples from creatures as diverse as viruses and elephants to explore this idea of natural selection.  We will learn ho natural selection affects us with respect to vaccine- resistant diseases. Handout

Genetically modified food: What’s on your dinner plate?

Within the past two decades scientists have learned how to move new traits into plants to make longer lasting vegetables and pest resistance plants. So how do you know if you are eating genetically modified food? Well the truth is you can’t so this talk will address what are genetically modified foods and what you should know about them.  Handout

The eye, the light and the lens: Why is it getting harder to see as I get older?

Is it getting harder and harder to see?  Are eye appointments and the explanations that the doctor gives sometimes unclear?  We will explore how the eye works, why it is sometimes difficult to see, and what the eye doctor does to help us see better. Handout

Infectious diseases: Can I catch my dog’s cold or the bird’s Flu?

Should we really be worried about catching the “Bird Flu”? Are we really capable of catching another animals’ illness?  Spreading of disease and possible outbreaks will be discussed.

Presentations prepared by the class of Fall 2009

Development and Cancer: When the body does not play by the rules..

There are certain rules that control our body to make it function successfully.   Compromising these rules can lead to diseases such as cancer.   Join us as we explore the essential rules in the body and what happens when the body does not play by the rules.  Handout

The Secrets Behind the Sound of Music: Science, symphonies, and synthesizers

What is the science behind music and instruments?  How do different instruments bring us so much expression, appreciation, and inspiration.  This talk will focus on the science that helps us understand musical sounds, and explain how it has led to the enhancement of music in the age of technology. Handout

Obesity, Diabetes, and Sleep Loss: Do we “gain” by losing sleep?

Sleep is necessary to maintain good health, but studies show that people are not getting enough.  When we lose sleep we risk more than simply feeling tired.  Could this epidemic of sleep loss be a contributing factor to some of the other health issues we see today?  Handout

My family’s genes: Do I have to be a chip off the old block?

Just how much do our parents’ genes affect who we are today? We know that genetics affects more then how we look, but also how we act, learn and even our health. We can now learn from our family background and change the environment so that history is not doomed to repeat it self.  Handout

Think Green: Having your medicine and eating it too?

Even though illness has been around for centuries, doctors could not prevent sickness until the development of the smallpox vaccine.  Today, biotechnology provides an alternative to traditional injection-based vaccines.  How can eating produce help protect you against disease? Handout

Allergies: What are we sneezing at?

Have you ever wondered why you sneeze around your favorite flower, your friend’s cat, or the dust under your bed?  If you have, come hear about the science behind allergies and how they are treated. Handout

Estrogens in our food: How should I store my family’s food?

Science has vastly increased our understanding of how things around us can affect our bodies. We hear about estrogens that come from plastic containers. How do these differ from the natural estrogens found in our bodies?  Are the bad for us? Handout

The geologic timescale: Where do we fit in?

The Earth is nearly 4.6 billion years old and has gone through many exciting transformations, from Moon formation early in its history to the beginnings of life more recently.  How exactly is the history of the Earth defined? Where do we, humans, fit in? And why it is important for us to think beyond ourselves?  Handout

Science and Me Presentation prepared by the class of 2010

MOVE more and SIT less: – The health benefit of putting your socks on.

We all know that regular exercise is good for our health, but what if we are unable to be as active as we would like? Science tells us that we can benefit just by sitting less, and moving more.  Come and learn how! Handout

Sugar – The good, the bad and the alternative: The bitter side of our sweet tooth.

Sugar – a friend or a foe? Either way, isn’t it best to know more about it before jumping to conclusions or consuming too much of it? Sugar has been with us from our happiest to our most desperate moments in life.   Can we live without it? Do we have to? Handout

Naked and hungry – Where would we be without science in agriculture?

As the world population increases at a rapid rate and farm land becomes scarce, producing enough affordable food and clothing for everyone has become a concern. Come join us as we discuss the importance of science in agriculture and what scientists are doing to help. Handout

Aid for AIDS – Will there be a cure?

AIDS has been around for several decades, yet there is still no cure, and there is no vaccine to prevent infection.  Where are we at conquering AIDS? Handout

Osteoporosis as a childhood disease – Health habits your kids have can “make” or “break” it, literally.

Do you or someone you know suffer from osteoporosis?  Research shows that our nutrition and physical activity at a young age influence this disease.  Come and learn about preventing osteoporosis from a very young age. Handout

What is the need to study a weed? – Why scientists study simple organisms.

We often hear in news about scientists working on obscure organisms such as fruit-fly, soil worm, yeast, or weeds.  Why are scientists keen on studying these organisms? Come and hear what this has to do with our own well-being. Handout

Life is a Balancing Act – What does science tell us about falling down?

Everyone occasionally trips and falls down.  Come join us as we explore our sense of balance and ways to improve balance to reduce the risk of fall-related injuries. Handout

Facts about Fat – Are some fats good for us?

Is there really such a thing as good cholesterol?  What exactly is a trans fat?  These and other questions will be discussed in this presentation, which aims to shed some light on a very common and often misunderstood topic of fat. 

An aspirin a day keeps …. what away? How common pain relievers affect our body.

Do you ever wonder how Tylenol works? Or why it’s ok to take an aspirin every day?  Pain relievers are used by almost everyone at some point, for a headache, a backache, and even a toothache, and they provide great relief, but what else to they do? Handout

The Dirt on Dirt – Can we protect soil quality while producing enough food?

Can your garden soil benefit from the addition of nutrients?  How do poor farming practices and building construction erode our soil and pollute our streams.  Come hear about the science behind soil conservation and protecting soil quality. Handout

The physics of flushing – How science is improving the most commonly used seat in our house.

Learn how the modern toilet is a prime example of science at its best. Integrating engineering, physics, and biology, scientists are working to improve upon a century old device to create a greener and more cost-effective throne. Handout

back to “Topics”