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Next Cafe Scientifique to Focus on DNA Controversy

Posted by Jenna Ray on Tuesday, Apr. 16, 2013

Event Date/Time: Tuesday, Apr. 30, 2013 6:00 pm
Location: Common Cup Coffeehouse (501 Atlantic Avenue, Morris, MN 56267)

The next Café Scientifique will take place on Tuesday, April 30, at 6 p.m. at the Common Cup Coffeehouse (501 Atlantic Avenue, Morris, MN 56267). PZ Myers, associate professor of biology, will lead the discussion, entitled "The Junk DNA controversy: how sloppy is your genome?” All are welcome to attend, and audience participation is encouraged.

The Encyclopedia of DNA Elements (ENCODE) recently announced that at least 80 percent of the human genome was functional—a startling conclusion that defied both the data and theory accumulated over the last 50 years of biological research. Myers will discuss how science does not always come directly to the correct answer and why the human genome actually contains a large proportion of non-functional, or "junk," DNA.

Café Scientifique is an ongoing series that offers a space where anyone can come to explore the latest ideas in science and technology for the price of a cup of coffee. Meetings take place outside of a traditional academic context and are committed to promoting public engagement with science. Additional information is available online. Interested audiences can look forward to additional discussions, typically held on the last Tuesday of selected months in 2013.

Café Scientifique is supported in part by a grant to the University of Minnesota, Morris from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute through the Precollege and Undergraduate Science Education Program.