Stay Late and Save! Adults 21+ can enjoy Adult Recess at the Fleet 7-10 p.m. on Saturdays. Families, please join us on Fridays for late night fun, 6-10 p.m.
   We’re Open Today
10:00am to 7:00pm

Senior Mondays

The First Monday of Each Month




The first Monday of every month, seniors 65 and better can enjoy the Science Center exhibits, a show in the Heikoff Giant Dome Theater and a lecture on the quietest day of the month for only $10! No coupons or additional discounts are accepted. The Fleet's doors will open at 10 a.m. on the first Monday each month to get Senior Monday started. Visitors are encouraged to enjoy the galleries and special senior discounts in Craveology and the North Star Science Store.

Sharp Minds Lecture Series for Adults

Join local scientists to learn about a variety of topics as they share their latest research in a friendly and exciting environment. Sharp Minds lectures begin at 10:30 a.m. on the first Monday of the month (except Labor Day) and are held in the Heikoff Giant Dome Theater.

The Sharp Minds lecture is free with purchase of the noon theater ticket. Tickets are required to attend the lecture and can be requested at the Ticket Counter. 


SCHEDULE

Date: August 5, 2019

Time: 10:30 a.m.

Noon Theater Show: Island of Lemurs

From Rare Gene Mutations to Personalized Treatment of Autism

Dr. Sebat’s laboratory was the first to identify rare mutations as a major cause of autism. Identification of new “de novo” mutations in families has since become the prevailing strategy for the identification of autism genes. The discovery of hundreds of new genes has revealed that autism can be caused by mutations that affect regulation of fetal brain development or the activity of neurons in the brain. Knowledge of specific genetic risk factors in patients is improving our understanding of the underlying neurobiology and have prompted new efforts to develop personalized treatments for autism.

Bio

Dr. Jonathan Sebat is the Chief, of the Beyster Center for Molecular Genomics of Neuropsychiatric Diseases and a Professor of Psychiatry and Cellular and Molecular Medicine, UC San Diego. Dr. Sebat is a geneticist with an interest in genome sequencing technologies and their application to the study of human disease. His research has contributed to our current knowledge of the contribution of rare genetic variants to risk for psychiatric disorders, such as autism and schizophrenia. 


As September 2, 2019 is Labor Day, there will be no Sharp Minds Lecture!


Date: October 7, 2019

Time: 10:30 a.m.

Noon Theater Show: The Living Sea

A History of Cancer Treatments: From the Bizarre to the Inspiring

Cancer was first described as early as 3000 BC, and since then, treatments have ranged from a crop-dusting to a needle-in-a-haystack approach. As we learn more about how cancer works at the fundamental level, we find new Achilles’ heels to attack therapeutically.  This discussion will focus on the philosophy behind “traditional” treatments and explore the mechanisms behind today’s focus on precision medicine, where the genetic makeup of the tumor is much more important than its particular location within the body.

Bio:

Dr. Christal Sohl is an assistant professor at San Diego State University, studying the molecular mechanisms of cancer. Her research lab investigates how human proteins misbehave in such a way as to create favorable environments for tumors to grow. She strongly believes that progress in scientific research should be shared with the wider public, and she has previously participated in the Fleet Science Center’s Suds & Science in support of this mission.


Date: November 4, 2019

Time: 10:30 a.m.

Noon Theater Show: TBA

Topic and speaker to be announced. 


Date: December 2, 2019

Time: 10:30 a.m.

Noon Theater Show: TBA

Our Dynamic Microbiomes and the Brain

Our lifespans are ever-increasing, but our healthspans are not, leading to long periods of unpleasant and expensive suffering with chronic conditions. Many of these conditions have recently been linked to the microbiome, via advances in DNA sequencing technology and software to interpret those sequences. We change our microbiomes every day through the foods we eat, the environments we experience, even the people we live and work with. The implications of these changes in the microbiome for our health are just beginning to be understood. And many of the effects are systemic: what happens in the gut doesn’t stay in the gut, and your gut microbiome can affect your liver, your joints, and even your brain. Through the American Gut Project, the largest crowdsourced and crowdfunded citizen-science project yet conducted, we now know about the microbiomes of many types of people, from the healthiest (student-athletes, centenarians) to the sickest (cancer patients, ICU patients, those with depression, those with C. diff). Amazingly, diet has an especially profound effect on our microbiomes, often outweighing the effects of disease or medications. This raises the prospect of a system for real-time analysis of our microbiomes that helps guide our daily decisions in a way that optimizes our microbiomes for extending our health-span.

Bio: 

Rob Knight is the founding Director of the Center for Microbiome Innovation and Professor of Pediatrics and Computer Science & Engineering at UC San Diego. He received the 2017 Massry Prize for his microbiome research. In 2015 he received the Vilceck Prize in Creative Promise for the Life Sciences. He is the author of “Follow Your Gut: The Enormous Impact of Tiny Microbes” (Simon & Schuster, 2015) and coauthor of “Dirt is Good: The Advantage of Germs for Your Child’s Developing Immune System (St. Martin’s Press, 2017). He is co-founder of the Earth Microbiome Project, the American Gut Project, and the company Biota, Inc., which uses DNA from microbes in the subsurface to guide oilfield decisions. His work has linked microbes to a range of health conditions including obesity and inflammatory bowel disease, has enhanced our understanding of microbes in environments ranging from the oceans to the tundra, and made high-throughput sequencing techniques accessible to thousands of researchers around the world.


PREVIOUS TOPICS:

 

Quantum Mechanics: Mysticism or Science?
Probably, most of what you’ve heard about Quantum Mechanics is wrong. For example, reality is not subjective and we don’t get to choose our own reality. However, particles do exist in many places at once, distant particles are “connected” and experimental measurements do alter outcomes, though in a more subtle way than is often said. This talk will shine light on the implications of experience and the reality of quantum mechanics.

Prolonged sitting time impairs your health and reduces your life span - Get Up, Stand Up!  
The developed world enables us to spend a lot of time sitting down. On average, people of all ages spend at least half of their waking time sitting, with older adults spending the most time sitting. Sedentary time and sitting are associated with poor health outcomes and death. Interestingly, these risks are independent of guideline levels of exercise (150 minutes/week). Growing evidence suggests that changing your sitting patterns to effectively improve your health can be simple. Join us as Dr. Dorothy Sears tells us about the negative impact of sitting time on health and what you can do to reduce that. Spoiler alert – she’s not going to recommend exercise!

Exploring Space in a Tin Can:  How Mercury and Vostok Opened up the Universe Forever
Six decades ago, two superpowers committed themselves to getting a human traveler into orbit.  Within three years, the space barrier had been broken by both sides.  How did we achieve that unprecedented goal?  Who were the brave souls who made the journey?  And how did we stumble along the way?  Come learn the story and  the science of the first chapter of humanity's cosmic adventure.  Discover the legacy of Mercury and Vostok!

Invasion of the Gene Snatchers! How antibiotic-resistant bacteria swap and steal each others' armor
When antibiotics were discovered in the mid-1900's, we thought we had finally beaten bacteria. Now, the bugs are fighting back, outsmarting our best and strongest antibiotics faster than we can come up with new ones. Some experts even warn of a "post-antibiotic era". What makes these new superbugs so super? Is there any hope? We'll discuss how bacteria are using and even shortcutting evolution to escape our drugs, what scientists are trying to do about it, and the ongoing role of serendipity in scientific discovery and progress.

So you’re telling me I have more than a trillion epigenomes?
Yes, I am. Gene, genome, epigenome… not long ago these terms were rare to encounter outside of a laboratory. However, these terms are becoming increasingly common in our society, and our understanding of the concepts they represent can influence decisions about healthcare, lifestyle, politics, and more. Join us as we discuss recent advances in our understanding of the human genome, and how it contributes to our health and well-being on a daily basis.

Precision Medicine: Forging a Path to More Effective, Less Toxic, Personalized Treatments for Patients
Precision medicine seeks to identify the unique molecular characteristics of each patient and their disease.  The goal is to then treat the patient based on these personal and disease characteristics rather than with traditional, standard of care practices that are blanket therapies for anyone with this disease.  Advances in drug development for targeted therapies, "biomarkers” as predictive and diagnostic indicators, and the world of “omics” will be discussed in this presentation, with a few specific examples to highlight each of these.