Science Night explores designer microbes April 11
The University of Wisconsin-Parkside Science Night series goes microscopic to examine the newest variety of earth's oldest life form: microbes. Wednesday, April 11, Biological Sciences Professor Rob Barber presents "Synthesizing Life: Designer Microbes and Their Implications" in room 103 of Greenquist Hall starting at 7 p.m. on the campus at 900 Wood Rd., Kenosha.
Invisible to the naked eye, these single-cell organisms are all around us in the environment. Some types of microbes have existed for millions of years and Dr. Barber says man's ability to create new kinds of bacteria, viruses, and protozoa raises important issues.
"Synthetic biology is an emerging field of study that aims to design and build novel biological systems," Barber said. "This program will highlight recent achievements in the field and discuss their implications related to man-made microbial life forms."
Dr. Barber earned his Ph.D. in Cellular and Molecular Biology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1997. He was a National Institutes of Health Postdoctoral Fellow at Pennsylvania State University from 1998 to 2000. As an Associate Professor of Biological Sciences at UW-Parkside, Dr. Barber's research focuses on deciphering the evolution of enzyme superfamilies using genetic, biochemical, and informatics strategies.
"Synthesizing Life: Designer Microbes and Their Implications" with Dr. Rob Barber is free and open to the public. High school and middle school students and faculty with an interest in math and science are encouraged to attend. Admission is free and parking in the Student Center lot is free after 6:30 p.m. Refreshments will be served.For more information, please call (262) 595-2172.