NERD NITE SF #36: Reversing Heart Disease, Human Limitation, and Video Game Design!

NERD NITE SF #36: Reversing Heart Disease, Human Limitation, and Video Game Design!

We're a fragile species, what with our heart disease and video game addictions and, well, fragile-ness. But fear not: Nerds are here to help you make sense of it all, with alcoholic drinks and righteous tunes lubricating the way. So, come, turn on the right genes, understand your bodies' limits, and get the straight dope on what it's like to design video games. Be there and be square!

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"Backmasking 3 Billion Beats: How to Reverse a Heart Attack in Your Skinny Genes" by Kim Cordes Metzler

The heart beats more than 3 billion times during a lifetime, but for an estimated 25% of us, heart disease can cut those beats short. Scientists and doctors are trying to reverse the mechanisms of disease so we can get some of those beats back. This talk will provide a glimpse of how cutting-edge research is allowing us to turn on 3 genes, our "skinny genes," to backmask, as it were, the music of our hearts.

Kim earned her Ph.D. in genetics and development at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School at Dallas in 2009. After completing her postdoc at UCSF and the Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Disease, she continues as a staff scientist at Gladstone creating stem cells to study heart disease.

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"Future Perfect: The Limits of the Human Body" by Jacob Ward

Our frail vessels have an alarming tendency to burst, burn and break, and yet we constantly travel to dangerous places, dive under the ocean, fly, drive, drink alcohol, and otherwise do things that our bodies are wholly unqualified to handle. We'll discuss the science of human limitation, and what fundamental technologies make it possible for us not to suffocate, freeze, catch on fire, or otherwise die the thousand deaths that our unbelievably dangerous lives whisk us past each day.

Jake is editor-in-chief of Popular Science, the world's largest science and technology magazine. He's written for The New Yorker and Wired, and has hosted television shows for Discovery, PBS and National Geographic. He splits his time between New York and California.

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"Lessons Learned as a Game Design Mercenary" by Brian Bartram

Necromorphs and Nazis! Stormtroopers and Scooby Doo! Transforming robots and simulated cities! DARPA and the Department of Homeland Security! What do these have in common? And why would any sane person make a career out of designing video games? The journey is long and fraught with peril, so heed my tales if you've ever wondered what it's like to work in the trenches of video game development.

Brian is a video game designer who has seen tours of duty on games such as SimCity, Dead Space 2, Star Wars: The Old Republic, and The Saboteur. He has worked on simulation games, third-person action games, open-world games, MMORPGs, and first-person shooters for PC, consoles, and portable game systems.

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DJ Alpha Bravo mans the decks, spinning vinyl and tweeting along to the presentations' themes. Find out what you're listening to by following @djalphabravo.

$8.00

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NERD NITE SF #36: Reversing Heart Disease, Human Limitation, and Video Game Design!

Wednesday, May 15 · 7:00 PM at Rickshaw Stop

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