Cats, rats, parasites are topic of Oct. 24 Omaha Science Café

Cats, rats, parasites are topic of Oct. 24 Omaha Science Café

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Human parasite which generally infects the human brain, is focus of discussion.

Paul Davis, Ph.D., an associate professor of biology at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, will discuss parasites that infect cats, rats and humans at the next Omaha Science Café at 7 p.m. on Oct. 24 at the Slowdown, 729 N. 14th St.

For more than 100 years, health sciences have known about the existence of a parasite that inhabits human brains, but considered it of little importance. Recent data, however, suggests that this infection, known as toxoplasma gondii, is anything but harmless as it can contribute to flu-like symptoms that last a month or more, eye damage or serious eye or brain damage in infants infected in the womb.

Dr. Davis’ work focuses on human parasitic infections and novel approaches to overcome and prevent such infections. In addition to his research at UNO, he oversees the health careers and biodefense training programs and teaches molecular biology and immunology.

Dr. Davis earned an undergraduate degree at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, and doctoral degree at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Originally from Kansas, he has lived in Omaha for seven years.

Science Cafés involve a face-to-face conversation with a scientist about current science topics. They are open to everyone (21 and older) and take place in casual settings like pubs and coffeehouses. Each meeting is organized around an interesting topic of conversation. A scientist gives a brief presentation followed by a Q-and-A period.

Pizza will be provided for the first 50 people. For more information about Science Cafes, go to www.unmc.edu/sciencecafe.

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