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In the last decade, the scientific foundations of a number of traditional forensic methods have come under increasing criticism by the scientific community, leading to their discontinuation or reduced effectiveness in criminal prosecutions. These challenges raise questions about the admissibility of certain type of evidence in current cases and the validity of previous convictions. We will discuss the basis of these issues and describe some of the work ongoing at LLNL to try and address some of them. In particular we will describe an entirely new science-based approach to human identification.

Rosina Bierbaum, formerly of President Obama's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) and an Adaptation Fellow at the World Bank shows how climate change will affect all regions and sectors of the economy, and disproportionately affect the poorest people on the planet. Therefore, improving the resilience, adaptation, and preparedness of communities must be a high priority, equal to that of achieving deep greenhouse gas reductions,and rapid development and deployment of innovative technologies, as well as altered planning and management strategies, will be needed in the coming decades to achieve a sustainable world. Recorded on 05/08/2017.

Treating depression can be a slow process. Even after pinpointing the correct medication, it can still take weeks to take effect. Abraham A. Palmer, PhD, Professor and Vice Chair for Basic Research in the Department of Psychiatry at UC San Diego joins our host Dr. David Granet to discuss his work uncovering of the molecular and cellular underpinnings of depression. Dr. Palmer and his team are exploring how inhibiting the Glyoxalase 1 (GLO1) enzyme can reduce signs of depression. He explains the science behind the discovery and the implications for new, faster-acting treatments.

The human mind is one of the features that makes our species unusual, and any narrative of our origins must include explanations for how our mental facilities were generated by genetic and cultural evolutionary processes. Comparative studies with the minds of other species and direct studies of how the typical human brain creates the mind are valuable approaches. However, many useful clues can also be gleaned from studying extraordinary variations of the human mind. This Symposium brings together experts who have pursued in-depth explorations of some of these variations. Recorded on 05/05/2017.

The documentary In Utero explores how experiences in utero affect our lives. Director Kathleen Man Gyllenhaal and Producer Stephen Gyllenhaal are be joined by Professor Brenda Major (Psychological and Brain Sciences, UCSB) and Professor Maya Rossin-Slater (Economics, UCSB) for a discussion moderated by Professor Maryam Kia-Keating (Counseling, Clinical, & School Psychology, UCSB). Recorded on 04/27/2017.
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