Scientist in the Spotlight: Michael Zaccheo and Johanna Varner

Friday, May 16, 2014 - 2:00pm to 4:00pm
Naturalist Lab

Genes with Michael Zaccheo

Your genes are telling you what to think! All of your cells, including the cells that make up your brain, manufacture all sorts of chemicals and structures - and they do it according to the instructions of your genes. One of the chemicals made by brain cells is Dopamine and one of the structures made by brain cells is Dopamine receptors. When one brain cell exports Dopamine and that Dopamine fits onto another cell’s receptor, a connection is made.

Join biological anthropologist Michael Zaccheo as he explains how these connections affect how we feel and act, if we’re motivated to continue a task and how long our attention stays focused. He will discuss how our genes, it seems, are not only telling us what to think, they’re telling some of us to think differently from the rest and we’re listening. 

Included in Museum Admission




The American Pika with Johanna Varner 

Meet University of Utah biologist Johanna Vaner and discover how our changing climate is affecting the adorable American Pika. Look at vegetation survey tools and traps that are used in the field to study pikas. Check out pika scat and skin samples. Visitors can also try their hand at locating pikas in rock slides. 

Included in Museum Admission