Xtreme Cell Biology

We usually think of cells as small, simple, building blocks of life, but in fact cells are highly complex nanomachines capable of sensing their environment, moving, hunting, solving problems, and even learning. This talk will use specific examples of cells that do crazy-sounding things, such as cells that walk, cells that solve mazes, and cells that explode. Although many examples shown will be of unusual cells, it is also true that the basic molecular biology of cells is pretty much the same for all cell types including humans, implying that maybe cells in our own bodies can do far more than we may think.


Wallace Marshall is Professor of Biochemistry at the University of California San Francisco. Originally trained as an electrical engineer, he researches how cells solve engineering problems and how they can be retasked to perform new functions.

Café Scientifique

Café Scientifique is a place where anyone can come to explore the latest ideas in science and technology. The Café provides a forum for debating science issues outside a traditional academic context. We are committed to promoting public engagement with science and to making science accountable - all spoken in plain English. There is no admission charge to attend our events.

Building on its great success outside the United States, Café Scientifique Silicon Valley is the first such Café on the West Coast. We meet monthly to discuss a variety of science topics.

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