Nerd Nite SF #76: Building Tissues, 20K Leagues, and Deep Biases!Wednesday, 9/21/16
Doors at 7 pm, show at 8
Rickshaw Stop, 155 Fell St @ Van Ness
$8, all ages
Tickets here

This Wednesday we’re in for quite a ride! We’ll build up the evening with self-organizing tissue assembly, then dive deep into the legacy of the 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea attraction, before leveling off with a talk about the neuroscience and evolutionary biology of the endlessly irrational decisions we make. Throughout the night, enjoy refreshing beverages from the Rickshaw Stop bar, beats by DJ Alpha Bravo, books from the SFPL, and bites from Alicia’s Tamales los Mayas. Buckle up, be there, and be square!


“How Tissues Build Themselves” by Zev Gartner

The human body contains over 10 trillion cells–spanning hundreds of different cell types–that must work together for our bodies to function. But it remains a mystery how these diverse cells coordinate their behaviors. Tissue structure, the composition and arrangement of the cells, helps this coordination by organizing the flow of information between cells. Learn how Zev’s lab at UCSF constructs tissues in a dish using the same strategies that tissues use to build themselves in the body: through the process of self-organization. Someday, these “built” tissues will engineer transplantable organs and help suppress diseases like cancer.

Zev hails from Santa Cruz, California. Although originally trained to build molecules as a chemist, he now focuses on building tissues. When not in the lab, he tries to find time to surf.


“A Journey Through Liquid Space: Disney’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea Ride” by David Shuff

In 1971, Disney unveiled the greatest theme park attraction ever: the 20K ride. For decades it inspired, delighted, and scared the crap out of anyone with half an imagination. In 1994, the ride was temporarily “closed for maintenance,” but that was a LIE. It never sailed again, and the ruins were unceremoniously demolished in 2004. David Shuff has dedicated himself to keeping the memory and magic of 20K alive, despite having ridden it only once, when he was 3. Sharing rare photos, video, and actual crew-member accounts, he will helm a spine-tingling adventure through the rise, fall, and surprising afterlife of the 20K ride–the lost 8th wonder of the world.

David is a well-rounded human being with a healthy dislike of most things Disney. He’s a video creative at AKQA in San Francisco. Beware the plush giant squid behind his couch.


“I Am Deeply Biased” by Jacob Ward

This late-breaking addition to our line-up will be a preview of a four-part PBS series Jake is hosting, about the neuroscience and evolutionary biology of the endlessly irrational decisions people make about strangers, food, credit cards, presidents, and everything else in modern life.

You’ll remember Jake from his 2013 NNSF talk, but he’s probably a little more famous for having been a science and tech correspondent for Al Jazeera and the editor-in-chief of Popular Science.


With: Alpha Bravo, who’ll be spinning tunes specially selected to match the presenters’ themes. Follow the setlist on Twitter @djalphabravo.

Food: Delicious meals from Alicia’s Tamales los Mayas.

Plus: The San Francisco Public Library will be on hand to dole out library cards, reading lists, and the hottest branch gossip.