NNSF #101: Spines, Sex Addiction, & Pain!Wednesday, 10/17/2018
Doors at 7 pm, show at 8
Rickshaw Stop, 155 Fell Street @Van Ness
$8, all ages
Tickets here

A musculoskeletal expert zeroes in on spinal health in zero gravity, a clinical psychologist pours us a nice big bowl of sex addiction (with milk), and an evolutionary biologist/behavioral neuroscientist slices through cephalopod pain. No tricks here–just a typical October Nerd Nite of treats, including tunes, drinks, and grilled cheese. Boo there and boo square!


“Space: The Spinal Frontier” by Dr. Jeffrey Lotz

NASA plans to send astronauts to Mars and back by 2030. While many engineering challenges are being successfully addressed, the mission’s weak link remains: crew spinal health. Back pain and disc herniation are priority medical concerns during long-duration space flight. With research on NASA crew members backing him up, Dr. Lotz is investigating injuries and developing countermeasures to keep celestial spines healthy–and he’ll tell us how these insights can apply to us non-extraterrestrials and our earthly back pain.

Jeff is the founding director of the UCSF Core Center for Musculoskeletal Biology in Medicine and the NSF Center for Disruptive Musculoskeletal Innovations, and corresponding PI for the newly established Center for Dental, Oral and Craniofacial Tissue and Organ Regeneration (C-DOCTOR).


“Sex, Culture, and Cornflakes” by Dr. Kaela Joseph

Nearly every time a celebrity sex scandal makes its way to popular media, our televisions and smartphones light up with headlines about “sex addiction”. Despite its popularity, no such diagnosis currently exists in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, used by psychologists worldwide. Join psychologist/sexpert Dr. Joseph as she talks us through the origins of “sex addiction” diagnosis and treatment, with a special emphasis on the work of Dr. John Harvey Kellogg–a man who created some of our favorite breakfast foods as a way to promote celibacy and “clean living”.

Kaela is a clinical psychologist and researcher specializing in human sexuality. She taught us all about fandom and shipping wars at NNSF #85.


“The Cutting Edge of Invertebrate Pain Research (Or Do Squid Really Feel No Pain?)” by Dr. Robyn Crook

Do octopuses suffer? How do lobsters really feel about being boiled? These questions are surprisingly hard for scientists to answer. Pain research focuses on vertebrates–but what about other animals? Where should we draw the line between animals whose suffering we care about and those whose distress we discount? Cephalopods are the most complex invertebrates, but identifying whether they experience pain in the same way as vertebrates do is a challenge. Dr. Crook will talk about how a strange question in her inbox one morning helped focus her career on the difficult topic of cephalopod pain, and why straight answers to questions about pain are so rare.

Robyn is an assistant professor at San Francisco State University. Her work on cephalopod pain has been featured in New Scientist, the LA Times, and the Washington Post.


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

Food: Grilled Cheese Guy!