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Cafe Sci 2: "The Big Chill: A Seedy Story of Staying Alive"

Hello all.  I'm very excited to announce the next Café Sci 2 (Tuesday, May 28th) - mostly because this is a topic I find thoroughly fascinating: the longevity of seeds!  How can they "live" for hundreds or thousands of years and then, poof, germinate!?!  Amazing.  So I got a speaker to come talk about it. 

Here is the topic and presenter link:  ***This topic info is likely to change a little as we've recently received more info from the speaker.  I'll paste some of that info at the very bottom of if you want to read more about the topic.***

Cafe starts at 6:30 and is usually done around 8:15. We always recommend you arrive by 6 (or earlier) for a good seat.  Also, the Café is open seating - any unoccupied chair is fair game.

Parking: should be free in Pepsi Center Lot A (aka 'Camry' lot), which is in directly across from Brooklyns' front door - just south off Chopper Circle. If there happens to be a parking attendant, just tell them you're attending a science presentation at Brooklyn's.

For those new to the group: this is not an official atheist meetup. Cafe Sci is open to the general public. However, folks from our group usually occupy the long rectangle of tables in the center of the room. If you don't know anyone, just ask if they're from the "meetup" group. Or you can come find me...I'll be on the far side of the room near the PA setup.

Please only RSVP "Yes"...this just gives us an idea of how many folks from our group are coming.





TOPIC: Seeds

A remarkable feature about seeds is their ability to survive drying. This capacity, exemplified in all biological Kingdoms yet rare among life forms, allows seeds to survive temperature extremes, high radiation and toxic compounds. Seeds can remain viable for decades to centuries under the right combination of dry and cold. At the ARS National Center for Genetic Resources Preservation (NCGRP), we have used this ability to build a huge collection of living germplasm that provides the genetic diversity for plants needed to sustain agriculture and our native landscapes. Seed banks like NCGRP are also becoming a critical tool in scientific investigations of diversity, evolution and the effects of climate change.


Life under extreme cold or dry isn’t really life as we understand it. Most living organisms metabolize, respond to their environment, grow and reproduce. Under dry conditions, seeds and other anhydrous organisms are quiescent – they just sit there; people without appreciation for these remarkable structures might view seeds as ‘little rocks.’ But we know seeds are alive, because when we warm and wet them, they germinate and finally exhibit the activities of living systems. Indeed, the study of dry seeds creates a philosophical question about what constitutes a living system.

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  • Xhaua Insolence g.

    I enjoyed the meetup. Ok, the speaker wasn't great but I appreciated her being there and sharing her knowledge. And it was afterall "Seed storage" not the 2nd law of thermodynamics. Besides, my Macho Nachos and Guiness draft were awsome!

    May 29, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Really poor speaker - no point to her rambling...

    May 29, 2013

  • John S.

    The speaker could have been better

    May 28, 2013

15 went

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