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Lyceum Society January Meeting




for Members

Lyceum Society January Meeting

Monday, January 4, 2021, 11:30 AM - 2:00 PM EST


Presented By


Welcome and Introductions: 11:30 am to 11:45 am

Preliminary Presentation: 11:45 am to 12:15 pm

Speaker: Uldis Blukis

Topic: The Evolving Predictive Mind/Brain

Outline: Uldis will briefly survey the evolutions–beginning with geochemistry and through eukaryotes–that prece­ded neurons and that have produced a part of the externality (environment) of the brain. Neurons evolved in animals no later than 580 million years ago (mya); the brain–520 mya. A newborn’s brain is a “self-organized system” with gene-determined “connectivity and dynamics.” Genes and the environment drive its further development into a generator of thoughts and action plans, exami­ner and external consequence predictor of the thoughts and plans, implementer of selected thoughts and plans. A few mya genus Homo minds began to “externalize” and thereby share their thoughts and plans in unprecedented ways. These ways that began with ever more sophisticated tools, we call Homo, later Homo sapiens culture. Today, that externalization produces books, libraries, compu­ters, AI, media, and much more. The talk will speculate about future, complementary and protopian evolutions of our mind/brain and its externalities.

Bio: Uldis Blukis is Professor Emeritus, Brooklyn College, CUNY, where he taught chemistry, integrated science, and the history of the science of matter from 1960 to 1991. He is a co-author of a physical chemistry textbook, as well as a series of educational short films. He was in the diplomatic service of Latvia as a representative to the UN, 1991-8, and a member of the UN Committee on Contributions, 1994-2000. His BS in Chemistry is from University of Illinois, Urbana, his PhD in Physical Chemistry from University of California, Berkeley. At our June, 2010 meeting, he spoke on “Ways of knowing in Newtonian, contemporary, and future science,”. At our January, 2015 meeting, he spoke on “Agnepilogy: Knowledge and Ignorance.” He has also spoken at Lyceum meetings on May, 2017; Feb, 2018; and June, 2019. At the January, 2020 Lyceum Society meeting, he spoke on: Metaknowledge of Ignorance and Knowledge: Outlined and Applied.

Main Presentation: 12:15 to 2:00 pm

Speaker: Yamnua Krishnan, PhD

Topic: Diagnostic Test for Alzheimer’s Disease Using Lysosome Signatures

Outline: Biochemical reactions in eukaryotic cells occur in subcellular, membrane-bound compartments called organelles. Each organelle is characterized by a unique lumenal chemical composition whose stringent regulation is vital to proper organelle function. Disruption of the lumenal ionic content of organelles is inextricably linked to disease. Despite their vital roles in cellular homeostasis, there are large gaps in our knowledge of organellar chemical composition largely from a lack of suitable probes. In this talk, I will describe how, using organelle-targeted probes, we can get heat maps of the chemical composition and biochemical activity inside organelles using a new DNA-based nanotechnology. I will then discuss how the new capacity to image organelle activity in live cells derived from patients suffering from neurodegenerative diseases, can drive the discovery of new biology as well as precision medicine.


2014 - Professor, University of Chicago
2014: Assoc Professor, National Centre for Biological Sciences (NCBS)
2009-13: Reader, NCBS, Bangalore
2005-9: Fellow, NCBS, Bangalore
2001-05: 1851 Research Fellowship, University of Cambridge, UK
2002: Ph. D., Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore,
1997: M.S., IISc, Bangalore,
1993: B. Sc. Madras University


Nonmember Student, Undergrad, Grad, Fellow
Member Student, Post-Doc, Fellow