Living & Entertainment

Forgetful worms are on Science Café’s menu

No, that headline isn’t an April Fools’ joke. A University of Washington researcher really is using worms to study dementia.

Diseases – curing them and preventing them – are the topics of Pacific Science Center’s free Science Cafes in April. The worm research and how it aids the study of dementia will be the topic in Tacoma on April 14. Other subjects include vaccines and malaria.

Science Cafés bring scientists face-to-face with the public in the relaxed atmosphere of cafés and pubs. The evening begins with a brief presentation by a scientist and is followed by a discussion with the audience.

Science Cafés are held in three locations: In Tacoma (at The Swiss Restaurant & Pub), in Seattle (first Tuesday of every month at T.S. McHugh’s) and on the Eastside (second Tuesday of every month at Wilde Rover)

Here is what’s featured this month:

Tacoma Science Café

6:30 p.m., April 14 — Swiss Restaurant & Pub, 1904 Jefferson Avenue, Tacoma

“Worms With Dementia: How we study ALS and Alzheimer's”

Ever wonder how scientists study ALS and Alzheimer's? Join the UW's Laura Taylor in a discussion of human dementia and learn how worms are used in the lab to study the early progression of ALS and Alzheimer's disease.

Queen Anne Science Café

7 p.m., April 7 — T.S. McHugh's, 21 Mercer Street, Seattle

"The Childhood Vaccine Controversy"

Seattle Children's Research Institute researcher and pediatrician, Dr. Doug Opel, discusses why more parents have become hesitant to vaccinate their children and his research around how best to communicate with them about the importance of childhood vaccines.

Eastside Science Café

7 p.m. April 13 — Wilde Rover, 111 Central Way, Kirkland

"Fighting Fire With Fire"

Learn how scientists are using a genetically engineered malaria parasite as a vaccine to eradicate history's deadliest disease. With Brandon Sack, PhD. of Seattle Biomedical Research Institute.

For more information: Questions, comments or suggestions for future Science Café speakers can be sent to