WNC News & Notes: Learn about the ‘bottom of the world’ | NevadaAppeal.com

WNC News & Notes: Learn about the ‘bottom of the world’

Anne Hansen
For the Nevada Appeal

Robert Collier, director of the Jack C. Davis Observatory at Western Nevada College, will lecture on Antarctica at the Nevada State Museum on Thursday, March 27.

Robert Collier, director of the Jack C. Davis Observatory at Western Nevada College, will lecture on Antarctica at the Nevada State Museum on Thursday, March 27.

An emeritus physics professor at WNC, Collier will speak about the Earth's southernmost continent as part of the Frances Humphrey Lecture Series. Doors open at 6 p.m. for the 6:30 p.m. event.

"Our theme this year is exploration to complement our sesquicentennial exhibit on the explorer John C. Frémont," said Deborah Stevenson, curator of the Nevada State Museum.

Collier's one-hour lecture is titled "Antarctica, a Continent Under Stress: My Research at the Bottom of the World." Collier conducted a seven-year investigation of the penetration of ultraviolet light at ice-covered Lake Hoare in the Taylor Valley, among the Dry Valleys of Antarctica.

Admission is $8 for adults; children 17 and younger and museum members will be admitted for free.

The museum is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday and is located at 600 N. Carson St. Visitors are asked to enter the museum through the Dema Guinn Concourse.

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For more information, phone 775-687-4810, ext. 237.

Free Alzheimer's presentation April 17

Western Nevada College history instructor and researcher Lane Simonian will offer a free presentation on Alzheimer's disease from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, April 17, on the Carson City campus, in Bristlecone Building room 332.

Simonian, who teaches European civilization at WNC, will focus his presentation on the role that peroxynitrites or potent neurotoxins have in triggering Alzheimer's disease.

"I will look at the pathways that lead to the formation of peroxynitrites, the risk factors that increase peroxynitrites and thus Alzheimer's disease, the damage that peroxynitrites do to the brain, and human clinical trials and case studies," Simonian said. Some particularly good peroxynitrite scavengers have not only stopped the progression of the disease but also partially reversed it, he said.

Simonian began studying Alzheimer's nearly 10 years ago when the disease touched his family. At the time, three family members, including his mother, were in various stages of the disease.

That research helped them plan for a course of action against the disease.

"My sisters and I began using aromatherapy to treat our mother in 2007," Simonian said. "She began to sleep better, recognize places like her home, recognize and identify certain objects such as roses, basically stopped having delusions and became more alert and aware," Simonian said.

Besides experience in history, Simonian has a background in biology.

"The biochemistry I learned in college did help me understand the disease better," he said. "In addition, I used historical research skills to find and evaluate many studies regarding the disease."

During his two-hour presentation, Simonian will discuss the role of aromatic compounds found in various herbs serve in the treatment of the disease.

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