When John H. Crowe, Ph.D., was 15 years old he started an investigation of a phenomenon called “anhydrobiosis” or life without water. Numerous microorganisms are capable of surviving loss of almost all their body water, and they come back to life when they are returned to water, even after decades in the dry state. For close to 60 years those studies on dry organisms, based entirely on curiosity driven research, have led to a plethora of applications in human welfare, ranging from storage of human cells in the dry state to potential therapies for some of the most devastating of human diseases.
Crowe is a professor emeritus of the College of Biological Sciences at the University of California, Davis. His research interests are cellular dehydration and freezing. Current work is on stabilization of mammalian cells during freeze-drying. The first such cells, human platelets, have been successfully freeze-dried and clinical testing is in progress.
The MDI Science Cafés are a program of the MDI Biological Laboratory. They offer a relaxed, informal way to learn about the latest scientific developments. Each Café lasts about an hour. Presentations are made in everyday language and questions are welcome.
Doors open at 4:30 p.m. Seating is limited, but standing room is available. Please arrive early if you require a seat. Cafés are free of charge, and refreshments are available.