Monday, June 20, 2016

Building Body Parts from Fruit

Yes, I know it would be a sweet deal if it could easily be done, but think about cellulose and the structural parts of an apple. All the stacked cells offer a scaffold for cells to grow into whatever structure is required.

Andrew Pelling, Ph.D., an experimental biophysicist at the University of Ottawa, Canada, is interested in genetic and architectural controls of health and disease. Using different fruits for in vitro 3D cell culture in his Laboratory for Biophysical Manipulation, Pelling found that mammalian cells grow and expand into the structure provided (once the fruit cells were removed). 

This type of research is being done elsewhere, but not with the basic materials found in the kitchen. Not only is it fun to think about, but a great chance to discuss STEM (science, engineering, technology, and mathematics) applications and careers with students. Plus, Dr. Pelling advocates "play" as a crucial part of inspiring his research. Go science!

Friday, June 10, 2016

Robotics - Then & Now

I have long been interested in the various ways robots and mechanical arms add value to nearly every process. In fact, some people worry that robots will eliminate thousands of jobs in the decades to come.


But as an early technology adopter, I'm willing to take the chance. In fact, I'm ready to have a self driving car! After all, I trust aircraft equipped with automatic pilot, so why not robotics on the daily commute? After driving at a crawl for years in the super congested Houston traffic, I KNOW robotics could perform better than a lot of those drivers. 

Progress in robotics science and technology over the past 50 years has led us to today's robo vacuums and flying robots that act like birds. Check out the video link to see how far we've come. Have a great weekend and Go Science!