Thursday, July 17, 2008
Asbestos to the left, creepy stuff to the right.....
Thu, July 17, 2008 | link
....and THAT room had the radiation."
Tell me that BEFORE I open the door next time. I
am not interested in being "hot" like Marie Curie undoubtedly was.
Jenna, a former student from my courses
and helper for her second year with the GAMES camp, and I had to go find the storage room holding supplies for the camp.
After a few weeks of chasing down the key and coordinating schedules, we finally went to lunch together and ventured to the
basement of the Materials Science Engineering Building in search of these boxes. A young man was in the elevator with
us, probably wondering what two pretty gals were doing going to this pit of a basement. As we exited, he gave
the directions listed in the title, either being witty or chivalrous, I'm not sure.
We didn't know where
this room was so we went on an adventure. Attractive women plus a creepy, dirty, dark and dank basement (no spiders
or rodents....that I could see...too bad, actually). Somehow it had all the ingredients of a horror movie. But, Jenna
and I, being of the curious science persuasion, explored every corner looking for the room, with me trying the key
in every door possible. We came back to where we started and looked over to a very open door into a room with boxes.
Lo and behold, there they were! I put the key in the open door, just to be certain. Yep. What can I say?
It was the only lit, well kept place in that basement and we ignored it for 20 minutes.
I think I don't
really have a point to this note except to point out that my job is quite varied! For instance, I'm trying
to reconstruct a skeleton. While you might think it is the ultimate tissue engineering project (ascorbic acid and beta
glycerol phosphate, anyone?), it's not. It is actually made out of card stock. Med school anatomy pays off?
I cut, folded and glued for more hours than I can guess and made a very nice full size articulated skeleton, which has fallen
in disrepair in the nine years that have lapsed since then. It needs to be re-articulated. Check it out...my deadline
is by August 3, the start of GAMES. Maybe the girls can be photographed with it....we'll give it some top model's
name, I can even let it wear my fake ponytail; if I decide not to wear it, that is.
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Death of Michael DeBakey and tissue engineering of blood vessels
Sun, July 13, 2008 | link
I finished Stiff last night at Aroma Café, trying
not to disturb other patrons with my giggling, and most certainly trying not to snort iced tea out of my nose. Her sense
of humor just floors me! I can be one of those obnoxious people who barges in and reads aloud the parts of books that
are hilarious to me, so it was best that I stayed away from people I know otherwise I would've probably wore them out.
I thought briefly about vlogging myself reading her stuff, but that probably requires special permission and seems incredibly
self centered...but then again, some of you may never pick up her books, so I might be doing you a favor. Send me a
note an let me know if you'd be interested in seeing me read her stuff!
Pioneering heart surgeon Michael DeBakey from Houston passed away yesterday (at age 99!).
He performed the first coronary bypass surgery and some of the first heart transplants. It is pretty easy to segue into tissue
engineering at this point as there is strong interest in creating the vessels for bypass surgery so we don't need to use
the saphenous vein from the thigh (which lasts only about 10-12 years--requiring more surgery eventually), and interest in
artificial hearts is of importance as donors are in lower supply than those requiring them.
If you catch this post before I finish about the blood vessels, check back later...I'm going to help a friend
film something for a potential job.....
Sun, July 13, 2008 | link
I'd LOVE to hear
or a favorite science moment!