How squishy are your cells? UCLA’s Amy Rowat studies the texture or squishiness of cells. A cell’s texture can actually tell us important information about our health, and even begin to answer long-held questions about diseases like cancer.
The GIF above is a diagram of a microfluidic device (based on a drawing by Amy), which she uses to measure the cell’s softness or malleability.
From the video:The Squishiness of Cancer Cells→
This project sounds amazing!! Guys, if you’re into space and hacking/computers/app design/programming/making/tinkering/zippity-zapping then check out the International Space Apps Challenge, via comaniddy:
International Space Apps Challenge
This week’s Science Rap is different
Remember when I rapped about how NASA’s technology has benefits in outer space as well on Earth? What if you had the opportunity to create that technology? This is what the International Space Apps Challenge is all about.
The Space Apps Challenge is a 2 day contest to improve life in Space and on Earth. The challenges are focused in 4 key areas: hardware, software, visualization, and citizen science.
The event takes place April 20-21 in over 75 cities around the world. There are over 50 challenges and you can participate locally or online.
So do you have what it takes to improve the technology we use in space?
Cosmos: A Space-Time Odyssey is an upcoming American documentary television series. It is a follow-up to Cosmos: A Personal Voyage, which was presented by Carl Sagan. The new series’ presenter will be Neil deGrasse Tyson.
The executive producers are Seth MacFarlane and Ann Druyan, Sagan’s widow. It was originally announced that it would premiere in the 2012–13 United States network television schedule, but a Twitter update from Neil deGrasse Tyson in June 2012 indicates a Spring 2014 release. Episodes will premiere on Fox and also air on National Geographic Channel on the same night.
The original 13-part Cosmos: A Personal Voyage first aired in 1980 on the Public Broadcasting System, and was hosted by Carl Sagan. The show was considered highly significant since its broadcast; Dave Itzkoff of the New York Times described it as “a watershed moment for science-themed television programming”. The show has been watched by at least 400 million people across 60 different countries.
Following Sagan’s death in 1996, his widow Ann Druyan, the co-creator of the original Cosmos series along with Steven Soter, a producer from the series, and astronomer Neil deGrasse Tyson, sought to create a new version of the series, aimed to appeal to as wide an audience as possible and not just to those interested in the sciences. They had struggled for years with reluctant television networks that failed to see the broad appeal of the show.
Seth MacFarlane had met Druyan through Tyson at an event that connected Hollywood directors with scientists in 2009, and learned of their interest to recreate Cosmos. MacFarlane was influenced by Cosmos as a child, believing that Cosmos served to “[bridge] the gap between the academic community and the general public”. MacFarlane had considered that the reduction of effort for space travel in recent decades to be part of “our culture of lethargy”. MacFarlane, who at the time has several animated shows on the Fox Network, was able to bring Druyan to meet the heads of Fox programming, Peter Rice and Kevin Reilly, and helped to get the greenlighting of the show.
MacFarlane admits that he is “the least essential person in this equation” and the effort is a departure from work he’s done before, but considers this to be “very comfortable territory for [himself] personally”. He and Druyan have become close friends, and Druyan stated that she believed that Sagan and MacFarlane would have been “kindred spirits” with their respective “protean talents”. In June 2012, MacFarlane provided funding to allow about 800 boxes of Sagan’s personal notes and correspondences to be donated to the Library of Congress.
Just a reminder that this is happening. I nearly vibrate with excitement when I think of it. A year in advance is not too early to set your DVR.
Just your daily reminder that this exists.
Being a former and current Longhorn, I really enjoyed this issue of The Alcalde (our alumni magazine). Because this guy is my guy. But when you dig a little deeper into Dr. Tyson’s time in Austin, a frustratingly sad story emerges.
Not only was Neil looked down upon by many “in charge” (but not all) for his desire to popularize science early on and live a full life (I feel him on that one), but he was stopped by campus police fairly often on his way to the physics building, across the street from where I work. How many times was he stopped going to the gym? Zero. On the first day, they told him they needed to play on the faculty basketball team.
I know it’s not indicative of my university as a whole, but as much as we’d like to think that’s history, it still happens today, for reasons more than color. Perhaps less than years past, but until it’s never, it’s too often.
I don’t want to miss the next Dr. Tyson because we judge them at the door and don’t let them be the full person they are. Science is an open club, no membership rules, no dress code, and no limits!
I met Neil Armstrong once, at a dinner to honor Jimmy Doohan in the early 2000s.
He was not much taller than me, but he was a giant of a man. He was as kind as he was intimidating.
I don’t remember what I said to him, or what he said to me, because all I could think the entire time was “This man has walked on the fucking moon.”
Rest in peace, Neil. Because of your bravery and your courage, an entire species will forever look into the night sky and see not a mystery, but a destination.
“For those who may ask what they can do to honor Neil, we have a simple request. Honor his example of service, accomplishment and modesty, and the next time you walk outside on a clear night and see the moon smiling down at you, think of Neil Armstrong and give him a wink.” — Statement from the family of Neil Armstrong, full statement here