Tag Archives: Science

Can plants think? They could one day force us to change our definition of intelligence

Stuart Thompson is a Senior Lecturer in Plant Biochemistry, University of Westminster. His main interest is in the relationships between plant cell wall biochemistry, plant cell wall mechanical behaviour and plant physiology. His main research interest is how plants manipulate the chemical components of their cell walls in order to control their structural properties allowing cell expansion to occur in a controlled and regulated fashion.

Plants can tell time even without a brain – here’s how

Mark Greenwood is a PhD researcher in cellular biology at Sainsbury Laboratory, University of Cambridge. He is interested in how cells work together to create useful systems. In his PhD in James Locke’s group, he is using a mixture of experiments and theory to understand how cells interact to keep track of the time of day. They found that the circadian clock in individual cells of Arabidopsis thaliana can use local cell-to-cell signalling to agree on the time. He now hopes to further this work towards an understanding that may inform growth strategies in the field.

James Locke is Research Group Leader in Systems Biology, University of Cambridge. During his PhD James used an iterative process of experiment and theory to propose a new feedback loop in the plant circadian (24-hour) clock. For this work he was awarded the Promega Young Geneticist of the Year award (2007). Since 2012 he has been a group leader at the Sainsbury laboratory investigating gene expression dynamics in microbial and plant systems. He was awarded the Merrimack-CSB2 Prize in Systems Biology in 2013.

Molecular Landscapes

David S. Goodsell is a Professor of Computational Biology at the Scripps Research Institute and Research Professor with the RCSB Protein Data Bank at Rutgers. He divides his time between research in computational biology and science outreach. His art explores the inner structure of cells and viruses, using computer graphics and traditional painting with watercolor and ink. This article describes “Molecular Landscapes,” a series of work created for a show at the Ulrich Museum of Art at Wichita State University in April 2020, which was ironically postponed due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Lab-grown mini brains: we can’t dismiss the possibility that they could one day outsmart us

Guillaume Thierry is Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience, Bangor University. “I am passionate about the human mind and how it makes sense of the world around us. My research is devoted to understanding how we form concepts, consciously or unconsciously, how we manipulate them, through language or nonverbally, how we learn, remember, forget, and imagine. In my applied work, I strive to inspire individuals to attain higher state of awareness of the world and of themselves. Specifically, I use experimental psychology and electroencephalography to study language comprehension in the auditory and visual modalities, and mainly the processing of meaning by the human brain.”

Brain organoids help neuroscientists understand brain development, but aren’t perfect matches for real brains

Madeline Andrews is a Postdoctoral Scholar of Regeneration Medicine, University of California, San Francisco. Her scientific interests are focused on processes of neural development like signaling and cell fate mechanisms.

Aparna Bhaduri is aPostdoctoral Scholar in Regeneration Medicine, University of California, San Francisco. Her long term interests are in understanding how stem cells during cortical development give rise to the human brain, and how aspects of these developmental programs can be hijacked in cancers such as glioblastoma.

Arnold Kriegstein is Professor of Neurology and Director of the Developmental and Stem Cell Biology Program, University of California, San Francisco. His research focuses on the way in which neural stem and progenitor cells in the embryonic brain produce neurons, and ways in which this information can be used for cell based therapies to treat diseases of the nervous system.

Seeing Within

Jody Rasch is a New York City area-based artist whose work is based on themes from astronomy, biology, physics and spectra. The artist has been exhibiting his work nationally for over 25 years. Duality–abstraction and representation, the literal and the metaphorical, science and mysticism, the unseen and the seen–is a predominant theme in Rasch’s work. An expression of both the patterns of the natural world and the metaphors underlying modern science, his art allows us to see the beauty in the repulsive, to find knowledge in the unknown, to observe the unseen to more clearly see our world. By exploring the invisible, Rasch invites the observer to look beyond the “seen” to appreciate the beauty and mystery of the “unseen.” His art challenges us to explore the world around us.

Cellular Papercuts

“All the sculptures I make are either hand or laser cut from layers of paper and then hand mounted to create three dimensional structures……..It is also a material perfectly adapted to describe the complexity of the natural world as it embodies the paradoxical qualities that we find in nature: its fragility and durability, its strength and delicacy.”

Inspired by the narratives of scientific discovery and innovation that increasingly dominate contemporary culture, Rogan Brown’s work is an attempt by a non-scientist, an outsider, to visualize, comprehend and assimilate these new ideas and new ways of seeing the world, whether it’s to do with our changing perception of bacteria or the paradigm shifts in our comprehension of the physical world that emerge from quantum physics.

Exploring the microscopic

Artist Klari Reis is best known for her Petri Dish series, a multicolour set of circular blobs created using a blend of media and ground-breaking techniques. The core of her approach is the transformation and pigmentation of a UV-resistant plastic, the epoxy polymer, into unique and cutting edge artworks. She uses the tools and techniques of science in her creative process, constantly experimenting with new ways to apply materials and methods. She is driven by curiosity and her desire to explore and document the natural and unnatural with a sense of wonder and joy.

A meditation on the concept of matter and life

“My artistic narrative is influenced by my experience and involvement, over the years, in the scientific study and investigation of cell structure and function……….The physical and chemical properties of atoms and molecules, the composition of matter, the energy, matter’s wear and degradation — these are the raw materials I use to compose a personal artistic landscape.”

Thalia Gatzouli currently lives and works as an artist and a Nuclear physician in Thessaloniki, Greece.

Linking brains to computers: how new implants are helping us achieve this goal

Dr Yunlong Zhao joined the Advanced Technology Institute, University of Surrey as Lecturer (Assistant Professor) and with a joint appointment at the National Physical Laboratory (UK) as the Senior Research Scientist since October 2018. Prior to this appointment, he carried out his postdoctoral research and joint doctoral research at Harvard University, where he conducted research in nano-semiconductor devices and flexible electronics for electrophysiology and nano-bio interface.