Andrew Pelling, University of Ottawa, is a biohacker.
Biohacking refers to the application of IT hacks to biological systems – most prominently, the human body – but also the entire biosphere. Biohacking encompasses a wide spectrum of DIY IT projects and ideas (Techopedia).
Watch Dr. Pelling’s TED Talk below and you may be tempted to become a biohacker too. From the sounds of it, Dr. Pelling and his colleagues play all day and let their imaginations run wild. No idea is too far-fetched. Create cellular scaffolds out of ear-shaped apples? Done that. Use asparagus as a conduit for axons and neurons to grow and form new connections between damaged and severed nerves or maybe even the spinal cord? Working on that too. Why? Why not? If you’re looking for a better answer, the cost of working with fruit and vegetables is negligible.
One can only imagine what he did with his brussels sprouts and turnips when he was a child.
In his bio, Dr. Pelling says he is interested in “understanding the dynamic mechanical properties of cellular systems across nanometer and micrometer length scales. The mechanical response and transduction pathways of living cells are explored using genetic manipulation and a variety of scanning probe and optical techniques.” His long-term research goals “are to understand the genetic and architectural control mechanisms of mechanotransduction pathways in health and disease.” If you’d like to join his lab, to spend your day being absurdly creative, you might need a substantial foundation in science or engineering first.
Do you want your mind blown? Andrew Pelling is the keynote speaker at an event hosted by the Institute of Biomaterials & Biomedical Engineering at the University of Toronto on August 10. If you’re on Twitter, you can follow the discussion at #USRP2016 and #Pelling.
Our regular feature, Right Turn, appears every Friday and we invite you to submit your own blog to info(at)ccrm.ca. We encourage you to be creative and use the right (!) side of your brain. We dare you to make us laugh! Right Turn features cartoons, photos, videos and other content to amuse, educate and encourage discussion.
As always, we welcome your feedback in the comment section.
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