The Pacific Science Center periodically holds a Spotlight on Scientists where visiting scientists come in for 3 hour stints hosting hands-on exhibits for families to learn more about their work. It is WHY I renewed our membership today. We got to spend 2.5 hours with 5 scientists who work on vaccines, designing drugs that don’t hurt ear cell hairs, an anthropologist and a veterinarian who is now working on viruses which jump between species. It is always good to show kids that grown-ups can find work that is meaningful and which they’re passionate about, and pays for the home and food! Just takes some determination and focus to get there.
We had fun looking at other exhibits as well, and wrapped up with an IMAX documentary on the building of the Canadian Pacific Railway. Wow – that was impressive in the sheer effort, number of lives lost blasting tunnels and building fragile-looking bridges to span huge lengths of track. Unreal. Many of the workers were Chinese. Really makes you want to take a train trip through the Canadian Rockies to honor them.
Fish are used in the lab to look for genes that seem to be resistant to damage.
This would block the drug from damaging the ear cells (red target). The Lego bricks would keep the drug from binding to that cell, protecting it.
The fish with this pentagon-shaped “gene” retained their hairs even when exposed to the drug. So…what proteins do their genes code for? How can we learn from that?
Pulling back layers of dirt to uncover what might have been a cooking site. This turned into a longer chat than you might think – how can you tell how quickly people left?
This scientist works for a cancer research center. He is a veterinarian as well. Very nice guy. Also liked crystals and rock collections as a kid. Turns out some viruses assume a crystal shape to be able to pack into a space more efficiently. The octahedron is a preferred shape. Sam liked that. This is us invading cells with our viruses. Some cells are easier to invade than others.
Thermal imaging is fun!
Doing a slide – from basketball.
Uh oh – look where mommy turned in! A cupcake shop!!!