Yaghi Laboratory, Week 1 The Yaghi Laboratory is a truly fascinating laboratory here at UCLA. It is part ofthe department of chemistry and biochemistry. An amazing aspect of this laboratory isthat they create metal organic frameworks (MOFs) which are used to store gases such ascarbon dioxide and hydrogen. This lab designs crystalline extended structures which aregeometrically beautiful. The lab has constructed various forms of crystalline frameworks made from metaloxides that can be used to capture gases. This in turn has the potential for storing avariety of gases without having to apply pressure or change the state they are in. Moreinteresting is the beauty in the structure of these compounds. The geometric andsymmetrical orientation of these molecules show the artistic side of science and it isamazing that such variety of research occurs here at UCLA. I also wanted to mention that I am doing SRP research at the Laboratory of NeuroImaging (LONI) and the first time I entered this lab I was fascinated by how aestheticallybeautiful the lab was set up and it looked so modern. This lab deals with neuroimaging ofthe brain and so there are various images of the brain all over the lab. These images areso alike yet so different that it is very artistic. I am helping with the ADNI initiativewhich is Alzheimers research. In addition to the ADNI initiative the LONI lab is alsoworking on Schizophrenia research and many other neurologically related research.
What is Art is Science- Rozalin Week2 Both art and science are forms of creative expression. Although we have beenaccustomed to thinking of art and science as total opposites and parts of differentspectrums, the fact of the matter is that they have more in common and are more similarthan we think. Art is creativity in its rawest form. Art has no boundary and is a limitless form ofexpression that can encompass anything the human eye finds beautiful. It is malleableand can be transformed in many different ways. Art can range from beautiful paintingssuch as those created by Monet, to the creative expressions of Picasso to today’s modernart which has encompassed technology as a form of expression. Art has no beginning andno end. At a point that something is defined artistic and possibly pushing the limits of art,it can be said that there exists something even more extreme that can be considered art.You may then ask “how is art similar to science?” Science is also creativity in its rawest form. It is creativity of the mind that leadsscientists to ask the questions they ask and it is creativity that allows them to figure outand design experiments. Even more compelling is that science also encompasses aestheticbeauty, because it is nature. What we often forget is that art is just as much part of natureis as science. Evolution, in some ways is a result of the desire of beauty, the desire ofsymmetry. Science is used to explain evolution which in turn is tied to beauty andtherefore art and science are in fact more relatable than thought before. Science too, justlike art, is limitless. There isn’t a beginning and an end. It’s a continues flow ofinformation and no matter how much is learned or discovered there is always more to addto it. Art and science are both forms of creative expression that although are thought to bedifferent are in fact more similar than thought before.
Genetically Engineered Foods and Art- Rozalin Week 3I believe that in many ways art is nature. The beauty that we see in nature is what is usedin art. Art is derived from nature’s diversity, whether it be the wide array of colors to thevariety of organisms out there. The environment is in itself a form of art and it issomething that art is derived from. It is sad how the human race is, in effect, destroyingthe beauty of nature. From a scientific standpoint we have evolved to live harmoniouslywith our environment. It is ironic that it is science that has contributed to theenvironmental destruction where genetically modification of crops have had direconsequences and the technology that has allowed the industrialization of farms has ledto overconsumption and unnecessary overproduction. The way we have moved from living “naturally” to the industrial form of life oftoday, has resulted in grim consequences. We have damaged our environment andcontinue to do so. Our overt consumption of nutrition-less and unnatural foods has led tothe downward spiral of overconsumption and destruction of our environment. Not to saythat I don’t consume the processed products Mark Bittman was talking about, because Ido, however I try as much as possible to consume as much natural foods as I can. Afterall, that is what nature has intended and in modifying our food source we are introducingunknown consequences. I moved to the U.S. when I was eight, and I was fascinated bythe fact that there were strawberries in the fall and winter. Prior to that fruits had theirassociated seasons. There is something artistic to not seeing a peach or strawberry all thetime. To having the opportunity to see it for a couple of months out of the year allowedyou to enjoy that fruit so much more. The fruit also tasted so much better there than itdoes here in the U.S. It is most likely because the fruit and other foods were grownlocally. Being a locavore has its advantages and in a way it is artistic because one gets to
experience what nature offers and more importantly one can see the artistic and aestheticside of nature: seeing fruits growing on trees the variety of vegetables out there, etc. In the paper by George Gessert, I found the discussion of animal domestication asart very interesting. If we think about it the dogs that we humans own as pets are not thedogs that existed a couple of hundred years ago. Dogs have been bred to look a certainway either big or small, long or short, with long straight hair or curly fluffy hair. Thediversity of dogs we have is a result of human play with dog genes. We have over theyears bred dogs to look a certain way such as the Labrador or the German Sheppard.
Transgenic Animals and Drugs- Rozalin Week 4 Our curiosity and desire to lead longer lives has led us to tamper with nature inthe quest of possibly finding that perfect cure. In regards to plants and our foods we havecreated genetically engineered fruits that can withstand really cold weather or rice that isenriched with vitamin A to help those who live in areas lacking proper nutrition.Learning about animals, though I must say, has been quite interesting but at the sametime somewhat creepy. I think our desires to mess with the genetic codes of animals come from a goodplace. Most transgenic experiments with animals are done in order to producemedications we humans direly need. More importantly through trangenics the productionof medication can become less expensive and thus available to those who need it most. Apharmaceutical company named Genzyme Transgenics is in the process of developingtransgenic animals for the production of anticlotting agents from goat’s milk. Althoughthis is a noble idea and one which can save hundreds of lives, I wonder what therepercussions are if this does get passed by the FDA and comes into production.. Use of transgenic can be dangerous; we don’t know what the effects will be onthe animals producing the milk and protein. If there are mutations then it would bepossible to create viruses or people may have allergic reactions to a product made to savelives. However, we have lived thus far with many genetic modifications in ourenvironment and seem to be doing ok.When I googled for transgenic animals I came across this picture by Patricia Piccininiwho focuses a great deal on transgenic animals and what they look like and the outcomes
their existence has. I found this picture quite astounding and thought I would share it withyou all. By Patricia Piccinini. This sculpture was sort of the face of the Becoming Animal exhibition at Mass MoCA.. it was on a lot of their publications and posters about the show
Midterm Review: Rozalin Week 5 I was truly entertained and educated by the projects our class presented. Theywere so creative and original and at times controversial or at least they made us thinkoutside the box. There was a trend among the projects that, even though the topic of thisclass is quite broad: science and art, it seems that many of us gravitated towards focusingon our health and how we interact with our world, whether it is through food or with ourenvironment or through others. The projects had a lot of similarities and differences. Wefocused extremely on our health and how interacting with our environment affects us.There was also a theme of our interaction with technology and that was also used toexplore the previously stated theme. It was fascinating to me to see how each of us interpreted what art and science canencompass, how we utilized our definitions to come up with our projects, and how weprocessed those ideas. Some of our projects were more science oriented but still hadartistic aspects and some of the projects were more focused on the artistic and aestheticaspects but they still found a way to be defined through science and technology. Viewing these presentations, especially the ones about the invisible faces, got methinking what would happen to evolution, because evolution is the survival of superiorgenes and those that promote survival and adaptability. The reason we are attracted tobeautiful faces is that they represent symmetry and it has been shown that people whohave symmetrical faces have a better survival chance. Also, the reason men are moreattracted to an hourglass figure in women is because that ratio of waste to hip isproportional to fertility rate. Therefore, I wonder when we mask our identities are we alsocreating weaknesses in our genes and not allowing for the most diverse influence? On theother hand, the project that dealt with dating that was associated with the MHC complexin the blood was more in tune with evolution. The higher the degree of differencebetween MHC complexes of people, the better the chances of fighting off illnesses whichresults in higher survival rates. It seems that there is a conflict. On one hand science hasshown the importance of evolution and survival of the fittest but on the other hand humanthought and morals has tried to create a place of equality and sameness. The trick istrying to find a balance between the two. Looking back at my project I received some really good feed back and I realizethat I need to do more research so I can better refine my project. A lot of the advice thatwas given in regards to the museum and the TV shows that I did not know existed, showsthat I need to learn more about what is out there. Therefore, I need to look into thoseaspects and develop my ideas much better and incorporate something new in order to takeit a step further.
Body and Art- Rozalin Week 6 This week in class we learned about body, art and science. As I think about it,there is a huge emphasis on body image here in America. Anorexia and bulimia arediseases that have resulted from this obsession. American’s are obsessed with how theylook and through science we have provided the option of changing how we look throughplastic surgery. We have been able to modify how our nose looks, we have thenprogressed to breast augmentation, tummy tucks, cheek implants, calve implants and soon. It seems that there is no limit on how we can modify our body image and plasticsurgery is an example of that. There even those who modify their image, makingthemselves seem more feline like or seem like some other type of animal. Here are a fewpictures of people who have modified their image through plastic surgery and in a wayhave created art. I found the eye tattoo as one of the most interesting art pieces we saw in class. Ihad never even thought of the possibility that we could tattoo the eye. On Ripley’sBelieve it or not, a couple of years ago I had seen a woman who had tattooed her bodyfrom head to toe and I had thought that that was the limit, there wasn’t anything left to betattooed. But seeing the guy with the blue eye tattoo I was stunned. I had heard abouttooth tattoos and that was pretty cool and now eyes are a part of it? I wonder if you cantattoo the tongue or your gums, that would be excruciatingly painful and quite interesting.
I was volunteering at the hospital during the Natalie Jeremijenko lecture.Coincidentally, I was volunteering for an event “The Heart of Cedars Sinai” which washosted by the he Board of Governors which featured a collection of world-renownedphysicians and healthcare experts providing the latest information on the heart. One ofthe topics of discussion was about stem cell research and the heart. This reminded me ofthe man whose finger was able to regenerate based on technology developed by the army.In class we were debating the validity of such technology and surprisingly enough at oneof the lectures at Cedar’s Sinai the doctor was talking about re-growing damaged hearttissue from stem cells derived from the patients own heart cells. The lecture touched baseon how a heart attack damages heart tissue and by taking some cells from that person’sheart, they can modify those cells and grow stem cells in a lab. After four weeks thosestem cells are transferred back into the patients heart at the cite of tissue damage. Theyare then allowed to regroup and grow. This was amazing to me to actually hear a credibleinstitution talk about such advanced technology.
Gil Kuno and Final Proposal-Rozalin week 7Through out this course we have been able to watch many different art works and biotechrelated pieces. This time we were able to see the art work presented by the artist himself,which was such an amazing opportunity. Having the artist present his own art work gaveus a different point of view and made us better understand what the he was trying to getacross and why he did what he did. We were able to get a better understanding of thepurpose of the art work and why the artist made it. Gils art work was so dynamic anddiverse yet graspable. I loved his recreation of the guitar and his vision of changingsomething old, and turning it into something new, recreating it.Another piece of his art work that was visually stunning was his work on the dome. I amsure in person the piece must have been even more extraordinary. The way the colorschanged on the dome and each new idea and picture was created, came off as veryrealistic. One more thing I truly enjoyed was his website and the creativity with which hehad designed it. The fact that I was able to move things around and make music justbrowsing his website, “unsound”, was really amusing and entertaining. It gives us achance to explore our own creativity which we sometimes forget in our busy and hecticlives.
In relating to the final I have decided to start another project focusing on a biotechpill that would target certain memories that a patient would want erased. Through PETand MRIs we would pin point those memories and then create the pill to delete thatmemory so that patients who are suffering with phobias or panic attacks can finally havea much better solution to their problems. This would be a little bit controversial since if itgot into the wrong hands, who knows what could happen with this technology. So I willwork on creating safety mechanisms on such pills and technology to prevent misuse andabuse.
Nanotech and Medicine-week 8 Rozalin Throughout this quarter we have been exposed to a wide array of scientific andartistic information. With each topic we have discussed thus far, I have had somefamiliarity with before being exposed to it more in depth in class. However, when westarted discussing nanotechnology I realized how little I knew about the topic and wasreally happy that we had the opportunity to have Jason Reed, who is an expert in thefield, discuss this topic with us. Nanotechnology has had so many applications in different fields. Thus far,nanotechnology has mostly been used in computers and other electronic devices. I wasmost fascinated with the application of nanotechnology in medicine. As someone whowill be working in the field of medicine, it gives me such hope and happiness to knowthat nanotechnology has led to the advancement of medicine and better therapies forillnesses. I came across various inventions for medicinal nanotechnology one which, ifapproved by the FDA can be another tool in protecting women from contracting herpesand the HIV virus. At UCSF they have designed a gel, Vivagel, whose active ingredient,a dendrimire ( a nano molecule), is created through nanotechnology. The dendrimireattaches to the HIV virus and prevents it from being able to enter the T-cells, thuspreventing infection. It is amazing that there are endless possibilities withnanotechnology and that we are able to improve our way of life through it. Another invention as a result of nanotechnology has been the use ofnanoemulsions to help treat cystic fibrosis. Those who suffer with cystic fibrosis getbacterial infections in their lungs and through the use of these nanoemulsions thesebacteria can be killed thus leading to an improved way of life. Here is a picture of howthose nanemulsions would be directed to the lungs.
Going through pictures and illustrations of nanotechnology I can’t help to noticethe aesthetic beauty of these images and how in a way nanotechnology is art because it isa form of expression and a form through which change is brought about. Having Dr.Reed in our class last week was such an amazing opportunity to learn more aboutnanotechnology and his discussion on the advancement of nanotech in medicine was veryinteresting. The fact that we have been able to invent pacemakers that can transmitinformation about the heart to a computer is truly amazing.Here are some pictures related to nanotech that I found very artistic: