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Drew Sowersby
Works at Asuragen
Attended Texas State University
Lives in Austin TX
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Drew Sowersby

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Human creating realistic shell of a human
For the past four years, 16-year-old artist Shania McDonagh has participated in the Texaco Children’s Art Competition, an art contest for children in Ireland held every year since 1955. Just looking at the astounding portrait above, it may come as no surprise that McDonagh has won the top prize
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+Cecilia Abadie I saw this - AMAZING. Amazing - unbelievable!
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Throwing a wrench in quorum sensing could lead to a new mechanism for fighting bacterial infections.
> Alone, a single cell of Pseudonoma aeruginosa—the bacteria blamed for many hospital-acquired infections—can’t cause much damage to the human body. In fact, the bacteria won’t even produce virulence factors, the compounds that make it pathogenic to humans, if it doesn’t sense neighbors. But add a few thousand other cells of P. aeruginosa, and suddenly the bacteria aren’t lone warriors; they’re a team. When they sense the presence of unique signaling molecules produced by their allies, the cells start making those virulence factors, ramping up to cause an infection.

In a new PNAS paper, Bassler and her colleagues report the first ever molecule that stops P. aeruginosa from quorum sensing, that ability for cells to detect their neighbors and coordinate behavior as a group. By blocking quorum sensing, the researchers found, they can decrease the virulence of P. aeruginosa and its ability to form films of bacteria on surfaces, such as those inside the body.

Paper here:

#consensus   #organization  

via +kyle broom 
Alone, a single cell of Pseudonoma aeruginosa—the bacteria blamed for many hospital-acquired infections—can’t cause much damage to the human body. In fact, the bacteria won’t even produce virulence...
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:--> At the Flea Market
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I believe in fishing outside your known territory for discovery and growth. Don't always patronize the comfortably familiar and known, but look for novelty in unfamiliar fields to extend your knowledge, improve your perspective and be surprised.
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According to this video, the inside of a cell is much more crowded than I thought. So much rhyme and reason swirling amid the chaos. 
Amazing new Harvard-XVIVO animation on "Protein Packing". Following on the footsteps of the classic Inner Life of a Cell video, this animation strives to more accurately septic the molecular chaos in each and every cell, with proteins jittering around in what may seem like a random motion.

From NYT article:  "In this movie, we enter a neuron by diving through a channel on its surface. Once inside, we’re instantly surrounded by a swarm of molecules. We push through the crowd until we reach a proteasome, a barrel-shaped molecule that shreds damaged proteins so their components can be used to make new proteins.

Once more we see a vesicle being hauled by kinesin. But in this version, the kinesin doesn’t look like a molecule out for a stroll. Its movements are barely constrained randomness."
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Well that begs the question: if they showed citrate, water, Na+, and all the other thousands of small molecules, would we see it, even if they showed it

I think the video may depict the process correctly either way.
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ALERT! The fruits of #gamification 

If you are a gamer, and/or like to watch video games being played, and/or like to watch TV, this may be your lucky second half of the decade. 

Modern consoles, with future potential for more augmentations, blended with our societal thirst for viewing drama unfold on screens, will result in a burst of #GamingTelevision. This is already occurring on a small scale, but I think the potential for it to develop into a widespread phenom by 2020 is highly likely. I mean, who would be able to resist HD quality packets of this kind of action?:

Streetfighter III Tournament - Daigo's Comeback

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If you are the least bit interested in being a "free agent" in the biological science world, you may enjoy this new quarterly  #diybio  newsletter.  
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read it
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A Dutch filmmaker has updated one of the more compelling uses of time-lapse photography techniques online. Frans Hofmeester has filmed his daughter, Lotte, every week since her birth in 1999. He recently posted a video that shows her on a white background, growing from a chubby-cheeked baby into a braces-wearing teenager.

Read more on this at NPR:
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I've seen them form floating rafts before, but never handled in such a manner. Fascinating. 
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Who said bacteria don't have sex!
Bacterial Conjugation ...


Source: Science Photo Library
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SciTech #ScienceSunday Digest, 14/14.
Brain mapping, microfluidics, molecular isotope storage, DNA origami boxes, artificial muscles, neuromorphic computing, CRISPR disease cure, metamaterials, manufacturing graphene. 

1. Latest Brain Advances by the Allen Institute.
The Allen Institute for Brain Science announced two big developments this week. First, there was the publication of the first comprehensive large-scale dataset on the wiring of a mammalian brain, created using engineered viruses to trace and illuminate individual neurons in 1,700 mouse brains, the sections of which were scanned at sub-micro resolution to produce a collective average brain connectome map comprising some 1.8 petabytes of data Secondly, the publication of the first major report from the BrainSpan Atlas of the developing human brain, a map of the transcriptome (expression of specific genes in different regions of the brain) across the course of human brain development

2. Simple & Effective Microfluidics with Valves.
I’m really impressed with these deceptively simple microfluidic chip devices made out of double-sided tape cut with channels, a PDMS membrane, and plastic film that include air-controlled valves for the first time This technology allows cheap, functional microfluidic devices to be built in hours rather than days, and can even be used to create chips that fold together into complex three dimensional shapes. Great DIY Bio applications here.

3. Safe Molecular Storage of Radioactive Isotopes.
Small peptides have been made to self-assemble into tiny double-layer spheres containing a hollow cavity that can hold and contain desired radioactive isotopes The radioisotopes of particular interest are those that emit alpha-particles for use in medical research and treatments, and which can breakdown into radioactive daughter ions that end up in undesirable places in the body. These capsules are much more stable compared to those currently used; they don’t break down and were shown to hold onto / contain daughter ions while allowing the release of alpha particles. 

4. Smallest DNA Origami Container with Lockable Door.
The smallest ever DNA origami container has been constructed and contains a door linked to a molecular actuator that controllably, and programmably, pulls the door open and closed The container measures 14nm x 14nm x 48nm and can fit inside the capsid of viruses that could be used for delivery; the door 9nm x 5nm and linked to a programmable segment (lock) of single stranded DNA that coils and contracts when a complementary strand (key) binds. The group seeks other methods of control for the device, the opening of which can release or expose drugs, enzymes, or other molecules at particular sites and times. 

5. Strong, Functional, Implantable Engineered Muscles.
Living artificial muscles have been engineered that closely resemble real muscles, and which contracts powerfully and rapidly, quickly integrates into mice when implanted and even heals itself when in a lab or a mouse The success of this technique depends on well-developed contractile muscle fibers, muscle satellite stem cells and, crucially, creating supportive microenvironment niches for the satellite cells. The result was natural muscle fibers ten times stronger than any previously created, which were imaged and observed via windows implanted into the backs of mice. Great work for repairing & enhancing muscles, and also for lab-grown meat-as-food applications. Related muscle tissue engineering news involved the creation of “mini-hearts” around blood vessels to help pump blood

6. Chip Processing Architectures that Mimic the Human Brain.
This article is a nice overview of the many projects underway that are developing computational systems, chips, and programming languages that mimic or simulate the processing of the human brain - promising future computer systems capable of out-performing human cognition across a range of areas. Such systems are different to the conventional transistor arrays processing 1s and 0s that power our current systems and is worth a read for anyone interested in the space. A new approach not mentioned was this recent prototype neuromorphic photonics chip that carries out basic brain-like computing with light and realises extremely fast information processing and extremely low energy requirements. 

7. A Directional Filter for Light.
A stack of alternative layers of glass and titanium oxide of precise thickness produces a selective light filter that reflects all light except that incident at a particular angle, which is allowed to pass through 80 layers were used in the demonstration device, but by adding more layers the angular selectivity can be made even more precise and narrow. Possible applications include selective filters for telescopes to help view faint objects that are close to bright objects, solar power especially in solar thermophotovoltaics, and possibly even in optical communications. What other applications can you think of for such a directional light filter? 

8. CRISPR Cures Genetic Disease in Living Animals.
For the first time a genetic disease has been cured in living animals via the CRISPR gene-targeting system The liver disease, affecting about 1 / 10,000 people results from a mutation in a single gene that prevents the breakdown of tyrosine. In mouse models a high-pressure injection introduced the CRISPR construct and a correct version of the gene sequence into cells; although only 1 in 250 cells was successfully repaired this way these cells proliferated over the next month at the expense of diseased cells and eventually comprised one third of the liver, enough to functionally cure the disease. The group are investigating improved delivery methods but this is incredibly promising for human genetic disease treatments in the near future. 

9. Cracking Large Scale Visible Spectrum Metamaterial Cloaks.
New nano-transfer printing techniques allow the creation of large area multilayer 3D metamaterials that operate in the visible spectrum Previous techniques were limited to micro-scale areas for such visible metamaterials, but this new printing technique allows for the relatively cheap production of arbitrarily large area metamaterials with negative refractive indices able to bend and cloak visible light. Even the prototype created to demonstrate the technique, at 4” by 4”, shows incredible promise at that scale for producing advanced lenses for cameras, microscopes, and telescopes, better fibers for optics communications, etc. Real invisibility cloaks just took another big step towards realisation. 

10. Samsung’s Graphene Manufacturing Breakthrough.
A new technique developed by Samsung to grow high-quality single-crystal graphene on silicon wafers appears to be a major breakthrough in enabling the mass-production of commercial scale graphene According to Samsung This is one of the most significant breakthroughs in graphene research in history. The process basically uses a standard chemical vapour deposition process to grow a uniform layer of graphene on a germanium-coated silicon substrate; further masking and photolithography processes allowed the creation of graphene field effect transistors (GFETs) and the re-use of the underlying substrate. The realisation of consumer graphene-powered devices just got much closer. 

The weekly SciTech Digests are also available as a Google Newsstand Magazine Edition here: 

+ScienceSunday, with your hosts +Buddhini Samarasinghe, +Rajini Rao, +Chad Haney, +Allison Sekuler, +Robby Bowles, +Carissa Braun, and +Aubrey Francisco 

+STEM on Google+ Community 
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Have him in circles
5,071 people
Microbiology, Recombinant DNA Technology, Nanocomposites, Plastics, Lab Expert, Writer
  • Asuragen
    Scientist, 2014 - present
  • Antimicrobial Test Laboratories
    Study Director, 2013 - 2014
  • M.D. Anderson Cancer Research Center
    Research Assistant, 2006 - 2007
  • Systems and Materials Research Corporation
    Chemist, 2007 - 2010
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Austin TX
New Braunfels TX
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In the end there are only holons
I am a scientist with extensive training in materials science, chemistry, and biology. I love getting in the lab, and getting work done. 

  • Texas State University
    Biochemistry, M.S., 2010 - 2012
    Physical Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Chemical Separations, Organic Chemistry, Supramolecular Chemistry, Biochemistry
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