Posts tagged ‘scientific research’

Just saw this from a friend’s share. It is a great TED talk by Uri Alon on his experience on doing innovative science.

 

His work has inspired many including myself. Here are a few seminal papers by his groups.

  1. Milo R, Shen-Orr S, Itzkovitz S, Kashtan N, Chklovskii D, Alon U. Network motifs: simple building blocks of complex networks. Science. 2002 Oct 25;298(5594):824-7. PubMed PMID: 12399590.
  2. Shen-Orr SS, Milo R, Mangan S, Alon U. Network motifs in the transcriptional regulation network of Escherichia coli. Nat Genet. 2002 May;31(1):64-8. Epub 2002 Apr 22. PubMed PMID: 11967538.
  3. Alon U. Network motifs: theory and experimental approaches. Nat Rev Genet. 2007 Jun;8(6):450-61. Review. PubMed PMID: 17510665.

 

I visited Ho Yu College in Hong Kong last month. A good mentor Dr. William Mak has been running a great biotechnology education program for the primary and secondary school students, as well as the public there. See an old post about their outreach program in which they fit a whole research lab into custom-built bus! I shared the research program of our laboratory at Purdue University on using zebrafish to screen drugs for vision benefit.

 

I outlined our approach on using simple visual behaviour assays to identify positive effects of drugs. I specifically emphasized on the potential to analyze many of traditional Chinese medicines; the treasure that we have been consuming for generations. Some of these possibilities are outlined in our recent review paper:

Zhang LY, Chong L, Cho J, Liao PC, Shen F, Leung YF. Drug Screening to Treat Early-Onset Eye Diseases: Can Zebrafish Expedite the Discovery? Asia-Pac J Ophthalmol 2012; 1:374-383. [Full text][pdf]

 

The interaction with the students was fantastic. They were very imaginative and eager to ask questions all the time! Their enthusiasm was infectious and is the driving force of scientific progress. That also reminded me of the problem of our education in stifling creativity when students are “educated”, which I wrote in a separate post recently.

This is truly an enjoyable experience and I look forward to visiting them again soon!