9/4/18 Show feat. Iris Stone on Nanostructures, Organic Electronics and Tagging the Brain

Featured image: Electronic skin can tell a computer about heat and pressure on a surface, just like our skin tells our brain. New flexible circuits by Dr. Jonghwa Park imitate biological systems with new electronic materials. (courtesy HighT3ch)

This week’s episode brings in Iris Stone, incoming Princeton University graduate student in the Princeton Neuroscience Institute and former researcher in nanomaterials. Iris started her science career in the Vora Lab at George Mason University, working with organic crystals that have unique applications in biotechnology, solar cells, and many other technologies. These charge transfer crystals, formed by intricate arrangements of organic molecules, can have convenient properties for carrying electronic signals, structural strength or flexibility, and more. Since they are organic (soft, unlike silicon computer chips) they could be used for the future of biotech—electronic contacts, wearable technology, medical implants… See how Iris connects this physics research into a focus on neuroscience, starting with artificial brain neurons, made out of organic electronics and replenishing parts of the brain lost from injury or disease, and eventually diving into the chemistry of the brain. Hear how local and global hormone buildup can affect our thoughts and moods, and how we might “tag” neurotransmitters with nanomaterial technology to follow their course through the brain.

Before the interview, hear about book that guides your intuition the macroscale processes occurring in our world: Factfulness by Hans Rosling with Ola Rosling and Anna Rosling Rönnlund. Do you know where people live and how they live? Do you know that the idea of an impoverished third world is an antiquated model that lost touch with reality decades ago? We highly recommend this book as a method of checking your assumptions and developing principles for relating to demographics and life on earth!

The full playlist can be found on WPRB.com or below.


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