In this installment of TheseVibes, Krupa Jani, MD/PhD researcher in biochemistry, joined us in the studio to share her research in the lab and in the health policy arena. In the first part of the interview, Krupa summed up the American Health Care Act that was recently passed through the House and is currently being considered in the Senate. In parts 2 and 3 we discuss her research in epigenetics and how this is related to cancer.
Epigenetics is the study of gene expression. Every cell in your body contains the same DNA sequence, however which genes are turned on (and thus transcribed in to proteins — or “expressed”) and which are turned off will be different between different types of cells. e.g. your blood cells expresses different genes than your skin cells. In this interview Krupa dives in to what’s happening at the molecular level in this process of gene expression, and how this can go haywire to produce runaway cell replication, which would lead to cancer.
In a past show, Stevie interviewed Professor Bridgett vonHoldt on epigenetics and canine evolution. See the show link for the streaming link and more information.
Featured image above is from an article from 2013 where a group at Berkeley is working to make windows even smarter, in a different way.
In this special show for WPRB’s all-vinyl week, Brian covers the tunes and Stevie speaks to our guests, Princeton graduate researchers Nick Davy and Melda Sezen. It was beautiful chaos in the studio.
Nick and Melda work on Smart Windows, under Professor Lynn Loo in Chemical and Biological Engineering. “Smart Windows” refers to glass that can change colors (darken) when a current is applied. This happens due to the electrochromic (electro=electrical responding, chromic=color) material polyaniline. Polyaniline is magical. It dissolves in water, and is just green when no current is applied (see image), but when connected to an energy source, like a battery or a solar cell, it can be tuned to be varying shades of blue, and even transparent. Nick and Melda’s collaboration
works to improve this technology by introducing organic* solar cells as an extra varnish on the windows, producing both the energy needed to change the color of the glass and hopefully some excess to power your home, etc.
So, in the show we in to the nitty gritty of how smart glass works, and how Nick and Melda are fabricating and improving the technology. We then dive in to other applications of organic solar cells and polyaniline, for example wearable technology.
If you’re looking for something about smart windows that’s little higher level, take a look here.
At the very end of the show, Brian jumps on the mic to give us a little history of vinyl, including cylinder vinyl, and how LPs are made!
*In chemistry speak, “organic” = carbon based. In this case, think “plastic.”