Week 7: BPA, artSHOW, and Octopi

Thursday's class was great! There was so much content: class presentations, Siddharth Ramakrishnan’s lecture, and the MFA students exhibit at the Broad Art Center. The class presentations were great! I am so impressed with my fellow classmates, such innovators! The Broad Art Center show was also truly incredible, what an experience. Dr. Ramakrishnan mentioned how at Puget Sound the science and art buildings are all mixed in together it made me wish that was the case for UCLA. In my two years at UCLA, I never knew of the giant art community here unit taking this course. It has opened my eyes to the diversity of this campus.

Dr. Ramakrishnan’s talk on his research was very interesting. His results on the effect of BPA on the F0 and F1 zebrafish were astonishing. Very clearly we were shown that bisphenol A (BPA) certainly effects behavior. A study tracking mothers and their 3 year old children showed a correlation between the mothers with high levels of BPA in their urine and their children showing hyperactivity, aggression, anxiety, depression, and lack of emotional inhibition. However, the American Chemistry Council has negative criticism on the publication maybe leading to minimize impact on plastic manufacturing. Though the council maintained that BPA is safe, they imposed a ban for the use in baby bottles and sippy cups (ElBoghadady, 2011).

This weekend I attended the Beverly Hills artSHOW. I decided to check out some of the different artists to share. First, I saw this artist Richard Lee. He uses CT data scanned from human skull as geometric dimension references used for his soft sculptures. The sculptures are made from artificial crystal, acrylic, fishing lines, and other mediums of the like. His work was really cool.

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Source: Richard Lee's Instagram (Richardlee8899)

Another artist, Joseph Sims re-purposed a lot of different materials including shoes, whistles, photos, wiring, and more to build sculptures. His work wasn’t environmentally inspired, but when I inquired on the issue he did say that he produces almost zero-waste art work. He uses everything.

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Source: Dawson, 2013

Lastly, a fellow classmate blogged on the use of snails as a model system. It reminded me of the use of the giant squid axon on action potential work done by several neuroscientists including Allen Hodgkins and Bernard Katz. As I commeneted on their blog, they used the squid axon due to its size, it enabled them to research a single axon as oposed to nerve fibers. It also reminded me of Professor Vesna’s Octopus Brainstorming exhibition. I looked up the exhibition on our Professor’s homepage and it was really cool. I definitely suggest looking at it if you haven’t already.

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Source: Victoria Vesna, 2017

Overall, this was a great biotechnology and art week for me!

Works Cited