Problems pop up fast, but science responds faster (check out the new clinostat)

It’s natural for people to worry about the future. Our generation worries about things that are especially pressing: climate change, overpopulation, destruction of habitats, etc. These issues are concerning, but I am continually amazed at how fast we respond to these problems. Science moves quickly; so quickly we often take it for granted.

A hundred years ago, someone would receive their thesis for analyzing a simple molecule.  In 2017, it’s a 5-minute procedure in a 3 hour introductory organic chemistry lab class.

A decade ago, if we needed a plant imaging device, it may have taken years and real money to develop.  In 2017, an engineer can 3-D print every piece needed and order computing power and cameras for under $50, and have a prototype in a month.

Free cloud storage for scientists (Cyverse), google documents for collaboration, 3-D printing, arduinos, raspberry pi, have accelerated research in our lab.

Young scientists and engineers with ambition have accelerated research in our lab.

I’m raving because Jerry and a team of engineers here at Wisconsin have developed another clinostat prototype for microgravity research.  It’s multi-directional and changes lighting. How cool is that?

astrobotany clinostat prototype

I’m excited to use this device to stress plants in a way that mimics microgravity.  Science is awesome.

Let’s grow plants in space