Dr Chris Emdin + GZA + The Bronx + Science + Hip Hop = Geek Out Science Genius

GZA

Hello All,

It’s Friday Geek Out time. I am so excited to introduce to you Dr Chris Emdin’s work as I have been slowly but surely developing the same concept here in London and cannot wait for one of my best friends who is a MC to finish a Science of Rap book project we have been working on (hint-hint). Dr Chris Emdin is a Professor of Math, Science and Technology and works for the Colombia Teachers College teaching at New York inner city schools. Christopher is the author of “Urban Science Education for the Hip-hop Generation”. Dr Emdin’s work has been featured on Good Day NY, ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, in The Associated Press, The Wall Street Journal, Time Magazine and others AND if that was not enough to wow you, he is also very handsome and extremely dapper *swoon*.

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Currently, one of my clients is a inner city London science specialist school and the biggest challenge is engaging the young boys and girls with Science. I cannot tell you how much it hurts my heart to hear them say “Science is boring Miss”. Much like Dr Chris Emdin, my first point of call is to find out what they do find interesting, which is more often than not music and/or football and use that as a bridge to engage them actively with the science topic at hand. It always works a treat, despite my mediocre “rapping” technique, although thankfully my knowledge of football is good enough to pass ( I was called a G by the “leader” of my year 10 troublesome Science group last week, I told him I wasn’t his G and to refer to me as Dr E but secretly inside I was jumping for joy).

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Click play on the video’s below and be inspired by the amazing work Dr Chris Emdin is doing in the Bronx and watch the young boys faces in part two when GZA from the Wu Tang Clang walks into the classroom. It is absolutely priceless.

Part one introduces Dr Chris Emdin and the program

Part two introduces GZA to the program

Also, I found this short comic relief skit with Catherine Tate & David Tennant to give you an understanding of how hard it can be for teachers to do the job at hand their when even one student is not engaged and disinterested in the subject.

Unfortunately, I have been into many science classes where this is the case. Please share this post with your teacher friends, your family and extended family. Let us start using creative ways to keep our young people in-line as GZA would say and use some of the things they enjoy and find interesting to engage them fully with Science or any other subject for that matter.

Hope you enjoyed the read, have a blessed weekend and remember genius is never impossible and always possible especially when we all work together like Dr Chris Emdin and GZA have just shown us. Peace.

GZA_DrChrisEyman

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Organ Printing- Is 3D printing a game changer?

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Hello Geeks,

I’m back. Now, I know I promised to post something new every Friday and I am aware I failed you for two weeks but to be fair it was a bank holiday over here in England so it doesn’t count and I have a great excuse for the following week. The following week I was a bridesmaid at one of my girls wedding, it was a wonderfully beautiful affair. How’s that for a great excuse?

Last week I was flicking the pages of the Metro newspaper and came across this heading ‘3D printers ‘could be used to print off human organs’. Usually my first instinct when reading something “scientific” in the papers is to discount it, but I took a note of the research groups name to follow up on later. To be fair, the grabbing headline is approximately 10 years away from being a reality but a reality it may be and that reality is something that the thousands of people on the organ donation register and families dream about. According to Dr Sean Cheng, who is an expert in medical devices at Cambridge University, printing organs “would literally save hundreds of thousands of lives every year”, if all goes to plan.

Let us all just take a moment and let that statement sink in. The technology that is being developed as we speak can possibly print human organs!! WOW.

3Dorgans2Experts at Melbourn TTP have created a 3D printing device that could be used to make tailor-made transplant organs at the click of a button. TTP’s breakthrough involves a special print head nozzle that can dispense a wide range of different materials very accurately.  At present 3D printers can only print single materials or groups of materials.

The company’s managing director, Sam Hyde, said the medical possibilities were “very exciting” and he estimates organ-printing could be done in just five to 10 years’ time. The new nozzle has the ability to dispense the right kind of cells to the printer delicately and in the right position. The nozzle will be fed by cartridges of the required material, which could be anything from stem cells to metal powder. If the group can keep them in the right position and conditions without damaging the dispensed cells, the possibilities of this technology seem endless.

In the shorter term, the printers could make simpler structures, such as highly customised surgical implants, orthopaedic implants, or hip replacements with the possibility they can use “tailor-made designs” from an MRI scan. My mama recently underwent knee replacement surgery, she is doing amazingly well now but her only constant complaint is that it feels nothing like her “old” knee and she can “feel” the “new” metal one. Oh what a difference it would make to my ears and her if it was tailor made to be just like her “old” knee. I can almost taste the silence lol.

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This breakthrough in technology has the prospect of becoming a complete game changer in the fields of design, medicine, technology and most importantly could also change the face of manufacturing products worldwide. It will give companies the ability to print off complex products made of several materials, rather than sourcing them from abroad. We could be printing products as diverse as toys, medical devices, aircraft parts and even organs. The economical implications of this are immense. I am sure Sam Hyde, the managing director at Melbourn TTP is a VERY HAPPY man – economically that is.

As you know, I am a total TED videos geek, so I did a little bit off digging and came across a few talks about organ printing. I picked the one below becasue it does a very good job of relaying the history of this technology and they have a live 3D printer on stage printing a kidney.  We also get to meet Luke, who at the age of 10 was given a bio-engineered bladder that changed his life thanks to these scientific advances The talk is 16min long but you wont meet Luke until 13mins in but please be patient and watch the whole thing. I promise you wont regret it.

Until next time, stay blessed.

Beauty By The Geeks

BeutyByGeeks1Hey Geeks,

The weather is beautiful in London today, it is hot and sunny, I kid you not. I am very excited about that. I Hope it is just as glorious everywhere else in the world. If you read my last blog post you will know what I have been up to lately and I remember mentioning to you that I wanted to introduce you to some of the amazing people I have been blessed to meet. This is the first of those introductions.

I geeked out when I came across Brigitte West and Rose Brown at the STEMettes event last month. Not only are they both lovely ladies, but they are also brilliant entrepreneurs who had an idea that they confidently nurtured creating a business that helps people understand the science behind beauty products. This in itself is inspiring but the amazing thing is, they achieved all of this while studying full time medical science degrees at university.  They are 21 and 20 years old respectively. Brilliant young ladies. And, they named the buisness Beauty By The Geeks. Whaaaat. Total geek out.

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Click on this link and find out how to make your own beauty products at home using ingredients from your kitchen. Also, see if you can catch them at the British Science Festival and if you work in a school or are a member of your parental governing body at your children’s school, suggest some of the educational courses they offer in and around England and help them make science more engaging (school girls love make-up whether parents like it or not, it is the the truth of our times so let us use it to our advantage and educate).

Keeping with the theme and because I miss Brazil and because it is perfect for this sunny day, click play and enjoy the sunshine with Pharrell and Snoop in Brazil.

Until next time, enjoy the sunshine and have a great weekend.

E

Weapons of choice – guerilla gardening

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Hello Geeks,

I have been meaning to post this video for over two weeks when a good friend of mine put me on it. You may have guessed I am a big fan of TED videos so I make no apologies for posting up yet another amazing story.

Ron Finley had a major problem with the fast food culture in his community and would drive for 45mins out of town to purchase fresh fruit and vegetables to help him maintain a healthy diet and life-style. This video is about how one inspirational man and his vision provided some alternative to fast food in a community where “the drive-thrus are killing more people than the drive-bys.”

He plants vegetable gardens in abandoned lots, traffic medians, along the curbs in South Central LA. Why? For fun, for defiance, for beauty and to offer some hope for future generations. Press play and witness how one man’s great vision/seed grew and became a pillar of education, empowerment and hope for his community.

One of my favourite quotes from his talk is “you will be surprised how much of a difference a sunflower makes, they are beautiful just to look at”

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So on that note I want to leave you with one of my all time favourite songs. Special shout out to my London people fighting the April snow.

Eyman

p.s We are trying to grow our own avocado plant at home.  The roots have started to shoot but we are not sure if it’s time to pot it or not? anyone got any tips they can send my way? or even better some photos.

Fasting makes you younger

Hello Geeks,

As it is Ramadan again, I thought it would be a good idea to re-post this blog post to help keep us fasting people motivated lol. It is the third day in and this year I can honestly say I am struggling. Summer Ramadan’s are not the one, the day is so long and come 9.20pm I am not the most pleasant person to be around but at least I know I will look younger. Please re-blog, re-tweet and like the post.

Ramadan Kareem everyone, Love, Light and blessings to all.

Eyman

Hey All,

Hope you have all been well. Some of you may know that it is the holy month of Ramadan in the Islamic calender. This special month means that from sunrise to sunset, people of the Muslim faith abstain from eating and drinking (yes, not even water!!!). Ramadan is my favorite month, but I have to admit, this year it has been tough as the days are super long and I am definitely feeling it.

A friend of mine sent me this link to the third horizon episode called Eat, Fast and Live Longer presented by Michael Mosley.  I wanted to write a post on the scientific health benefits of fasting towards the beginning of the month but it is so much and can get very complicated. This episode is the perfect introduction into the world of health metabolics and you can see Mr Mosley take him-self through all the different types of fasts and the huge mental and physical health benefits he personally gained from actually doing the fasts. Clink on this link and watch it on bbc iplayer before it’s gone.

In-case you do not have the time to watch the whole episode. I am going to do my best to summarise the power of fasting here.

Mosley goes through different phases of food restrictions before delving into fasting. Calorie restriction, eating well but not much, is one of the few things that has been shown to extend life expectancy, at least in animals. We’ve known since the 1930s that mice put on a low-calorie, nutrient-rich diet live far longer. This is also true in monkeys, the mammal of choice for testing a theory before human trials.

The world record for extending life expectancy in a mammal is held by a new type of mouse which can expect to live an extra 40%, equivalent to a human living to 120 or even longer. 120 years of life, i’m not sure I want to live to 120 but some of you may 🙂

Why I hear you ask does this mouse have such a healthy and long life? the answer is it has been genetically engineered so its body produces very low levels of a growth hormone called IGF-1, high levels of which seem to lead to accelerated ageing and age-related diseases, while low levels are protective. Tah Dah!

A similar, but natural, genetic mutation has been found in humans with Laron syndrome, a rare condition that affects fewer than 350 people worldwide. The very low levels of IGF-1 their bodies produce means they are short, but this also seems to protect them against heart disease, strokes, cancer and diabetes, all age-related diseases.

The IGF-1 hormone (insulin-like growth factor) is one of the drivers which keep our bodies in go-go mode, with cells driven to reproduce. This is fine when you are growing, but not so good later in life, it makes us get old :-/.

How does all this relate to fasting? I’m getting there, evidence suggests that IGF-1 levels can be lowered by what you eat. The reason seems to be that when our bodies no longer have access to food they switch from “growth mode” to “repair mode”. As levels of the IGF-1 hormone drop, a number of repair genes appear to get switched on according to ongoing research by Professor Valter Longo of the University of Southern California.

Mosley had a go fasting for 3 days and saw his levels of IGF-1 drop by over half, dramatically reducing his chances of age associated diseases and diabetes, to 1 in a billion! His face on hearing this information is priceless. Finding three continuous days of fasting difficult he researches fasting diets further and goes for the Alternate Day fasting (ADF). This diet involving eating what you want one day, then a very restricted diet (fewer than 600 calories) the next, and most surprisingly, it does not seem to matter that much what you eat on non-fast days says Dr Krista Varady of the University of Illinois at Chicago who carried a range of clinical trials.

Mosley decided, he couldn’t manage ADF, it was just too impractical. Fair enough, he was being honest with himself. Instead he did an easier version, the so-called 5:2 diet. As the name implies you eat normally 5 days a week, then two days a week you eat 500 calories if you are a woman, or 600 calories, if you are a man. It worked for him but it is important to note that there are no firm rules because so far there have been few proper human trials.

The final conclusion, fasting can be good for you both physically, mentally and spiritually. Why not try it? If you want to read some of the hard-core science click on this link.

Hope you enjoyed the read, now I’m going to enjoy my fasting experience just that little bit more knowing that it’s giving my aging processes a run for it’s money. I’m working on being forever young again like Ghost. Click on the video below for Napolean Dynamites reinterpretation of Forever Young.

Until next time, happy fasting.

Eyman