Friday, May 2, 2014

Scientists Passionately Think Possible

We recently held a "Think Possible" Application Contest, where we asked entrants to submit a short essay describing the application they thought was possible using the imaging and multi-mode plate reading capability of our Cytation™ 3 Cell Imaging Multi-Mode Reader. We received entries from all over the world, each hoping to win a free Cytation 3. As we reviewed and discussed the submitted essays, we realized that these researchers were united by another common goal - an enthusiastic quest to understand and improve the world.

Many of the researchers were waging war on diseases like Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, heart disease and cancer; attacking from different angles while looking for ways to understand, treat, and prevent. In fact, our contest winner, Dr. Jeffrey Peterson from Fox Chase Cancer Center in Pennsylvania, studies chemical biology and kinase signaling in breast cancer in order to “identify weaknesses in cancers’ armor”. There were also novel studies, involving toxic algae blooms, tarantula spider venom, in situ monitoring of microplastic intake by zooplankton, and self-sustaining waste to energy processes.

It’s clear that the research applications aren't simply 9-to-5 jobs for many of the entrants. Rather, they may be personal motivations. Here are some excerpts:
  • “Transformation starts with a single idea. An idea that is unique and begins to shape the change that we wish to see in the world…Change doesn’t happen overnight, but new ideas, enabled by novel technology such as the Cytation™ 3, allow for the change that people desperately need. So let’s start transforming the world.”
  • “I like to dream we'll be able to find evidence to help us defeat heart disease. I think it is possible to give future generations a world with fewer problems to think about and more time to enjoy life.”
  • “The moment of inspiration; eyes widen, pupils dilate, and understanding comes to light. In that moment, the scientist of the next generation has emerged…An instrument like the Cytation 3 would revolutionize our ability to upscale sample screens, inspire students with the marvels of modern biotechnology, and create the next generation of well trained and impassioned scientists.”
Scientists are a unique lot. No matter where we are…perhaps at home, in the lab, or simply stepping outside to enjoy the fresh, spring air…we ask the questions “how?”, “why?” and “what if?”. Dr. Peterson’s essay echoes this sentiment, asking, “What if there were no limits to the assays we could do?” He then answers his own question, noting, “When both approaches are feasible simultaneously, the debate between phenotypic and targeted screening approaches dissolves to reveal a new world of possibilities.”

Like Dr. Peterson, researchers innately NEED to UNDERSTAND, and when facing the seemingly impossible, we THINK POSSIBLE. It’s ingrained in our DNA, and perhaps one day, someone will unlock the THINK POSSIBLE biomarker.

We think that it is indeed possible.

By: BioTek Instruments

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