alejandro sánchez alvarado
intro’d to Alejandro via his 2016 tedxkc: To solve old problems, study new species:
today..mapping already-discovered continents..some of us are much more interested in the unknown. .if don’t feel like idiot most of time..not sciencing hard enough
why is it that we are having so much trouble trying to solve problem of cancer..is it that we’re trying to solve problem of cancer and not trying to understand life
we are not the measure of all things..we are however..the measurers of many things..we relentlessly quantify/analyze/compare, and some of this is absolutely invaluable and indeed necessary..but..
..we are measuring an astonishingly narrow sliver of life & hoping those #s will save our lives
begs we zoom dance to see/grok better
begs we all become indigenous..
95% of oceans remain unexplored
..starfish regenerate arm after lost…arm itself regenerate complete starfish...flatworm…cut it into 18 diff frags..each frag will regen complete animal in under 2 wks
common characteristics ..they did not appear to have received memo that need to behave according to rules that we derived from handful of randomly selected animals that currently populate vast majority of biomedical labs across world. ..this little guy..three nobels in 12 yrs..yet after all attention/knowledge/funding..here we are ..same litany of intractable problems and many new challenges..because unfortunately these 7 animals .. 0.0009 % of species that inhabit planet
..our specialization is beginning to impede our progress at best.. and at worst..leading us astray..life on this planet/history is the history of rule breakers…one of those creatures decided..i‘m going to do things differently today..invent something called multicellularity.. i‘m sure it wasn’t a popular decision at time..but somehow..managed to do it..ie: nothing can live out of water…can’t break the law of gravity..no way you can fly..yet nature has invented multiple/independent ..ways
i love to study animals that break the rules..every time they break a rule..they invent something new that made it possible for us to be able to here today..if we’re going to study animals that break the rules..shouldn’t how we study them also break the rules
..we need to renew our spirit of exploration..rather than nature into labs..bring science into lab that is nature…science is not really about knowledge..is about ignorance
antoine de saint-exupéry: if you want to build a ship.. rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea …” ..paraphrase ..long for the endless immensity of the sea that is our ignorance
aren’t we the best chance that life has to know itself..what the heck are we waiting for
An ongoing collection of places, ideas and people I run into during the practice of science
Alejandro Sánchez Alvarado has established a powerful new model system to study the molecular mechanics of regeneration, using the freshwater flatworm Schmidtea mediterranea. Sánchez Alvarado’s lab has developed the molecular tools needed to reveal how regeneration works in this flatworm.
Despite the importance of regenerative processes to human biology and health, the molecular and cellular mechanisms driving the restoration of body parts lost to physiological turnover and/or injury remain largely unexplored.
The dearth of molecularly accessible animal model systems largely explains why we presently have such a rudimentary mechanistic understanding of regeneration. To develop a molecularly tractable organism in which to study regeneration, I selected planarians, a classic developmental system that, for historical rather than biological reasons, fell out of favor early in the 20th century. In the past 15 years, my laboratory has endeavored to develop molecular tools to dissect the remarkable biology of these animals.
Alejandro Sánchez Alvarado, Ph.D. is an investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. The Sánchez Laboratoryfocuses on understanding the regenerative capabilities of the planarian flatworm Schmidtea mediterranea. In 2015, Sánchez Alvarado was elected a fellow of the American Societey of Arts and Science for his work with the planaria.
self-organizing system (both often/alway one and the same – fractal ness – simply from different vantage points.. points in time ness).. both intensely focused on listening – to being ness..immersed/swimming in trust in order to freely follow whimsy/change/lines of flight.. (rather than lines of best fit)