A retired immortal needs your help

... sit down, kick back and relax, and talk about anything that doesn't belong on one of the other forums.
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Joined: Fri Nov 11, 2016 2:58 pm

A retired immortal needs your help

Postby bedryn » Fri Dec 29, 2017 3:53 pm

Hey wotmud community! It's been a while, but I just wanted to reach out with an update on RL stuff I've been doing.

I'm a scientist, I graduated a few years ago with a PhD in molecular biology from UC San Diego. The past few years I've been trying to find an academic job in algae research, but none of the grants keep getting funded. I'm about fed up with relying on the federal government to fund science, so I started a non-profit organization called pubfund.science to try to crowdfund the research I'm doing. As part of the campaign, I'm reaching out to basically everyone I know and every community I've been a part of, because I need this to go viral if I've got any chance of success, which means I need as many likes, shares, and reposts as possible.

So, if you believe in the importance of public funding of science research, I need your help. In order of importance:
• If you can, please DONATE. Any amount helps, and all donations are tax-deductible to our 501(c)(3) organization!
• Like our Facebook page, and share some of our posts!
• Watch and share our Youtube video (which features me heavily).
• Sign up for our Newsletterif you want to receive email updates on the campaign and how it's going
• Follow us on Twitter, if you use it.
• You can check out our website at pubfund.science if you want to check out the background of the non-profit in more depth. Please let me know if you've got any questions! I'm always looking to expand our FAQ section.

Help me make science stronger by incentivizing more scientists to reach out and talk about the importance of their research. Support publicly funded science today!

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Re: A retired immortal needs your help

Postby alima » Fri Dec 29, 2017 3:57 pm

Cool, I'll do what I can :)

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Re: A retired immortal needs your help

Postby Ashlee » Fri Dec 29, 2017 5:18 pm

I don’t use social media really at all, but I’ll donate!

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Joined: Sun May 01, 2016 6:56 pm
Location: Ko'bal Keep

Re: A retired immortal needs your help

Postby Shimu » Fri Dec 29, 2017 9:01 pm

Come out of retirement and I'll see what I can do.

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Re: A retired immortal needs your help

Postby kalabra » Sun Dec 31, 2017 11:44 am

yes out of retirement and we donate :P

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Re: A retired immortal needs your help

Postby Meshi » Sat Jan 06, 2018 11:47 am

What exactly do you think your research will show?

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Joined: Fri Nov 11, 2016 2:58 pm

Re: A retired immortal needs your help

Postby bedryn » Tue Jan 09, 2018 3:22 pm

Well, there's two projects I'm working on:

1) Martian Algae
Our main goal is to identify genes in a photosythetic microorganism (read: single-cell plants, basically) that make it easier or harder to survive different conditions. We've got a really powerful tool called a sequencing library, where we can check every gene in the organism, and see if it helps (i.e. more offspring from cells) or hurts (fewer offspring) compared to living on Earth. This was developed for an entirely unrelated purpose, circadian biology, but it's useful any time you want to check two conditions against each other. I just want to put it together with this cool piece of NASA technology that's sitting idle because no recent grants have been funded to use it, the Mars Simulation Chamber. The nice thing about this library tool is that we're basically guaranteed to find something interesting. It should give us an overview of genes we might be able to modify or delete to help stuff grow on Mars.

2) Citizen Science Bioprospecting
One of the things I'm working on in lab already is a way to do genetic experiments in cyanobacteria. Some cyanobacteria strains can create harmful toxins like microcystin. Some strains make compounds with natural anti-cancer or anti-oxidant properties. Not all cyanobacteria are easy to work with in lab. For instance, it's hard to do experiments on microcystis, the dominant former of Harmful Algae Blooms (HABs) because we can't easily do genetics in it. I created a genetic tool to make it easier to pick out useful strains from basically any source. I've tested it around San DIego, and have found a number of new strains to work with. The first step is pretty simple, simple enough that 8th graders can do it. I'm hoping to expand this project a little wider, hopefully across the US, to see what kinds of useful cyanos grow in different places. With new strains to do genetic experiments, we might discover new strains that have microcystin genes in a way that would let us study it. We currently have no idea how or why these cells make harmful toxins, and better strains will help us investigate that.

Even if we don't find a microcystin-producing strain, it will end up being a unique and interesting experience for students to participate in a nationwide science experiment.

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Re: A retired immortal needs your help

Postby damena » Tue Jan 09, 2018 3:30 pm

Are you part of the Citizen Science Association?

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Re: A retired immortal needs your help

Postby Elysia » Tue Jan 09, 2018 4:32 pm

I saw an episode called Cascade in that Netflix series the Expanse that reminded me of what you described in your video. It was like a mini ecosystem of various plants that helped scrub the air of a station on one of Jupiter's moons. :)

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Re: A retired immortal needs your help

Postby Mhaliah » Fri Feb 09, 2018 11:40 am

It saying the link isnt secure. Are you using https?

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