Marissa Newman's blog

Extra Credit: Thinking Atoms

The discussion between physicists James Gimzewski and Franz J. Giessibl centered around how we think about and ‘see’ atoms. To begin, I thought Franz’s anecdote about how he got into the field to be amusing. He was given the options of researching 1. Metro gravity waves, 2. Reading a DNA sequence with a scanning tunneling microscope, and 3. Improve atomic force microscopy to get atomic resolution, which he chose since it was the easiest to him.

8. The Weird and the Eerie

While visiting the DMA MFA exhibition, I was inexplicably drawn to Henrik Söderström's exhibit.  The arrhythmic sounds that were playing, the shakiness of the first-person-POV video, the haphazardness of the objects on the ground, and the same torn-out book page reappearing filled me with an odd feeling that I could only place once I read the title on the page: "Approaching the Eerie". The page begins, "What is the eerie, exactly?

7. Space, Meteorites & Star Dust

I greatly enjoyed our visit to the Planetarium and found it very relaxing and enlightening. It was really peaceful to be able to look up at the stars in a way that we don't very often get to, and the Star Dust meditation was pretty unique. I was intrigued by the meteorites and found some really amazing meteorite art, such as the below "Extraterrestrial gems in a large partial slide of Esquel pallasite" (with a price of $37,500!). 

5. Midterm Proposal

For my midterm proposal, "Chimeras: Myth Reimagined in Mice", I propose an exhibit that shows depictions of chimeras in art across different cultures and time periods culminating in a live exhibit of mouse-rat and rate-mouse chimeras. The aim of my proposal is to engage viewers in thinking about the historical and mythological origins of a new scientific research topic, as depicted in various forms of art.

3. Plastic, Pollution & Possibilities

Growing up near the beach, I have been very aware of the effects of plastic pollution for a while, however learning about the history of how plastic was conceived of and just how widespread its use is today was pretty eye-opening. It's pretty crazy to think about how humans have created a material that can be adapted to fit pretty much any need we could ever have, but because it is so versatile and easy we have created a whole other issue in terms of its lasting environmental effects.

2. SCOBY, Bread, and Mycelium

Fermented foods have been interesting to me for a while, an interest that was sparked by an entertaining cooking series on Youtube called "It's Alive". I had never thought of food as being "alive" before watching these videos, but the way the host enthusiastically talks about the fermentation process, almost personifying the food, inspired me to think of cooking as both a science and art for the first time. Fermentation is basically just a little science experiment that can turn a raw food into something completely different!

1. Intro & Pencil/Graphene

Hi! My name is Marissa and I am a senior Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics major. I'm from Manhattan Beach, CA, and love to go to the beach, surf, hike, and just be outside in general. This is especially fun when I bring along my golden retriever puppy, Peaches, who loves to swim, play fetch, and meet new people and dogs.

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