Studio 360 - Science and Creativity
A Quantified Artist Turns Her Data Into Sculpture07/24/15
Take a look atLaurie Frick’s artwork, made up of colorful wooden blocks mounted to the gallery wall, and the first thing you think of is a childhood playroom strewn with building blocks. But Frick’s artwork is actually a complex response to the...
Bringing Female Heroes to the LEGO Universe
The LEGO brick as we know it was released in 1958. But it wasn’t until 20 years later that the company made its first minifigure, or “minifig.” It was a little modular man with a yellow face: just two dots for eyes and a black curve for a smile. But...
Synthetic Biology In Pop Culture
Synthetic biology sounds like a field inaccessible to the layperson, but Kurt Andersen has been seeing these ideas play out in pop culture for decades. Screenwriters are fond of two basic archetypes. First, there's the lone scientist––Dr. Frankenstein...
Actor Steven Kearney reads excerpts fromGreg Bear's 1985 novelBlood Music. Bear was one of the first sci-fi authors to delve deep into the possibilities of synthetic biology. In this section, a biologist named Michael Bernard is infected with a killer...
The Ethics of Synthetic Biology
We usually praise art for sparking a conversation and even making us uncomfortable — but does that mean anything bio-artists do is totally cool?
Few artists have embracedbio-hacking as much asOron CattsandIonat Zurr. They’re a husband and wife team who runSymboticA, a lab for biological art at the University of Western Australia. Their first big buzzed-about project in 2004 was a"victimless"...
A Crash Course in Designing Life
The innovations that are happening in synthetic biology will change life on Earth. But most of the decision-makers in the field are at large research institutions and corporations. In the past few years, there’s been a growing movement around the...
Understanding Creative Savants
We all know the Thomas Edison line: genius is 1% inspiration, 99% perspiration. But there are those who don't seem to perspire at all. Their extraordinary gifts seem to come from no where. We often call those people savants. And some neuroscientists...
Frances Arnoldis a biochemical engineer atCal Techworking on one part of the energy crisis. In a process called “directed evolution,” Arnold’s team is altering the genetic codes of bacteria to evolve a strain of organisms than can digest grass and...
The Day After
More than25 years ago, the largest audience ever for a TV movie tuned to ABC to watch a simulated nuclear holocaust. “The Day After” focused on a group of survivors in the heartland of Kansas. Studio 360's Derek John grew up nearby. He asks his 9th...
Mind Games: Designing With EEG
EEG — electroencephalography — is almost a century old, and it’s creeping out of the research lab and the neurologist’s office. Headsets embedded with electrodes to read electrical activity in the brain are commercially available, and designers are...
How Do You Draw Dark Matter?
"Dark matter" has been in the news again lately as scientists in Switzerland have begun mapping what they believe is its prevalence across the universe. But they're not the only ones focused on identifying and describing it. French artist Abdelkader...
Greg Stock: Redesigning Humans
Nearly a decade after the human genome was decoded, scientists are only now beginning to understand its implications. One of the leading thinkers in this field is the biotech entrepreneur Gregory Stock. A biophysicist by training, his 2002 book...
The Posthuman Future
To make art, a computer first needs to understand what art is. A group of computer scientists at Brigham Young University is attempting this by feeding their program images by the thousands and describing those images. Digital Artist Communicating...
Backup Singers Bring the Hits
What makes a hit? A catchy hook? A good beat? Even the experts can’t really explain what the recipe is. “You can check off all of those checkboxes,” says Keith Caulfield, an associate director at Billboard, “but it doesn’t necessarily mean that song...
What if Mondrian Were a Programmer?
The Neuroscience of Jazz
Charles Limb is a professor of otolaryngology at Johns Hopkins Medicine who has a sideline in brain research; he’s also on the faculty at the Peabody Conservatory of Music. He wants to know what happens in our brains when we play piano. Simple: stick...
Big Data and Culturomics
Big Data — and how we use it — is changing the way we understand our culture and history. Research scientists Erez Lieberman Aiden and Jean Baptiste Michel (Uncharted: Big Data as Lens on Human Culture) teamed up with Google to create the (highly...
Can Drugs Make Your Brain More Creative?
The association of art with altered states of consciousness goes back a long way. Archeological evidence of fermented beverages and some of the oldest musical instruments were found at thesame 9,000-year-old sitein China. (If the Lascaux painters had...
Hacking the Climate
The idea of geoengineering — tampering with the Earth’s climate to fit our needs — has been a favorite trope of science fiction since the 1920s. In the 1970s, Carl Sagan speculated that we could terraform Mars to make it into a second Earth. That...
- New York, NY
160 Varick St.
NY, NY 10013646-829-4000