Day 71 of 100: Measurable data?

Today’s experiment: make a presentation


Screen Shot 2015-06-15 at 2.28.26 PM

This is probably not a legit “experiment,” but I knew this would happen at some point through this 100 Days Project.

What has happened is that I don’t actually have a measurable experiment for Day 71, because I’ve used the day to set up an experiment for Day 72. But the closest thing to “measurable” I have for today is making a presentation for this Wednesday.

As the NIDCR (a government agency that funds research related to craniofacial biology) is coming to visit our department on Wednesday, they want to know that the people receiving their munnies are actually doing something with it, so I’m giving a very brief (5 minute) presentation on what I’ve been doing for the last 2 years.

It’s actually surprisingly challenging to explain anything scientific in 5 minutes, and most talks run upwards of 45 min-1 hr to effectively explain a project. So this image is 1 of my 4 slides, where I attempt to explain the process of enamel formation in 60 seconds.

Basically, the cells that form your enamel go through 2 developmental stages: secretory and maturation stages. During the secretory stage, the ameloblast cells secrete proteins into the enamel space that serve as a scaffold for enamel crystals to start forming, and during the maturation stage the cells remove the protein scaffold to allow enamel crystals to rapidly grow and solidify. So naturally, maturation-stage cells will express very different genes as they chew up and take back those secreted proteins, make sure the pH of the enamel space doesn’t get too acidic from that rapid crystal formation, and pump out the components of the enamel crystals (calcium and phosphate) so that the crystals can grow quickly.

Was that 60 seconds? That’s the gist. Good job, teeth cells.


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