Season 01, Episode 10

Exoskeletons Made Out of Washing Machines

About the Episode: 

James Cameron’s epic science fiction film Avatar was a breakthrough in 3D technology when it was released. In it, Jake Sully is a parapalegic former marine who takes control of an Avatar to explore a planet that is essentially a… brain. In this episode, Deeptha joins us to help us learn about spinal cords, what happens when they become damaged, how closely related we are to zebrafish, and whether or not you can (and should) make a tiger avatar. We also debate whether Heidi should continue creating an avatar in her basement or switch to making an exoskeleton out of washing machine parts.

To learn more:
Zebrafish regrows its spinal cord
Zebrafish could help repair spinal cords in humans
Zebrafish embryogenesis



About Deeptha Vasudevan:

I am a developmental neurobiologist in the Dorsky lab at the University of Utah. We use zebrafish as an animal model for our research because of their incredible regenerative powers. I am currently working on understanding how zebrafish regenerate neurons after spinal cord injury. In my free time, I enjoy reading, hiking and boxing (for fitness, not violence).