Wednesday, 19 October 2016


Wednesday's's a real thing....DNA origami. It is quite possibly the most exciting thing ever! where to start - you build a structure within a software program and then after bringing together the material (DNA, staples, salts etc) mixing, filtering and pipetting (lots of pipetting) - the material appears to 'slot into' or 'follow' the system you have set up because of the inherent functionality or quality of base pairs bonding - I think I might understand self assembly! there is a lot of measuring and cleaning involved and again you don't actually appear to look at the thing - you look at material which informs you of the location of thing. I love this idea of evidence of activity. Onto an idea....... first 'find out' the DNA sequence of a person and then create a structure through DNA folding that in some way represents or symbolises that person - it could be conceived as a form of portraiture.
and 2 lectures with 2 very different approaches to the delivery of information; the most relentlessly brutal informationally intense PowerPoint ever and a whiteboard of equations. 1 - the theory behind AFM -  due to a previous practical I was actually able to grasp what was occurring - surface morphology, issues around calibration, the problems associated with the tip bluntness, decisions around pixel density, the creation of clarity through both the choice of tools with which to examine specimens and image manipulation. 2 - bands and band engineering appeared to be about determining what something (metal, semiconductors and insulators) was dependant on its atomic makeup (there was a lot of maths - I think it was maths). That was about the level of my understanding  but the language used was quite beautiful and as ever when in the room it feels like an experience or world beyond the actual subject or space is being describing. It reminds me of a poetry reading, the language's meaning slips between the liminal boundaries of specific states, not quite metaphor but defiantly transitional .  

I am asked to conceive of something dimensionless
looking for an electron to achieve balance      but         low energy states are filled
balancing always balancing                            but         systems are governed by symmetry
making and filling gaps                                 but         looking for balance  
representing electrons in a solid                       but         suspending is restricted
there are always empty states above full ones   and         insulators restricting jumping      
the electron could be anywhere                       and        everywhere
the wave travelling moving                       and        unimpeded
we are converging on one answer

                                                                              is this possible?

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