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Whether building the most advanced rocket or the most common tissue cell, the issues of control determine success.

Not long ago, I was enjoying a talk hosted by Dr. Thomas Lynch Jr., president and director of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Institute. As he discussed recent achievements in cancer treatments, his virtual presentation included a background slide that caught my eye and that continues to inflame my imagination. It was a simple but fascinating picture - a highly magnified scanning electron microscope photo of a cell membrane.

Unlike most of the things that human bodies make, this mammalian cell, when seen close up, was anything but smooth. Here is a different but similar example, featuring a human immune cell at 16,000x magnification:

Immune Cell Communication

Credit: Thermo-Fisher

I have spent my entire life in the interstitial spaces between biology and technology. The first is the exquisite result of trial-and-error survivorship testing over breathtaking lengths of time; the second is the product of the human brain.

These approaches couldn't be more different, in almost every way, yet they are united by a drive to get things done.


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