Institute of Regenerative Cures

My class got to go on a field trip last week.

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All the joys of barely being able to see the tour guide when you’re at the back of the group.

I know! Field trips in a Master’s of Science program? How ridiculous!

It was awesome. We went to the Institute of Regenerative Cures in Sacramento.

I arrived early and waited out front with some classmates. Our tour guide arrived and we waited out front a little longer til everyone showed up.

While waiting the tour guide, who had designed the building we were about to go into, told us about his hobby, early television history!

After the primer on early television we entered the building and got a tour of one of the best facilities for practicing biology in existence right now.

The building itself was actually built a long time ago for the California state fair. It was the “women’s building.”

The brick exterior and columnaic entrance have stayed the same since the building was constructed to maintain the historical site. The interior has been heavily modified.

The building had no roof back in the day and was just an enclosure for a bunch of different events that you usually see at state fairs.

The building was sold to the University of California system. They slapped a roof on it, and used it to store records.

Our tour guide said that he was called in to turn it into a biology facility later on. Half the building is used for bio research while the other half is rented out to other companies.

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The entrance hallway with pictures of the cooler discoveries at the Institute.

The researchers in the Institute are working on a number of things. They researched a treatment for the “bubble boy disease” there. They’re working on using umbilical cords to create bone marrow for transplants, using Tal proteins to treat Huntington’s, creating HIV resistant cells, and helping people who can’t swallow to swallow are just a few of the things they work on there.

Where all the research is done!
Where all the research is done!

The tour guide also showed us the section that he was most proud of as he had designed it. A set of rooms for making the actual drugs and proteins to export to hospitals. Making the drugs requires extremely sterile technique to prevent giving someone who is already sick something that will make them worse. The rooms are designed to be extremely sterile.

To enter the rooms you pass through an airlock where you are required to cover every inch of your body in a disposable gown.

The airlock goes to a hallway with access to three separate clean rooms.

There is “negative pressure” in the rooms. That means that air is constantly entering the room from the top and going out the bottom. This is so that if any cells that are worked with in the rooms get into the air, they will be redirected to teh ground and sucked out through a grate in the wall instead of ending up in someone’s medicine.

The air is cleaned excessively to about 3000 times more clean than average air before entering the facility.

There is a lot of electrical equipment in the rooms that will require replacing eventually. To prevent electricians from having to gown up just to replace a lightbulb, all the eletricals are accessible from panels on the second story of the building.

It was pretty cool for a scientist like me to see the best possible place to do research in. The tour guide mentioned that he does tours of the interior of the super clean rooms for smaller groups. I might take him up on that at a later time!

-GoCorral

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Picnic Day 2014

Today I went to UC Davis’ one hundredth Picnic Day celebration. I’ll just be doing a few pictures or today’s post.

Picnic Day is basically a county fair that takes place on a college campus.

First there was a couple of speeches and then a parade!

There were about seven Deloreans in the Picnic Day Parade. This is just one of them going down the street.
There were about seven DeLoreans in the Picnic Day Parade. This is just one of them going down the street.
A Wells Fargo carriage pulled by a four horses. The lady in the purple hat was the best speaker for the opening of Picnic Day.
A Wells Fargo stagecoach pulled by four horses. The lady in the purple hat was the best speaker for the opening of Picnic Day.
A horde of old fashioned bicycles participated in the Picnic Day Parade.
A horde of old fashioned bicycles participated in the Picnic Day Parade.
A cowboy on a horse during the Picnic Day Parade.
A cowboy on a horse during the Picnic Day Parade.

After the Parade my wife and I went to see the Disc Dogs competition. The dogs have to catch a bunch of frisbees in one minute and bring them back to their master. The dogs get more points for more frisbees and if the frisbees are thrown further.

A dog running after a frisbee at Picnic Day. The frisbee is near the top of the frame.
A dog running after a frisbee at Picnic Day. The frisbee is near the top of the frame.
One of the dogs catching a frisbee in midair at Picnic Day.
One of the dogs catching a frisbee in midair at Picnic Day.

After lunch we went to see a cool local rock band, Crow Canyon! The three members, Riley, Nathan, and Drew, are in high school. You can check out their music at http://www.crowcanyonband.com/. They have free music samples!

My favorite local band, Crow Canyon, playing at Picnic Day.
My favorite local band, Crow Canyon, playing at Picnic Day.
One of the singers, Riley, in my favorite local band, Crow Canyon.
One of the singers, Riley, in my favorite local band, Crow Canyon.

We went to a small petting zoo set up by the stables. We got to pet some young cows, sheep, and goats.

Some young cows at the Picnic Day petting zoo.
Some young cows at the Picnic Day petting zoo.
A goat at the Picnic Day petting zoo.
A goat at the Picnic Day petting zoo.

And I also got some new pictures for the blog in general of horses and CORRALS.

That’s it for now!

-Mister Ed