Dionne Lutz

Research Technician, Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art
Brooklyn, NY, United States

About Dionne

Bio

The life one lives is nothing more than the sum of one's choices. Thus far, I've been fortunate enough to succeed in two separate careers, finding a way to combine two passions as an occupation and still have time to pursue my dreams.

Languages

English, French

Areas of Expertise

Molecular and Cell Biology, Biochemistry, Genetics, Baking, Knitting, cell culture

I'm passionate about

cooking, baking, knitting, crochet. I dislike waking up early to exercise, but I love the sense of accomplishment when done. My favorite part of teaching is seeing the spark in my students' eyes.

Talk to me about

science (particularly gene expression, epigenetics or synthetic biology), music, body art, cookies or beer, but not limited to these topics

People don't know I'm good at

building tiny models out of paper and playing musical instruments. I love woodwinds and am desperate to become proficient at string instruments.

Comments & conversations

144556
Dionne Lutz
Posted over 3 years ago
Why don't we have more "Kitchen" scientists?
Hello Mary, If only I had parents like you when I was teaching! I agree - it is not only the role of the educator, but the parents and community to instill the most in every child. It's a shame what happens to children when there is a piece of the support triangle missing. Regarding the experiment - I never tried it with a lime. There is a pH difference between lemons and limes (the pH scale being logarithmic, it's more like a factor of 10). Additionally, the metal alloys in coins are somewhat variable depending on the year they were minted. Perhaps using zinc and copper plates or household hardware would be better electrodes. Here's a link that may provide additional supplementary information. http://hilaroad.com/camp/projects/lemon/lemon_battery.html Good luck! (and keep me posted - I'll see what if I can't scrounge up some more labs)
144556
Dionne Lutz
Posted over 3 years ago
Why don't we have more "Kitchen" scientists?
Hi Mary! I agree that many people are either 'afraid' or 'bored' with science - as a former science teacher, engaging my students was my biggest hurdle in the classroom. When I was in elementary school, we learned mostly through the textbook or the teacher lecturing to us; hands on engaging learning was a luxury. In college, we were instructed to teach by inquiry in project-based education. However, as teachers in the classroom, there were so many standards to reach and other smaller intangibles that made inquiry based learning difficult to master. I believe the best way to combat this fear is to engage kids when they are young - by instilling the 'Why' bug early. Then they are more likely to ask questions and discover answers when they are older. A wonderful simple 'kitchen' experiment to open conversation with young children about electricity requires a lemon, a clean dime and a clean penny. Roll the lemon on the counter to release some of the juice. Make 2 small incisions in the rind about 1/2 inch apart. Insert the coins in each incision. Touch the two coins to your tongue (why these coins should be clean) and describe your observations.
144556
Dionne Lutz
Posted over 3 years ago
Our bodies are amazing nano/micro electrical factories!
Hey Zach, I'm excited to say we have only just scratched the surface of cell biology! Scientists have known for decades that electricity stimulates cells to divide (making IVF possible), but now we are exploring the effects of different amounts of currents or voltages have on the cells themselves. The hard part is studying the cells as tissues and their interactions with one another - there really is only so much one could do in the lab.
144556
Dionne Lutz
Posted over 3 years ago
How immune should science be from the political environment of its time?
Wonderful projects are funded by government - DARPA (Defense Advance Research Projects Agency) used taxpayer money to develop the predecessor to the internet. There have been regulations and limitations established by the NIH when applying for grants that help to exclude special interests. Unfortunately, the public access policy that the NIH currently employs (requiring work to be free and available to the general public) is under fire by large corporations under the Research Works Acts. This piece of legislature would slow the progress made by the vast majority of researchers, perhaps even biasing their results. So, while some government involvement is important, too much is also detrimental.