Passion for science creates a common bond at CrawFly 2015

Colin Olivier, one of our talented Applications Scientists and the Technical Sales representative for Northeastern USA, reports back from CrawFly - the renowned Neurophysiology Workshop for Educators run by Cornell University and ADInstruments as part of the Classroom of Excellence series. We'd like to thank everyone involved for helping to make it a great success, and special thanks to Mike Kaplan, PhD for the awesome photography! And if you haven't been yet, read on to see what CrawFly is like…

This year’s CrawFly Workshop was an amazing experience. Witnessing the passion for science and education that our customers demonstrate is something that cannot be easily summed up in a few words. The group was full of inspiring and passionate people originating from diverse backgrounds such as Russia, Nigeria, and Latin America - some of whom had faced incredible adversity during their pursuit of science but remained determined to provide opportunities for their students, to learn quality teaching lab material at CrawFly and bring it back home with the intention of making it available to all.

The nature of the collaboration between experts in crayfish, drosophila , optogenetics , electrophysiology , and other disciplines was incredibly open and cooperative. It was a fantastic forum to demonstrate the power of LabChart and PowerLab in the realm of neuroscience. We even had an opportunity to record and analyze a new phenomenon in a unique transgenic drosophila line during the ERG portion of the course. Using LabChart’s stimulator we were able to produce burst trains of light from an LED. One particular transgenic drosophila line showed sensory aliasing at a particular frequency band of stimulation. This was found by simply selecting the induced ERG response and passing it through an FFT in Spectrum view. For example, this fly’s retinal evoked response from a 60Hz stimulation seemed to switch from a 60Hz response to a 30Hz response during the stimulation window. Several of the drosophila researchers were amazed by this and mentioned the potential for this phenomenon to be the result of a yet unknown neural line. Although we won’t know if this result is truly novel for several months, it was a perfect demonstration of what can be achieved when passionate researchers and educators have easy-to-use and accessible tools.

Although the participants in CrawFly range in age, origin, and background, the common thread that brings them together is a fundamental driving force. It is a drive to advance our understanding of the natural world and present it to younger generations in a fun and inspiring way. These shared values can be found as operating axioms in n early all of our customers, and it is a privilege and a pleasure to be part of an organization that makes them a priority.

The next Neurophysiology Educator Workshop for the Classroom of Excellence is Crawdad, scheduled for January 2016 at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida - visit this page for more information, including scholarships to attend.


27 Sep 2015

By Alex Sides

Scientific Writer