How a tiny creature makes us ask better questions…

Posted on April 28, 2016 by Liesl Ulrich-Verderber

As medicine continues to evolve, we are constantly striving to ask better questions. Sometimes the best answers to those questions are found in the strangest animals…

The jerboa looks like the odd, furry, miniature cousin of the t-rex. But this peculiar little animal is helping to answer questions about the scaffolding all of our bodies are built on.

cooper lab jerboa

Dr. Kim Cooper, in her UC San Diego lab, is studying jerboas to understand how theses strange creature grow and mature. Their unique body structures allow us to look closely at how bone growth occurs and lead us to potential treatments in humans.

SciFri takes us to the Cooper Lab to explore the strange morphology of the jerboa and the fascinating questions they are answering…

Via: SciFri 1

Beyond the jerboa…

Innovation lies in asking the better question, the question that very often seems to lie right outside the realm of possibility.

Our understanding of the world around us lies not in segregating our bodies of knowledge, but in opening them up to connection. The more we take elements from different fields of study and put them together, the broader our knowledge base becomes.

A successful future lies in realizing that each of us has the potential to be the bridge between fields. Our own expertise in one field does not have to overshadow our passion for another. Rather, we become better scientists, artists, poets, politicians, philosophers, when we are able to look at an interconnected world and ask the questions nobody has thought to ask.

Image: Jerboa, a tiny desert rodent with a long tail and long back legs like a T. Rex
A long-eared jerboa in China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. Photograph by Liu Jian, Xinhua Press/Corbis


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Liesl can be found on Instagram @Liesl.UV