What happens when curiosity guides you?
A 2min update from Jess, the 16y/o on a journey to extend the human lifespan.
Hey, it’s Jessica! Each month, I send an update of my progress to people I look up to. Feel free reply with anything—thoughts, questions, food puns (you’ll see why)!
2021? Let’s get going :)
After a friend challenged me to complete my 10-year goals in one year, I laughed, shrugged and said why the heck not? We shared our (ambitious and probably crazy) 2021 goals with each other, and so we embarked on a journey of breaking past comfort zones and growing.
That was a quick snapshot of my goals! You can also see the full doc:
January’s Theme: Guided by Curiosity
You know that feeling when you’re so utterly entranced by a topic that you never want to stop? When you’ve fallen so deep into a rabbit hole you hardly breathe as you take in the scenery?
It’s an indescribably beautiful feeling, and I aimed to experience it as much as possible this month. I fully surrendered myself to curiosity’s guiding hand, discovering the most astounding problems and maybe solutions…
Finding a Cure for Alzheimer’s Disease
99.6% of clinical trials fail. Why? In a presentation, I discuss how we might be wrong about the mechanisms behind Alzheimer’s disease. In a research field this plagued by failure, it’s time to question whether our current approach is missing something. A recent study suggests it is, and senescence could be our answer.
When Genomics Meets the Palm Oil Industry
You’ve probably heard of palm oil and all its controversy. It’s a product that entire industries depend on, yet a massive driving factor behind growing health issues and deforestation in Southeast Asia.
How do we reconcile our dependency on palm oil with its devastating environmental and health impact? Well, my team tackled this very question for the Q-munity hackathon. Our solution: genetically modify bacteria to produce a better alternative.
Project: Impact Canada’s Food Waste Reduction Challenge
A low point in the month was finding out that annually, nearly 60% of food produced in Canada goes to waste. And of that, a third is edible. That’s 11.2 metric tonnes.
Wow, I thought to myself. This is the human race? We suck sometimes. That food could feed millions.
Of course, I’m complicit in food waste as well. For example, each time I reject a fruit because of a small bruise or blemish, I contribute to a tangled, snowballing web of food waste and loss (FWL). But of course, nobody thinks about where their rejected fruit ends up during their day-to-day shopping. It’s primarily a lack of consumer food literacy that drives FWL, so it seemed natural to target the root of the problem.
I worked with a brilliant team to create Fruitfully, our solution to household FWL. The heart and soul of Fruitfully is captured in a Notion doc below, which I highly encourage you to check out to understand the problem + solution deeper.
Results from the challenge will be announced early Spring 2021. If our team is selected as a semi-finalist, we’ll receive $100,000 to bring Fruitfully to life! Stay tuned for updates :)
Thank you for sticking around till the end—it means a lot to me! You can reach me through Twitter, LinkedIn or the ever-reliable email. Spontaneous conversations are my favourite activity. Drop me a line about anything!
Till next month,
“Spontaneous conversations are my favourite activity. Drop me a line about anything!”