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Crazy Might Work | Issue #9 | November 2022

“Nothing defies gravity.”

– Stephen Hawking 

Space Kills Cancer

If you ever wanted to make an unlikely neural connection it would have just to be cancer + microgravity. Meet Dr. Joshua Chou, Australia’s Researcher of the Year (2020) who recently discovered that cancer really does not like microgravity. In fact, under simulated microgravity conditions, the cancers that were tested died within 24 hours. Too early to say what the therapeutic potential of this is, but suffice it to say that it’s tantalising.

Even more intriguing is Joshua’s back story: the connection between cancer and microgravity was sparked by a random interaction with Stephen Hawking, who introduced the effects of gravity into Joshua’s oncology research. 

(To hear the full story, follow the CrazyPodcast link below).

If you listen closely to Josh’s narrative, you will hear the following pattern emerge:

    1. Preparation
      Josh spent years studying in the field of biomedical engineering and then specialising in mechanotransduction.
    2. Stimulation
      Interaction with another random discipline – in this case, theoretical physics and cosmology (in the form of Stephen Hawking) injects a seemingly-unrelated idea.
    3. Incubation
      Insights rarely strike when actively ‘working the problem’. For Joshua, the connection between microgravity and cancer was made when sitting quietly on a beach years later!
    4. Illumination
      The eureka moment strikes like a lightning bolt on a sunny day!
    5. Verification
      Now it’s off to the International Space Station to confirm whether the result is replicated in actual microgravity.

Ready to have your mind blown?

This process for breakthrough was articulated by Graham Wallas in 1926, long before we had neuroscience or any understanding of the mechanics of insight.

Out and About

Crazy Might Work facilitated an interactive session at AIPM’s NSW Annual Award Ceremony this month. The activity was extracted from the 4-D Program for high-performing teams (used by NASA) and generated a great deal of laughter, mostly as a result of the (virtual) deaths of those that were unsuccessful with the team-based challenge! Congratulations to the winning team who will get to participate in the Summer 4-D Program, commencing February 2023.

The latest CRAZYPodcast is with Dr. Joshua Chou, Senior Lecturer and group leader of the School of Biomedical Engineering at UTS. Josh is also the co-founder of the International Humans in Space Summit, which is chaired by Crazy Might Work. In this episode, Josh tells us about his research in mechanotransduction and the surprising connection between cancer and space flight. 

NASA 4-D Leadership & High-Performing Teams Online Program

Based on the updated and revised 4-D program used by NASA, it is critically different in that it equips teams with the social leadership skills required to create psychological safety and set the scene for high performance.

The public program consists of 8 weekly sessions, running from 12:00pm to 1:30pm (AEST) on consecutive Thursdays.

Join one of our online public programs or contact us to run the program in-house at [email protected]

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