Episode 60: Jackson Reyna on Chemistry, Fire, and the Chemistry of Fire

Image: Burning methane hydrate (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

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Transcript

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Charles 0:22
Hello and welcome to assign scientist at bachelors. I’m Charles and I’m an entomologist.

Tessa 0:26
And I’m Tessa and I’m an astrobiologist.

Charles 0:29
And today is our guest we have Jackson Reina Jackson is a third year graduate student and YouTuber he studies inorganic and organometallic chemistry designing different first pro transition metal catalysts for CH animation. When he finds time away from school, he spends time playing video games, walking his dog playing flag football or training for the Disney World dopey challenge. Jackson, welcome to the show.

Jackson 0:51
Thank you all for having me. I’m really excited to talk to you all it is, is

Charles 0:55
it immediate point of clarification, I think the most confusing thing for people in your bio is probably the Disney World dopey Chow, is that a marathon?

Jackson 1:04
It is multiple races and four consecutive days. So my first

Charles 1:08
question is, why would you do that to yourself? Well,

Jackson 1:13
I have some friends who are like, hey, you know, like, we do these races. And I’m like, you know, let me try. Like, I usually just do five K’s. So I was like, Well, I guess I’ll try a 10k was like almost a year ago now. So I tried it. And when I finished I felt so proud like the running bug just kind of hit. So I’ve been training ever since because they’ve been talking about these dopey challenges and all the metals that you get, you get to like six metals total. And they’re really cool. And I love Disney. So I’m just like, Okay, I’m hooked. So I started training for this back, like in May. And what it is, is you run the first days of 5k, then the next day is a 10k. The third day is a half marathon. And the last day is a full marathon. So you run something like 49 miles. And for executive days, it’s crazy. But I really want the medals. So yeah, I’ve been training for that. And I just actually ran my first half marathon race. And I’m pretty proud of myself that actually one finished it. A lot of time.

Charles 2:06
I just, I mean, I’m very happy for you. But at the same time, just the idea of running purposefully horrifies me.

Jackson 2:18
Running has always been my outlet, but I’ve never had never ever tried to go past like three three was always like, Oh my God, that’s so many miles. But at this point now it’s like three years like what I run just like on a 30 minute run?

Charles 2:29
Oh my god. Okay, well, well, congratulations on that accomplishment. And now we’re going to talk about a totally different genre of accomplishments in your life. So when we get guests on, we like to begin with asking them sort of how did you get interested in science?

Jackson 2:45
I mean, to be honest, I’ve always been really interested in science, like, so much to say as like even I was when I was a kid, because I recently found this like, take a school picture and then like, write what you want to be when you grow up. And like each one was like something different. But in science, like the first one I wrote, like, within first grade was like, Doctor, the other one was like surgeon, I mean, they they were all always medically related. But I don’t know science has always been like a strong point. For me. It was my favorite subject in middle school. In high school, I had some amazing science teachers that were like for me, and I did also have some influence from like, Grey’s Anatomy, pushing me more into the science direction. So then

Charles 3:18
how did you because it does not sound like you are into organic chemistry. How did you go from there to what you’re working on now?

Jackson 3:27
It was a long journey. So undergrad start like with maybe like 90% of the science community is like pre med right? Then we slowly dwindle off and for me, dwindled off in my second year of university, I had this amazing general chemistry teacher. And you know, I was still pre med. But you know, gen chem was part of the curriculum, on your way to becoming a doctor or whatever. So like, I had this amazing professor and she was just like, run around stage and blow things up. And that like, immediately caught my attention for chemistry. It was like, this is really cool, because they showed me the coolest things you could do with chemistry, I was hooked. So I was just like, okay, like, I really liked this. So I started volunteering for that professors outreach program. And like, I kind of stayed with it and like, like, throughout, really, throughout undergrad, I graduated with that program, taking over that program. So but when it came time to studying for the MCAT, I was like, I cannot see myself not doing chemistry, like for the rest of my life. Like I think it made me genuinely really sad and like kind of devastated that, like chemistry wouldn’t be a major part of my day anymore. So I was like, Okay, I gotta make the switch. So it was a little late in my career, my undergrad career, but I was able to catch up with all the coursework and graduate on time, but that is really where like, I made the switch to chemistry and working with metals and stuff was during undergrad research. So a little like, I was trying so hard to just get into a lab a professor that would take me because like usually they like to start with like sophomores. I was really like halfway through my junior year when I was like, oh no grad school is where I want to go like this is what I need to do. And this one person presser graciously, like took me in. And she worked with inorganic chemistry and I fell in love with it. Because inorganic, for me, it was always like really cool to learn about because inorganic chemistry you learn, like, you can only have like four bonds, or you know, there’s a lot of rules and structure in it. And in inorganic chemistry, it’s a lot of breaking those rules. And like, you could have like five or six bonds on a metal like, I think it’s just like, so cool, because you break the rules all the time, and I loved it.

Tessa 5:25
Yeah, you’re a rebel.

Charles 5:26
And yes, I, what I’m mostly getting from what you’ve told us so far, is that you are a person possessed of both Dr. And organization, in a level that I find. baffling, but also inspiring.

Jackson 5:52
Oh, thank you. I love that you say that? I’m organized because I’m most definitely not. My ADHD does not let me but I try my best. And that’s all that counts. Yeah.

Charles 6:07
What was I gonna say? Oh, well, so the the other first thing that I wanted to ask you, which by now is not the first thing, technically, but you know, it’s in your Twitter bio. You say I’m trans because nobody likes steric hindrance. And I don’t understand that joke, and I want you to explain it to me.

Jackson 6:31
Okay, so in chemistry, like you learned this in organic one. It’s basically when there’s so much bulkiness in a molecule that like it kind of strains the bonds. Like it’s just an uncomfortable way for a molecule to be basically and there’s different things that can cause that such as like protecting groups on a molecule. steric hindrance is bad for stability. And it makes molecules really like unhappy and sometimes more reactive, which is kind of what you want, but you always want something stable. So steric hindrance makes the molecule feel uncomfortable, basically, like, long story short,

Tessa 7:08
sounds crowded. Yeah,

Jackson 7:11
yeah. Yeah, overcrowded, basically.

Charles 7:15
I, it’s, well, now I do know what steric hindrances, but I will say I don’t, I’m still not getting the step.

Jackson 7:23
Sorry. Sorry. Yes, yes, yes. So we’re trans comes in is sis versus trans in a molecule. So in a sense molecules when you have the most steric hindrance. So typically, molecules do not like this conformation. So they’ll switch to the transposition where it’ll have more room to like, just basically yeah, just give itself more room. So like, those molecules aren’t like interfering with themselves or like kind of their electron clouds aren’t like making the bonds strain or move in a different difficult way.

Charles 7:54
This is very much me with the joke of like, let me Google something real quick. Yeah, this is funny. Yeah, this is funny.

Jackson 8:02
Yeah, I have a video on it. That was like one of my first videos that I posted and system versus trans. And I put, I think, said science makes says that trans is better.

Charles 8:12
Listen, you heard it here, first. What I’m gonna do, just go through the biography that you sent me. Okay. And we’re gonna clarify until we know exactly what we’re dealing with. So inorganic chemistry is just it’s not organic chemistry, right. Organic chemistry is typically things that deal with carbon. I’m not a chemist, and then inorganic is like everything outside of that. Am I correct?

Jackson 8:44
I mean, we still deal with carbon in inorganic but in in organics, I have all these ins and out in. Okay, so in organic chemistry, it’s mostly just carbon, hydrogen and nitrogen and oxygen, you almost 1,000% always deal with just those four. So worrying, yeah, unbelievable. And then in inorganic chemistry, you know, we take those structures, I like to group inorganic and organic metallics in the same thing, because like they overlap, so I want to say like at least 80% overlap. Inorganic is like more the umbrella anyways, you take like these carbon, hydrogen and oxygen, like complexes, and then you you’re able to bind metals to them. So that’s where like the inorganic comes in the metals is where it’s at,

Charles 9:26
in organic metallic, are you is it actually relevant to biological organisms? Or is it just kind of a trick of chemistry nomenclature, where organic chemistry typically deals with these molecules and then organic metallic is you’re dealing with the same molecules but also metals. Does that make sense? I love

Jackson 9:48
this question because Organa metallics like we literally cannot breathe without organometallic so I’m going to tell you why hemoglobin carbons are all around this iron. And you know, we can’t we literally Embry Riddle hemoglobin x. That’s what transfers our oxygen, right? So the oxygen binds to the iron. Everything that happens in this chemistry is what’s binding to the iron. So that is definitely an organometallic compound. And I know like if you’ve heard about carbon monoxide poisoning, so what happens is the carbon monoxide is replaced all the oxygens on this iron. And that’s why we can’t survive if that if we get carbon monoxide poisoning. And not

Tessa 10:23
only that, I seem to recall that carbon monoxide bombs tighter than oxygen does. So it’s really hard to get rid of it. Once it’s there. It is

Jackson 10:32
like if it’s like in so much in excess, like, if you’re at a point, like we’re not even fresh air, but like just a few minutes in fresh air should reverse it almost completely.

Tessa 10:41
This is all like raw leftover from like the organic chemistry class I took like 10 years ago.

Jackson 10:46
Yeah. But yeah, like hemoglobin is a perfect example of organic metallic chemistry in your body. Wow, CO is a pretty strong ligand. So that’s what they’re called. Anything that binds to metal is called a ligand. But oxygen can very easily come back and replace it.

Charles 11:01
Okay, so we’re gonna go into Alex, specifically first row transition metal catalysts for CH animation. So first row, does that refer to in the periodic table? The literally the first row of metals?

Jackson 11:17
Yes. So if you look at the periodic table, its first role it starts with where iron like cobalt nickel that top like little line in that dip of the periodic table. Like if you can picture what it’s like, it starts with pscad neum of vanadium, chromium, that very top like line, that’s what I deal with, because anything after that becomes really expensive to work with. And it’s less abundant on Earth. So that’s hence the price increase. So like, even though catalysts like palladium and rhodium are like way better at like achieving any type of chemistry you want to do. First rows are cheaper and like less toxic and

Charles 11:53
your wisdom as a taxonomist. I appreciate a budget. Okay, so first row transition metal catalyst is transition metal referring, what does transition metal mean?

Jackson 12:04
So it’s describing the block in the periodic table. So like, alkali metals, earth metals, metalloids. So that is called the D block and the periodic table, but it’s basically like group three through 12. I don’t know if you’re like looking at a periodic table. I don’t know if you have one right now. But schoolwear of like, where that dip is, right? Before you get to aluminum, boron, carbon, like right before that, and right after beryllium. So like, that little dip, those are all transition metals.

Charles 12:35
Yeah. Why are they called transition metals? Like, do they transition between something?

Jackson 12:42
Like why best answer that I could get for that one, though, is I want to say it has to do with like, their ability to bond in such a different way than like traditional like elements, you can predict the way you like boron, carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, argon, and bond with orange and certain metal elements. There’s like an extra step to that.

Charles 12:57
Okay, and then metal catalysts for CH animation. Yes.

Jackson 13:02
Okay. So like I said before, like palladium and rhodium, are able to do this. So what ch emanation is, is that you’re able to break a carbon hydrogen bond and create a new carbon nitrogen bond, I can take like a double bond and break apart one of the hydrogens and input a nitrogen Long story short, making a new carbon nitrogen bond.

Charles 13:21
So all of that together, what does your research focus on in more specific detail

Jackson 13:29
in more specific detail, I have to figure out if my molecule that I’m making can even do this, that is the main goal making a new carbon nitrogen bond, but like I have had zero luck with it so far. So I’ve been trying to make a catalyst that will like make this reaction go faster. But I’ve been running into a lot of sterics problems to make that makes my molecule less reactive. Basically, it’s too stable. So these bonds aren’t able to form because the hydrogen is not even able to be removed first. So it’s been a big struggle with that. I’ve been surrounded by synthesizing all these molecules, but they don’t do anything. So like, have all these new, like crystal structures and data about them, but I’m just really sad that they don’t do anything.

Tessa 14:14
So what would be I guess, for lack of a better term? And I’m sure you hate this question. But the applications for that are creating this new molecule. If it’s catalysts can you know we produce a whole bunch of other different types of molecules using it potentially, if it works?

Jackson 14:28
Yeah. So potentially, like the applications are, I like to say unless but not really, like the major application, we would say is pharmaceuticals because I want to say like something like 78% of pharmaceuticals contain carbon nitrogen bonds. Believe it or not, this has like a lot of applications, about 70% of the pharmaceutical industry has carbons that are bonded to nitrogens. And there’s, of course, like your industrial processes that do this, but mine would be more like very specific. So that’s like where the advantage of my molecules are, is that they’re very specific types of carbon nitrogen bonds. This is also useful like an aggregate Culture in biology and all types of things.

Charles 15:03
Is there a reason most pharmaceuticals use that specific kind of bond.

Jackson 15:08
This is where like the organic chemistry comes in. Some medicines do use organometallic compounds like most medicines that you can get like, for regular diseases like something as simple as a set of manufacturer ibuprofen, that’s just mostly carbon, nitrogen and oxygen, that’s where your organic chemistry is. So that’s why like, it’s really important to get those carbon nitrogen bonds. And sometimes it’s really hard to achieve. And either that or like, the organic reactions in place to like, make these bonds create so many side products that it gets a little bit difficult to isolate your what you really want.

Charles 15:40
It’s i I’ll tell you what organic chemistry was literally my worst subject ever. Oh, me

Jackson 15:49
too. Don’t worry. Yeah.

Charles 15:51
So what does the what does it kind of a day in the life look like? Like, what are you actually doing in the lab?

Jackson 15:59
I always, like feel so weird about this. Because to me, I just feel like I’m mixing things together and seeing what happens. Like, honestly, that’s what it feels like. Because that’s literally what I do, like, go into the lab, right, and there’s this big glove box, put my arms in here and knock things over. Because these gloves are so thick and huge. And when it comes down to it, what I’m really doing is mixing things together and seeing what happens taking in more of it and just see like if a reaction was done, at least that’s what I feel like. And like people in my group, we always talk about this, like, we’re just like, are we just mixing things together. But I mean, like, there’s more that goes through it. But that’s what it feels like when you apply it in the lab. But of course, there’s all this math that goes behind what to make, how much to mix, researching if this is even a safe thing to do. And just I think it’s more researching if this is safe to do or not, is mostly like what goes into it, because then like they actually like doing the reaction. It’s so error sensitive. So like I said before, we have this glove box, right? It’s 100% Nitrogen, there’s like maybe like three ppm of oxygen, and there’s basically nothing and it just there’s just not a lot of technical things you can do in the glove box besides mix things together, because it’s so air sensitive. But if we were to do things outside of the glovebox, we’d have a huge error free setup type of thing and like try and make it as little to no error as possible. Like that’s where it would get more difficult. But it really does feel sometimes like we’re just mixing things together.

Charles 17:18
What is the reason that there is almost completely nitrogen in it? Because of how oxygen would react with something? Yeah,

Jackson 17:26
exactly that so oxygen would 1,000% Just kill everything that we’re doing, like immediately, like nothing would be possible to do. But not only that, but pretty much everything that’s inside of that glove box is in there for a reason. So the reason being is that it will explode. If it’s in contact with oxygen, I want to say at least 90% of the reagents that are inside the glove box are meant to be there. So that way they don’t react and cause an explosion or some type of fire.

Charles 17:54
I mean, that’s a great reason for containment. I love it when places I’m in don’t catch on fire. Yeah,

Tessa 18:01
I mean, it does give like an extra bit of daring and excitement to your work of Oh, yeah, you know, sure, you may work at like a accounting firm, but I work with stuff that could potentially explode any minute.

Jackson 18:13
Unless tell you that as a low key pyromaniac like it is so hard to not just be like, hey, what if I just took a little bit out of the box just to see what happens? I would never do that. I would never do that

Charles 18:24
if I don’t do it. Yeah. Well, that then begs the question for me, if sort of the ultimate applications of the work that you’re doing are towards pharmaceuticals, right? But the work that you’re doing has to be so tightly controlled in the glove box and I imagine I’m I actually don’t know how familiar people will be with the idea. But it’s basically it’s a large, it’s kind of like a hooded setup, right? But instead of there just being a hood, there’s I assume like an acrylic, some kind of clear plate. And you literally stick your arms inside a large rubber gloves. And it’s, it’s like when you see baby birds at rescue facilities, and people can’t directly interact with the baby birds because of imprinting. So they have to stick their hand inside of a glove into the box with the bird. But I imagine your gloves are not made to look like an adult bird. Probably

Jackson 19:25
no of these. I imagined like what you’re talking about. The gloves are at least a little thinner. But these are really thick rubber gloves. They’re just impossible to use. It took me like almost a year to get used to them. I still knock things down. But the very first year that I was there, I would knock everything in my way down like well if you don’t want something marked down, like get it out of there before I go in because I’m gonna knock it down. I broke so many things inside of that glove box. It’s ridiculous. There’s still little pieces of glass in the corner that I need to clean up.

Charles 19:52
I’m not gonna tell on you. But okay, so if the things that you’re working with are so highly react They’ve just kind of like normal conditions that they need to be isolated in the glovebox? How does that translate to assuming that you had a great success? And it was going to be used in a pharmaceutical setting? How did things actually get manufactured in that setting? So that they aren’t lighting fires all over the place? That is

Jackson 20:20
a great question that we usually get asked in like our qualifying exams? Well, and you’re welcome, my honest answer would be, it would be extremely difficult to use this in an industrial setting. My personal like goal for this is for it to be used more like in a hospital setting where it is a little bit more controlled, and like specified for that institutions. One of my dreams was to work at MD Anderson Cancer Hospital in Houston. And there they make the drugs, that would be like my personal goal for like, something that I’m doing is a hospital can use this when they’re tailoring medications. For patients. This is such a very small subset of chemistry that it would have to be in a really small setting, not in an industrial setting, although an industrial process would get me like a Nobel Prize or something. But I don’t see this going that way.

Charles 21:06
I don’t want to tell you to curb your dreams, because that would be cool. But just statistically, I think Nobel, Nobel Prizes are probably a little bit more difficult to get than practical application in a hospital setting. And depending on your attitude towards the Nobel Prizes, potentially, you could twist it around in your mind to be like, I don’t want one of those. I don’t want their recognition.

Jackson 21:33
No, I mean, I really like I’ve made my peace with it. I’m never going to be that person because I just I can’t continue to I don’t want not that I can’t is that I don’t want to continue doing like this type of research forever.

Charles 21:43
Well, that’s a that’s a great jumping off point for what do you want to do? I’ve

Jackson 21:49
actually been really have been really gravitating towards government jobs, specifically with NASA and the Space Force. I know, like kind of Google with the Space Force. But that’s really where I’ve been, like gravitating to. I know. It’s like a huge, very, like 183 60 Whatever, from medicine, but I’ve been really gravitating towards that.

Tessa 22:07
Okay, someone else who also is we know work for NASA, what specifically would you like to work on for them? I mean, I know they’re doing a lot of stuff with catalysis for either industrial processes or for like generating rocket fuel out of Mars’s atmosphere, etc. Is there something in particular that you had in mind that you’d

Jackson 22:24
like? Very one specific job and NASA for listening? Please hire me there’s this one specific job that because I’ve been looking at USA Jobs forever, but when I first started graduate school that I was like, this is the job that is for me, because I’m a pyromaniac. And I need this job. It was basically an explosions investigator. So like, anytime something explodes or like happens, I have to figure out why and where the fuel for the fire came from, basically. So that would be my dream job. And it’s like a safety officer position like you’ve figured out what why this exploded and like how to control this fire if it explodes again, and how to prevent it.

Charles 23:00
As a child, I couldn’t use matches. Because I was so freaked out by the proximity of fire, so I really I just feel in the most flattering way possible. I feel like I’m talking to an alien because I’ve always just been so afraid of fire. So I really I want to dig into this What is it about fire? That really it just I’m trying to make a pawn with fire but I can’t get past lights you on fire, but

Jackson 23:33
I’ve let myself on fire. Well, okay, in a safe way in a safe and controlled. I feel

Charles 23:40
like with lighting yourself on fire. There’s never a safe there’s just safer. I

Jackson 23:47
mean, yeah, that’s a that’s a pretty fair way of putting it we’ll see I can I mean, I can step we can go on and on how I have a pyromaniac I mean, as a child like I loved fireworks even like almost blew up my grandma’s house one time. On accident, it was an accident.

Charles 24:02
I went to x and x an accident

Jackson 24:06
it the firework tube tipped over and it just happened to be in the direction of my grandma’s house.

Charles 24:11
Sure. My next question is why do you hate your grandma?

Jackson 24:14
I don’t hate my grandma. I

Charles 24:15
swear it was an accident. Okay, well, we’ll play this in court someday.

Jackson 24:23
Okay, so what is it? The art is it the fire is mesmerizing? Is it a like a flipping the bird to the gods. Maybe it’s just a little bit of everything like all of the above that comes to mind because if you’ve ever gotten the chance to hold a fire, it is one of just the coolest feelings in the world. So we do this. We used to do this experiment with methane bubbles. So you just get like a tub of dish soap and water and bubble methane gas through it. And then here’s where the safety comes in. You dip your whole arm. You soak your arm for at least two minutes in water. Water has a really high speed 72 Actually, because of protective coating, and you just pick up some bubbles, and you light them, and it’s just warm, and you’re just like, nobody can do this safely. Nobody knows how to do this. Nobody has the materials to do this. And like, here I am holding fire like, I don’t know, it’s just that for me, it was like the coolest thing. And then of course breathing fire is also a plus. But I think I mentioned it before. In our each program that I eventually took over. That’s where really like my love for fire thrived and went beyond fireworks that you can buy at home.

Charles 25:32
Amazing, well, okay, so you’re basically your dream job is to be fire inspector, to control and to corral and to understand the fire. Yes. Can you chemically explain what is happening when something lights on fire.

Jackson 25:52
So for fire, you need a source of fuel and oxygen. Basically all you need no oxygen, no fire. So you have this source of fuel, you add some energy to it, be it heat a spark, you know, whatever. And then boom, you have your fire as long as there’s oxygen. And then as your products, usually if sources of fuel are carbon based, so like, the more carbons you have, the better. So like something that methanol that has one carbon won’t be as reactive as something like propane, Allah has three carbons. So source of fuel, carbon based oxygen, fire converts to water and carbon dioxide. So those are your two products after you make a fire, which is why cars emit carbon dioxide because you have your source of fuel, which is your gasoline goes through the engine, there’s a combustion that happens in there when the car starts, and then you emit carbon dioxide.

Charles 26:37
So what causes why are there flames?

Tessa 26:42
What are flames? I think is what Charles is asking,

Charles 26:45
yeah, what are flames? What’s happening, the way that you’re describing it, it feels very like, Okay, you have source of fuel, you have oxygen, than they have a chemical reaction that produces water, and carbon dioxide and heat. But what we’re all entranced by when it comes to fires is not just the you know, the conversion into other molecular products, but the object that is fire. Does that make any sense? Yeah, I

Jackson 27:16
get what you’re asking. And the best way I can think of it is that that is the reaction happening before your eyes, these things are just getting so hot that you are seeing it in real time, this carbon dioxide coming out of this water vapor coming out. This carbon is being energized to a point of combustion like it’s just, it’s just a flame. It’s the result of the reaction. It’s because it’s not, I get what you’re asking. It’s not a precipitate. It’s not a guess. It just it’s just firing. Yeah,

Charles 27:44
seems like this might be a point where we’ve kind of gotten to irreducible knowledge of the universe of like, we don’t necessarily know exactly why the reaction produces this effect. But we know that this is the effect that comes from that reaction. Does that make any sense?

Jackson 28:06
Yeah, I mean, like, even like a quick Google search, it’s just like the flame. Exactly, like almost exactly what I said. A flame consists of vaporize water, carbon dioxide, water, nitrogen, oxygen, hot enough that it is white, there’s something poetic about that. There is I really liked that. I’m gonna get that tattooed somewhere.

Charles 28:24
To get off, make me a fan of fire, though. Because my thing is, I like my house the way that it is, you know, I mean, yeah. And I also like my human body and skin the way that they are. And I’m always whenever I’m close to fire, I’m worried that there’s going to be a change in state that I’m not thrilled about. So it sounds like your your dream job at NASA is not proactively research focus so much as being kind of a safety slash detective position. Do you want to continue doing novel research long term

Jackson 29:00
for the foreseeable future? No, because I’ve done this for so long. I’m just I just I kind of want to get away from it from the academia of it. I think the academia side of it is really killed it for me. And that,

Charles 29:11
well, that’s an unrelatable experience. While you’re talking about the

Jackson 29:17
academia, part of research has really killed it for me. And I would, I would like to use my knowledge and other applications other than research, I would like to see what else I’m capable of than just being confined to a lab all day. I see it more as an opportunity for me to grow and learn in my experiences, then, like giving up on what I’ve been doing.

Charles 29:40
Well, here’s something and we can edit this out and you can refuse to answer you are in Texas. Yes. You are trans. Yes. Yikes. Yes. Do you have any other or does Yikes. Pretty much sum it up?

Jackson 29:56
Yikes. sums it up? I mean, it would be like it would be nice to move from where hopefully soon where I don’t fear that my rights are gonna be taken away or that my wife’s rights are going to be taken away. Be nice to move to a blue state for a while,

Charles 30:07
although you do want to work for NASA. I do want to work for NASA, which famously is in Texas. Yes, unfortunately. And also famously Florida. Worth.

Tessa 30:21
It depends. Like Ames, the other some of the other NASA centers are in California and in Maryland, but I don’t know if they’re the ones where like, you’d be looking after explosion. They’re not doing

Jackson 30:31
that that explosion. Job was in Houston and the bigger NASA center. There were some Space Force openings in DC. So I might look into that.

Charles 30:44
The problem with DC is that it’s, it’s so human, It’s so humid.

Jackson 30:48
Yeah, it was pretty human.

Tessa 30:50
Although it is better than he was better than this Texas heat. I’ll

Jackson 30:53
tell you that. Well, also,

Charles 30:55
DC has a lot of great free museums. So that’s, you know, that’s some consolation, at least.

Jackson 31:01
Oh, I fell in love with the Smithsonian, we went and unfortunately, like half of it was under construction. But we did get to see my favorite part, which is the space part, I’ve never seen it. And I really wanted to go just for the space part. And I loved it. I loved every part of it.

Charles 31:19
The final part of our episodes, we’d like to ask our guests to answer one of a set of hypothetical questions, which I sent to you last night, do you have one that you would like to answer?

Jackson 31:30
I like the role in the experimental treatments one

Charles 31:34
in full, would you volunteer to be part of experimental treatments, slash surgeries, which we have imagined previously as specific to the context of experimental, like expanding trans medical services. But you can interpret this as broadly as you would like,

Jackson 31:52
I would probably volunteer after a set number of people have already volunteered. Okay, after I’ve seen a few outcomes, at least 10 At least 10 outcomes, that would be okay. Which is funny, because, you know, some people have like a higher probably like number that they would need to see. But I think I don’t know, I think that would be something interesting, because because I did hear some things about potential, like transplants and stuff, but I think that’s for yet to come to the trans area.

Charles 32:20
Well, speaking of transplants, I think the original context in which this question came to us was when we were talking about it was in March, we did a couple of we did two episodes on like, bottom surgeries. And there were specifically we were talking about one article that I read on his on just uterus stuff, right of the possibility of transplanting uteruses into trans women. And it was brought up that, you know, they had surveyed, somebody had surveyed trans men on like, would they be willing to participate in that? Get a hysterectomy and put it in somebody else? And most of them the strong majority were like, yeah, absolutely. Yeah. And I think I asked us if she would be willing to participate in an experimental round of uterine transplants. And I believe your answer was yes. Because you’re, yeah, yeah. Living on the edge.

Jackson 33:19
That sounds. So where do we sign up? I’ll give you mine right now.

Tessa 33:23
Yeah. Well, as soon as we get the exchange going, I’ll let you know.

Charles 33:27
Because I was thinking about this recently, because I’ve been looking into more surgical options. And I’m going to be very coy because I don’t you know, it’s nobody’s business. Except Tesla has been very explicit about her experience with bottom surgery on the podcast.

Jackson 33:44
Really? Yeah.

Tessa 33:46
Oh, yeah. We did a whole episode on it. Yeah. If you

Charles 33:48
would like, if you would like to learn about Tesla’s genitals in particular, we have a great episode in March that is mostly about, you know, just like vaginal plastic and the history thereof. But we do have somebody on the pod who has experienced that procedure. Yep. Great job, Tessa.

Jackson 34:06
Congratulations, though. That is huge. Oh, thank

Tessa 34:08
you. Yeah.

Charles 34:09
So I’ve been I’ve been reading more about surgical. So and the thing is, it’s sort of the topic of transplanting gonads doesn’t come up a lot, I think because we’ve all kind of assumed that it is not a meaningful possibility. And this did actually, in the episode that we did, essentially on Dix. There have been successful penis transplants, a donor, a deceased donor, penis transplant on the assessment not transmitted, but they specifically removed the testicles because of the ethical considerations of like being able to produce somebody else’s. Like you. I say, you could essentially use your new testicles to Create children that are with. Exactly, yeah. For my part what I would love the most in terms of future directions for like trans treatment as I would love a method of essentially hacking gonads to be able to act otherwise, because Oh, I see, you know, because I, I don’t want to have to keep buying testosterone from other people. Yes. Oh,

Tessa 35:31
yeah, no, no that honestly, like more than a uterus transplant. If we could have like synthetic gonads, that would be great,

Jackson 35:40
amazing. Because, yeah, the amount of times I have forgotten, like my day, which I forgot, two days ago, I was supposed to do my shot, actually, the amount of times I have forgotten to do this. And like the amount of times I like sit there after doing this for almost 100 200 times now like, it’s still getting like the first initial fear of injection like it just it’s a lot.

Charles 36:02
I have, I’ve always been on testosterone jell o because I have not like the most severe needle phobia, but I have a pretty bad reaction to needles. And so for me, it’s like, it’s two concerns. One is I kind of do this again, come on, and then it’s also gel is so much more expensive. So if I could just kind of get something going get it Bruin inside my own body, at the very end after rely on sort of exogenous testosterone that would be that would hit me just right. Which does actually bring another question of I think I would be more willing to participate in experimental procedure if it were sunk for something that I was personally really invested in, does that figure into sort of the the mental calculus that you’ve done on on this hypothetical, because I think Tessa is a freak. And she would be, she would be willing to participate in something partially, and Tessa, correct me if I’m misrepresenting your words, but you would potentially be willing to participate in something just for like, the novelty of human experimentation? Oh, yeah. Hell yeah. Whereas I am much more cautious as already evidenced by my fear of matches and needles, but I like if we were at a point of we have testicular implants that also can produce testosterone somehow I would be like, I’m more willing to try that then some other thing that I don’t personally care about that much. How Jackson How do you feel on this area?

Jackson 37:47
I think like the same as you like, where like if it was you can get your own testosterone from this at the very least, I’d be like 1,000% Yes. Which is why like have like that 10 person threshold if like 10 people have done it like maybe it’ll work for me

Charles 38:04
Jackson, you’ve been a great gas. Fantastic to finally talk to you after many attempts at scheduling have fallen through.

Jackson 38:11
I know it has been so great talking to you. I really enjoyed talking to you guys today.

Charles 38:16
It’s just been fantastic. Well, if people would like to see more from you online, where should they look?

Jackson 38:21
Instagram is the best way to contact me really? Because that’s what I use the most or like if you just want to see what I’m up to at Canvas Jax is my Instagram

Charles 38:29
fantastic. I used to say where to find me on Twitter, but I’m not going to do that anymore. So if you want to find the show, it is on Twitter at ASAP pod or at our website where we post show notes and transcripts for every episode ACB podcast.com and tests if the people want to find you for the

Tessa 38:47
time being I can be still be found on twitter at Space roommate sphc our MSc or alternatively if you want to like not wait into the brewing Hellstorm that is Twitter. You can also go to my website Tessa fisher.com

Charles 39:02
Fantastic. And we have an interest forum on our website. If you are trans or non binary in science and you would like to be a guest on the podcast. You can also contact us at ASAP pod@gmail.com And oh our music is from Nicole pekovic friend of the show and previous guest and if you liked the show, please tell other people about it because word of mouth is really the number one way that podcasts and many things grow.

Tessa 39:29
And until next time, keep on science-ing.

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