about

Leah CannonThere was once a little girl who wanted to be a writer but the world told her that writing wasn’t a real job. She also liked animals so she decided to become a vet.

She loved learning the science behind how animals’ bodies work and how medicine can fix them when they are sick. Then she graduated and she learned that being a vet isn’t really about playing with animals, it’s about dealing with people. People who are stressed because their animals are sick. That made the little girl stressed too. So stressed that she couldn’t sleep at night. So she decided to become a scientist.

She did a PhD in molecular biology and found out that turning off a disease-causing mutation isn’t enough to stop a disease from progressing. Then she moved to sunny San Diego to study the gene changes that happen in the heart as we age. She loved research but she found out that only 0.5-16% of PhD grads will ever become Professors. She stopped sleeping again. She looked at her friends in the lab – all talented scientists – and thought, ‘Will I be one of the 0.5%? Should I be one of the 0.5%? That would mean I take away that chance from everyone around me.’ So she decided to go back to what she really loved: writing.

She wrote for startups, for student organisations and for big life science companies. She learnt about business plans, market analysis, product-market fit and pitch decks. She interviewed entrepreneurs, business mentors and investors and wrote a book of ‘Tips for Biotech Startups’ – coming soon.

She wrote some fiction and shared the science behind that fiction.

This is my story. If you would like me to help you find your story and share it with the world, contact me at leahcanscience@gmail.com, on LinkedIn, twitter or Wattpad.

 

8 thoughts on “about

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  1. Your blog sounds very interesting. I am going to read it and pass it on to my friends. Very cool topic.

  2. Leah: It would be great to get your take on Augmented Reality (AR). Most people I ask have never heard of it, but experts expect great things of this new technology in the near future. Here is a popular article that can wade one into AR:

    http://www.dailydot.com/technology/augmented-virtual-reality-healthcare/

    You have probably heard that Microsoft is going into VR and AR in a big way with Windows 10 and the HoloLens. Moreover, Google just invested 1/2 billion dollars in Magic Leap. Here is there demo. I dare you tell me it not totally killer:

    Looking forward…

    1. Frank – I think it’s only a matter of time before AR becomes mainstream. The potential to use this technology as medical treatment is really exciting, so long as it doesn’t completely replace more traditional medical research. It would really be a shame if we stopped trying to understand and prevent ageing at the cellular level simply because we could plug into a reality where we didn’t perceive that we aged at all.

  3. It is a shame that your novel is about a dystopian future where there is no more death by aging. Surely anyone living in such a time would consider our world “horrid history”. Incidentally, you should read Arthur C Clarke’s novel The City and the Stars, which seems to follow similar plot lines, if you haven’t done so already.

    Clarke eschewed cryonic suspension, and instead welcomed annihilation. There are many people around at the moment who are so imbibed with past fantasies about self sacrifice that they think it is everyone’s duty to die. The most extreme examples (fortunately very few) fly planes into buildings, lace themselves with explosive and enter crowds, and more. But average otherwise kindly people still want everyone to die. This is totally irrational, but if rationality is the will of the majority, then the will to live is lunatic. We should all jump over the nearest cliff, and not be interested in the abolition of death by aging.

    Maybe I am a lunatic by thinking that the indefinite extension of life is the most important thing that anyone should strive for. But all those people who through that heavier than air machines could fly were once considered lunatics. However about 70 years after the first one flew, “lunatics” set foot on the moon.

    The world we live in was made by lunatics, or those who were once considered so. Sensible people adapted themselves to the world, not the other way round. However most of them that ever lived are now nothing.

    1. Yes, in my story everyone does view mortal times as horrid history. I haven’t read The City and the Stars yet as I am new to both reading and writing science fiction. I have it and will read it next.

      I think the most important thing is to increase health span – to find a way to keep people healthy until they die Brave New World-style. However, there are many researchers, myself included, who are working to find out what causes ageing and how we can prevent it. I think that it’s reasonable to think that ageing will be cured within the next century. And when that happens society will need to find ways to deal with that.

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