Pasteur’s Quadrant

The following information was sourced from FAST COMPANY, November 2011, Innovator in Chief about the work of DARPA, Defense Advanced Research Agency, director Dr. Regina Dugan, article written by Adam L. Penenberg.

“Donald E Stokes wrote a theory of innovation in the late 1990’s. Till then, most people thought of innovation as a linear process. You do basic science, then you do more advanced science; then you do the application work; then you commercialize it. What Stokes suggested is that it doesn’t happen that way at all. he preferred to think of it in a quadrant fashion, defining one row as very deep science and the other as light science; the two columns were a low-application drive and a high application drive. Pasteur’s Quadrant happens at the deep science, high-application-drive quadrant. That’s DARPA’s absolute power lane, it’s called Pasteur’s Quadrant because serious concerns about food safety drove his research.”

According to Dugan here in her words is a working methodology, ‘A very recent example of how it works for us is the blast-gauge work that we do. Here’s a big problem: TBI, traumatic brain injuries. So the way we approach it at DARPA, is to say, ‘Okay, let’s understand the basic science, the phenomenology. How is it that an encounter with a blast injures the brain? (Such as a soldier will experience if near enough to any explosion) What levels of blast injures the brain? What levels of blast cause what levels of injury? Is it the overpressure? Is it the acceleration? (The acceleration then deceleration of the brain inside the skull) What is it? A medical person from DARPA researched this and discovered it was the overpressure (the blast wave that moves through the brain). And the DARPA physicist says, ‘We know how to measure that.’ Together, they devise this little blast gauge that’s the size of a couple of stacks of quarters [the gauge helps doctors measure a soldier’s blast-exposure level, enabling better assesment of injuries]. They develop it in one year, going through four iterations of the electronics. That’s fast.”

So lets compare the DARPA methods with cerebrovortex for applying this kind of innovation toward concussions.  The deep science is shape based sensing of tensegrity assembled structures within the brain. The light science is brain rotation event that twists onto upper brain stem medulla vagal structures. Pasteur’s Quadrant for cerebrovortex are the serious concerns to measure concussions in the form of a novel diagnosis driving the research towards a treatment.

Dr Tamimi and myself have just recently, last week secured the very capable and eager collaboration with Kinesiology professor Dr Ross Andersen to work out the deep science and light science of concussions using bone metabolism as our window of observation. We would love to measure, for example, using a helmet accelerometer to quantify the exact direction of each impact to a McGill Redmen football players during practices and games. Dr Andersen will scan each player into a state of the art GE Bone Density full body scanner. In the event of a player receiving enough impacts to trigger a concussion a followup body scan will be performed. We expect to see bone thickness changes after a concussion, by subtracting the original pre-season scan from the post concussion scan.

We feel a very strong sense of urgency to innovate using cerebrovortex understanding of the deep and light science of concussion into developing first a diagnosis for concussions within one year.


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Montreal Grandmother, Agnes Kent was saved by Raul Wallenberg from certain death, when he provided papers for her and her Mom to escape away from the Nazis. Today when asked what that escape meant, she replied,"Remind people, that while statesmen and whole countries remained silent and did nothing, a single individual chose to act, with ramifications that proved enormous. Similar choices confront us today. Write that simple truth she said, it can never be repeated often enough because the world keeps forgetting it."
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