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Chemical Morphogenesis and Animal Patterning

Alan Turing’s contribution of chemical morphogenesis, the creation of form and shape during animal development, led him to propose a reaction-diffusion model as the basis of the development of patterns such as the spots and stripes seen in animal skin. By understanding the cellular mechanisms of morphogenesis, we are able to use the proposed model to examine the patterning of animals. For example, why do zebras always have black and white stripes? Here is the link to Turing’s introduction paper to morphogensis: http://www.turingarchive.org/browse.php/B/22

Turing’s mathematical model of chemical morphogenesis helps us understand why tigers and zebras have stripes. Turing’s …

Biotechnology and Punk Extra Credit

Professor Lejla Kucukalic presented a lecture on Biotech to Biopunk on Science Fiction’s vision of genetics. Throughout her lecture, Kucukalic referenced many books and films to exemplify what she was talking about. One in particular that caught my attention and interste was Splice because I am a horror movies fan. I have been intrigued by science fiction horrors, such as the following movie. This film is about two genetic engineers who hope to achieve fame by successfully splicing together the DNA of different animals to create new hybrid animals for medical use. I also watch species, which is very similar …

Stigma of Aging

Society has put a negative perspective on aging, which is a natural process for our body. To counter our body’s natural tendency to age, we have utilized biotechnology to produce products that will hopefully help us make us look younger. As the artist of the Aging symposium has demonstrated, it’s become popular for older people to color their grey or white hair to disguise their real age. Wigs have also become a popular accessory people use to cover their aging hair.

Here’s a picture of the againg symposium displaying wigs:

These demonstrations illustrate how “anti-aging” our society is.

Here is …

Transhumanism

My boyfriend has always told me that one day robots will take over since humans are so dependent on technology. The concept of transhumanism really reminded me of the idea of cloning. As I was researching, I discovered that there’s a difference between artificial cloning, what we often think of when we hear “cloning”, and natural cloning. According to National Human Genome Research Institute, “in nature, some plants and single-celled organisms, such as bacteria, produce genetically identical offspring through a process called asexual reproduction. In asexual reproduction, a new individual is generated from a copy of a single cell from …

The Influence of Biotechnology

I found Noa’s artwork to be unique and intriguing. She magnifies micro objects in hopes of raising awareness of the audience. For example, the dust bunny and the pollen. From her presentation, I was able to see her interest in art evolve and become part of her life. As Professor Vesna has said, from what Noa has learned for her artwork, she has also modified her diet. Thus, her artwork is also becoming a lifestyle, a way of life. This concept is empowering and I find it inspiring. I look forward to her many more future artworks and am interested …

My Relationship to Animals

First and foremost, I love animals. I grew up having had birds, chicken, turtles, hamsters, fish, etc. I currently have two dogs and plan on becoming a veterinarian. Even with my early childhood exposure to animals, I still didn’t know I wanted to become a veterinarian until last year. Within this year, I have learned a lot and grew a lot. I grew from an animal lover to a knowledgeable animal activist. I learned about the problem we are having with dog and cat overpopulation. Millions are currently euthanized a year due to lack of homes. Additionally, animal cruelty that …

The Food We’ve been Eating isn’t What it Seems.

I have been trying to be meticulous of what I eat by eating more vegetables and choosing brown rice. However, after watching “Nova: Harvest of Fear”, I realized that I haven’t been as careful as I thought! It really is scary because many, as depicted in the video, don’t even realize that they have been eating genetically modified food. I, for one, definitely have been clueless. I knew about Monsanto and the despicable actions they do to the farmers to increase their profit. From the GMO food shown in the video, I know that I have been eating GMO food …

Spenser Davis Two Cultures Blog

 My name is Spenser Davis and I’m a 4th year biochemistry major. I’ve always regarded myself as creative. However, I developed a certain attraction to science and investigative thinking in 5th grade and somewhat departed from the creative side. I never really considered a career in art and thus didn’t see a need to pursue it. I’m taking this class because I wish to explore how science can be applied in an unrelated field.

            Stephen Wilson (2000) mentions that artists might have the creative capacity to do research but, because of their lack of technical training, not the proper …

My Life in Relation to the Two Cultures

My name is Jen and I am a Psychology major. In particular, I think my background of Psychology really made the lectures by Professor Vesna quite intriguing. I was able to connect what she talked about to what I have learned through my college years. However, fortunately, Psychology is right in between South and North Campus with the inverted fountain. I have previously taken art courses to fulfill my general education along with hard sciences. Thus, I can say that I’ve been acquainted with both fields. I do feel the separation of the two cultures and I practice stereotypes myself. …