Cailin Lechner's blog

Response to Research Ideas

          I enjoyed reading and hearing about everyone’s final research paper topics. From the assessing the validity of the anti-GMO movement to the analyzing cultural differences in the prevalence of plastic surgery, our comprehensive book of essays is sure to be an interesting read.

GMOs? | Source:

Research Topic: Art Against Climate Change Skepticism

          The Paris Agreement established at the 2015 Climate Change Conference signified the first globally unified effort to mitigate human-induced, or anthropogenic climate change (United Nations, 1). Over 190 countries, including major carbon emitters China and India, signed the agreement, pledging to prevent the global average temperature from increasing beyond two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

Biased Input, Biased Output

          Given the disproportionate targeting of Black men by police, the perpetuation of racial discrimination in the job and housing markets, and the pervasiveness of White-washing and cultural appropriation in the film and music industries, it is immensely ignorant to regard the notion of a post-racial American society as anything more than an idealistic fantasy. Institutional racism invades every sector of life in the U.S. – interpersonal relationships, politics, education, and even science, despite its reputation for being free from bias.

Cultured Meat: Raising the Steaks

                My Dad was in LA last week for work, so we grabbed dinner together on Tuesday night and, unsurprisingly given our mutual love of science fiction, multiple topics from this class dominated our conversation. After a somewhat heated debate about the morality of Edward’s Kac’s GFP Bunny, I explained my project proposal on using CRISPR-Cas9 to enable limb regeneration in humans.

The Pig: A Creature Misunderstood

When I was in the third grade, my teacher, Mrs. Ballard, taught my class a lesson about the Chinese Zodiac. I listened with fascination as she listed off exciting, courageous animals, like the dragon and the tiger, and adorable creatures, like the bunny and the horse. I remember feeling disgusted and disappointed upon learning that my birth year, 1995, corresponded with the year of the pig. I associated pigs with filth, gluttony, and laziness, and, though incredibly friendly in Charlotte’s Web, Wilbur certainly wasn’t the brightest animal on the farm.

One with Nature

My three childhood homes presented me with very different perspectives of nature. I primarily grew up in a southern San Diego suburb where rivers of sidewalks perfectly divided plots of identically designed Spanish-style homes, each with a single oak tree surrounded by neatly cut grass in the front lawn. My parents encouraged my younger sister and I to play outside, and as long as we were in the backyard, shoes were optional. I enjoyed running through the dewy grass and gardening with my mom. These interactions with plant life, however, were always situated in a manmade setting.

Genetic Information, Privacy, and Ethics

This week’s lecture videos raise a multitude of ethical questions regarding human life. What constitutes human life? What rights do humans possess in regards to privacy and bodily alteration? Do individual humans own their bodies or their genetic material? Are cybernetic enhancements considered a form of personal property, or an aspect of personhood?

Introduction & BioArt

Hello everyone! My name is Cailin and I am a fourth year Human Biology and Society, B.S. major with a concentration in Bioethics. I have wanted to take Honors 177: Biotechnology and Art since my sophomore year, but was previously unable to do so because of scheduling conflicts. I am thrilled to finally take this class during my last quarter as a UCLA undergraduate!

Subscribe to RSS - Cailin Lechner's blog