Mona Chatrizeh's blog

from healers to computers: following the evolution of physicians

Patient-doctor relationships seem to be under much tension recently. With constantly changing insurance plans, conflicting reports on Yelp, and patient-driven suggestions of how doctors should perform their practices has made patient satisfaction with medical care steadily decline. The American Consumer Satisfaction Index reports that the overall hospital satisfaction rate dropped 5% with inpatient satisfaction recording the largest decrease (Warren). This epidemic of overall less pleased patients begs the question of why physicians are failing to meet the needs of the patients.

From bioethics to human practices, or assembling contemporary equipment

In the essay “From bioethics to human practices, or assembling contemporary equipment”, Paul Rabinow and Gaymon Bennett discuss the new implications in bioethics the human genome project which attempted and was successful at completely mapping the human genome brought about. As an undergraduate scientist in STEM, I often hear the importance of collaborations and believe the Human Genome Project is the epitome of the marriage between bioethics, law, technology and engineering, and biology.  

Virtual reality - friend or foe?

Anna’s presentation on using virtual reality to augment the experience of working out was really inspiring. I did not know about how advanced VR was as far as the human-technology interphase and her presentation inspired me to do some research on the subject. As Ana mentioned, the military uses virtual reality to train soldiers in handling dangerous situations by allowing them to experience the danger without being in harms way. 

Brainstorming - the project that will light up your brain

As a molecular biologist, I only have a rudimentary understanding of neuroscience and had to do a fair amount of research on brain waves before being prepared to write this blog. The Brainstorming project by Dr. Vesna and collaborators was fascinating enough to sustain me on the endeavor of reading many neuroscience papers to obtain a grasp on the human nervous system. To my understanding, emotions and behaviors arise through neuronal interactions in the brain. Synchronized electrical pulses that result from neuronal interactions produce brainwaves.

Wood pigs

I am slightly embarrassed to confess that I check my astrology zodiac signs daily horoscope semi-religiously yet I did not know what my Chinese zodiac was before this class. Being heavily involved in molecular sciences, I would like to believe that things happen in the world because of action and reaction and not because the stars align in a particular conformation. Upon further analysis, I realized that the original intent and use of astrology was not meant to discover whether I was going to have a bad day but to predict seasonal shifts and celestial cycles.

Who owns us anyway?

I think the use and abuse of genetic engineering technology and its relation to art heavily influenced the topics of discussion this week. Throughout the lessons, the idea of an inevitable human-computer synergy and the book “Virtual Reality” by Josh Creel came to mind in which there will come a time in the not too distant future where there were be extremely independent artificial intelligence and will not require human input to operate. Creation of such machine will no doubt spark ethical discussions like all of the major technological advances have so far.

A new way of viewing science: Intro to bioart

I was unsure of what this course was going to be covering but after reviewing all of the material I am pleasantly surprised that I will be learning about the cross-bridging of two disciplines instead of using one as a mechanistic tool to explore the other. Thus far in my career, I have relatively strong foundational knowledge of science and biotechnology but limited understanding of art and bioart.

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