In today's class, Tristan presented the flow and individual chapter abstracts for our Health group. Professor Vesna has the recording and I also emailed her the presentation, and she said she will share it with the rest of the class. I decided to put the link to the presentation on my blog here as well for easy access. Feel free to hae a look:
This week's blog contains the updates from our group (Health) and a draft of my final essay/chapter with the public domain images I intend to use.
We have decided to rename our group to something like "Strategies for Maintaining Physiological and Mental Health During COVID19." We are going to split it into two sections with the following people in each (in this order):
Harrison Cheng - Herd Immunity
This blog contains an updated and more fleshed out outline of my Final project, including some new research and topics such as resistance to masks. I have also included some photos that were not included in my previous blogs about my Final.
Today in class, Linda Weintraub had us draw a self-portrait with diagonal lines representing our pessimistic and optimistic sides. She explained how we can take into account scientific facts and reasoning to predict the future, but the future will still always be uncertain. We each bring in our subjective perspectives when we predict what is going to happen. We can be "optimysticist" or "pessimysticist" in our views.
This week, I had the opportunity to listen to a TEDx talk by Cathal Garvey on “Bringing biotechnology into the home” (Garvey “Bringing biotechnology into the home”). Cathal Garvey wants to bring biotechnology to the homes of individuals, outside of the traditional laboratory setting. He is the first licensed individual for genetic engineering in Ireland, and the creator of the blog Indie Biotech (Garvey "Indie Biotech").
In last week’s lecture, I had the pleasure of listening to Siddharth Ramakrishnan discuss perception, imagery, and how different cultures and language can affect the associations we make. Although all my blogs this quarter had different topics and were based on different prompts, I realized I was making similar associations. The COVID19 pandemic and resulting lockdown has caused many problems, and I have been interested in how different types of people like scientists and artists work together in isolation to combat these problems.
I really enjoyed watching Spaceship Earth, an incredible documentary about eight people living in a sealed environment called Biosphere 2 for two years (1991-1993) to demonstrate the viability of living in a closed, self-sustainable ecological system (see Fig. 1). The dome was named Biosphere 2 because Biosphere 1 was the Earth. To me, that was a very important connection. Everything they did within that system had a direct impact on nature and the system itself. They had to control their agriculture, breeding, and other activities to ensure the biosphere was sustainable.
In yesterday’s lecture, many students presented on their midterm proposal blogs, Alvaro discussed some of his work, and Professor Vesna discussed her project on dust. This blog does not serve as a comprehensive summary of everything that was discussed in class. Rather, this class discusses some thoughts I had during some of the presentations. Hopefully some of the material written below will be useful additional ideas for people with relevant blogs.
As the COVID19 pandemic continues across the world, people are trying to buy or create face masks to protect themselves. I went grocery shopping this week, and noticed many different types of face masks sported by almost everyone on the street. I was inspired to research masks amidst the COVID19 outbreak for my blog this week, and ultimately for my midterm and final.
Although I had heard of the Chinese zodiac, I only found out I was born in the year of the ox during our last class. Oxen are adult male cattle that are castrated for easier control. You may be more familiar with bullz, which are the non-castrated adult males, or cows, which are adult females. All these animals form the subfamily “Bovinae,” or bovine (Wikipedia contributors). We are more familiar with the role bovines play in farming and agriculture, but they are also very important in scientific research.
This week’s topic on bread and Eco-materialism relates perfectly to the situation at home during the COVID19 pandemic. As Pat Badani and Victoria Vesna mentioned (Vesna), bread has always been a staple for many cultures, and ties in directly to science and art. Bread itself is made from flour, living yeast, water and salt, all natural materials that create a beautiful entity we call bread. During a crisis such as COVID19, it is no shock that people are psychologically drawn to the essential bread.
Bio Art is the meeting point of cutting-edge biology and art. Bio Art consists of artwork stemming from manipulation of living biological material such as cells or even whole animals using biotechnological techniques. Bio Artists swap out easels and paints for living matter and tools such as genetic engineering. Many Bio Artists are inspired by the advancement of science and use their Bio Art to spark conversation on important ideas concerning ethical, philosophical, societal, and environmental considerations that emerge from these new scientific developments (Yetisen et al.).