Sara Ali's blog

Final Project Idea

     The first day of Ramadan occurred on May 27th, 2018. This marks the first day of the holiest month for muslims. During these months we fast from sunrise to sunset and revolve most of our activities around the mosque, community, and prayer. However, in my project, I’m going to explore what is least talked about amongst muslims, and especially during this month- the menstrual cycle. Historically and even today, there is much stigma around the topic.

Genome & Identity Politics

I read “In Contradiction Lies the Hope: Human Genome and Identity Politics” by Abha Sur & Samir Sur. In their essay they discussed recent genetic studies that looked further into the genome of India and in particular, Hindu caste members. In a study done by Michael Bamshad, it was found that the genetic composition of the Indian population was both rank and sex-specific. For example, the upper castes (priest or Brahmins) had a higher frequency of West Eurasian haplotypes (Bamshad).

Brainstorming Project/Midterm Proposals

This week we took part in Brainstorming. What struck me most were the lights and how much they control the ambience when the room is dim. I’ve always had a fascination with lights and definitely feel the effect they have on mood. It is well known that light indeed has scientific mood and behavioral effects (Bauer). Besides the lights, I really liked the project and the literal interpretation of “brainstorming”.

Rat: The World's Most Unappreciated Animal

Rats have been used and disposed through millennia. Ask a physician why use rats as models for our own biological system and they will say it is because they’re so similar to us. Ask a physician why it is okay to experiment on rats and not humans and they’ll say because they are so different from us. In the lab I work in, I handle rats directly and I am often surprised at the conditions rats are to be maintained in.

Phantom Plant Brain

I don’t think about my relationship with the world around me enough. As a STEM major, I feel like its especially easy to get swamped in your own world of worry. We are all students in a rather prestigious university, trying to make a career for ourselves. However, it is so important to step back every once in a while and be mindful of the environment around us. 


My first impression was that biotechnology in relation to art is captivating and full of so many possibilities. It is really neat that something as minuscule as bubbles of ascorbic acid can be so beautiful. It makes you wonder the potential the intersection of other disciplines have. 

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