Vidish Tantia's blog

Week 9: How polluted is Los Angeles?

This past week we got a chance to listen Maru Garcia and listen to her talk on the contamination in East Los Angeles and how so many people were not aware of the dangerous toxins that are present near us. Of the 10,000 properties in East LA that include school and residential areas , only 700 have been treated for lead contamination.

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Week 8: What is CRISPR?

A “CRISPR” stands for Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats, which are the hallmark of a bacterial defense system that forms the basis for CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing technology. In the field of genome engineering, the term “CRISPR” or “CRISPR-Cas9” is often used loosely to refer to the various CRISPR-Cas9 and -CPF1 systems that can be programmed to target specific stretches of genetic code and to edit DNA at precise locations. 

The Idea of Nature

Last week we had our in class in the UCLA sculpture garden, discussion nature. Many people described nature as anything that exists in the universe as part of the physical world. In this sense, the idea embraces anything that falls under the study of the natural sciences. However, it got me thinking about the idea of nature and how it is one of the most widely employed ideas in philosophy. Authors such as Aristotle and Descartes relied on the concept of nature to explain fundamental tenets of their views, without ever attempting to define the concepts.

Midterm Proposal

12” by Stephen Heo

Stephen wants to combat the menace of global warming by educating people of the devastating effects Earth will face thru the use of various visual mediums like slides, videos etc.

He also agrees that this approach is more philosophical and introspective and may not have any effect whatsoever in improving the situation.

Week 5: Can we solve the Plastic Problem?

Last weeks class on the excessive use of plastics was very interesting, we talked about how billions of plastic items were choking the ocean, lakes and rivers and piling up on land harming our plants and wildlife. We discussed how more than 480 plastic bottles were sold worldwide in the 2016 and nearly 2 million plastic bags are used every minute which is approximately 1 trillion plastic bags annually. Moreover in 2015 over half of the world’s plastic thrown out was plastic packaging and that accounted for 141 million metric tons.

Week 4: Animals and Zodiac Signs

This weeks class was very interesting as Professor Vesna discussed the Hox Zodiac project. Before the project I had no idea what my zodiac sign was but after this presentation I was inclined to search and find out I am an Ox. People born in the year of the ox are generally hard workers in the background, intelligent, and can be relied upon. I feel like these traits accurately describe my most positive qualities.

Week 2: Is Gluten bad?

During last week’s class we discussed the most popular item in a diet— Bread. Bread is the product of baking a mixture of flour, water, salt and yeast. The basic process involves mixing of ingredients until the flour is converted into a stiff paste or dough, followed by baking the dough into a loaf. To make good bread, dough made by any process must be extensible enough for it to relax and to expand while it is rising. A good dough is extensible if it will stretch out when pulled.

Painting with DNA

During week 1, I attended Linda Weintraub’s lecture about eco-materialism and also got to participate in her workshops based on her book What’s Next? Eco-Materialism and Contemporary Art. Weintraub talks about how disconnected humans are with nature and how this disconnect is causing the divide that is affecting both the human race and nature in negative ways.

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