Zara Saleem's blog

Essay Comments

As we approach finals week and the end of our course, I must say I’ve genuinely enjoyed being a part of this amazing class! As well, with all the great ideas presented in class last week, I’m excited to see how this quarter’s book comes out. Having a class full of individuals who come from a variety of disciplines, I’m sure our final book will be reflective of our unique perspectives.

Final Paper Idea

The word "schizophrenia" comes from the Greek roots schizo (split) and phrene (mind) to describe the fragmented thinking of people with the disorder. Schizophrenia is a chronic and severe mental disorder, which interferes with how a person thinks, feels and acts. People with this disorder tend to hear voices or see things that aren’t actually there. They undergo hallucinations where they believe other people are controlling their thoughts, or even plotting to harm them.

Biopolitics and Genetics

For this week’s blogpost, I decided to read “The Biopolitics of Human Genetics Research and Genetics” by Fatimah Jackson and Sherie McDonald. Fatimah Jackson is a biological anthropologist who critiques the association of ancestral history to genetics, which she believes lacks a historical context. In their essay, they discuss how genetic techniques are used to address human evolutionary origins and contemporary human adaptations along with the genetic basis of diversity.

Life & Lizards

Last week’s lecture consisted of midterm presentations. I was looking forward to seeing everyone’s presentations as some really interesting and diverse ideas were proposed in class during week 5. Unfortunately I had to leave class early due to a severe family emergency so was unable to be present. I did however have a look through this week’s blog posts, and after reading through them and seeing my fellow classmates’ responses to the presentations, one idea really struck out to me.



This week Professor introduced us to her Brainstorming project in collaboration with Dr. Cohen. We experienced how electroencephalogram (EEG) waves transmitted from the brain control the colors of the lights within an octopus crown. The project examined the interaction between two individuals, both wearing the crown and how these EEG waves can change and become synced with one another’s.


Chinese Zodiac

Last week’s lecture was nothing like what I was expecting, but I can say I was delightfully pleased! Professor Vesna introduced us to the concept of the Chinese Zodiac as we feasted on foods that symbolized each one of the animals. As enjoyable (and delicious) this experience was, I left class with many questions as the topic had peaked my interest. While I knew that my birth year corresponded to the pig, it was all that I really knew with regards to the Chinese Zodiac. This prompted me to do some research on my own.


Week 3

It never dawned on me that plants could have comparable behavior to animals. Though plants are animate beings that consume, grow, reproduce and eventually decease; I’ve always attributed non-thinking characteristics to them as this is what I have been taught in psychology classes.


Week Two


The past two weeks have opened my eyes to a world I did not know existed. I had never realized biology and art could be so intertwined, producing an endless array of beautiful imagery.


Introduction to Bioart

When I first enrolled in this class, I truly had no idea what bioart actually was. If I’m being completely honest, I hadn’t really heard of it either. I didn’t really know what to expect coming in but I was quite intrigued to see what I would learn. After doing the first few readings and watching the lectures, I’m thrilled to be apart of this class!


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