This course studies how bioart blurs distinctions between science and art through the combination of artistic and scientific processes, creating wide public debate. It explores the history of biotechnology as well as social implications of this science.
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Please contact Prof. Victoria Vesna if you are interested in joining this class.


Soft and Fluffy

This assignment came as a surprise to me; I wasn’t very interested or necessarily invested in these types of representations, but this cultural adventure was appealing. I, for one, am skeptical about zodiac signs, however. I don’t necessarily think that everyone who falls into the category has a parallel personality trait. Although there were aspects about the Rabbit that I couldn’t connect with, I did realize that some of them were quite symbolic and representative.

The Tiger

During class this week, we discussed the various zodiac signs in relation to the HOX genes. The HOX gene is a group of genes that are responsible for the formation of the arms, legs, nose, and more. They also help regulate how many of each body part forms and where each one forms during development. This gene is evolutionarily conserved as it is present in many species and performs similar functions if not the same function in many species.

Week 6 zodiac sign

I do not believe in zodiac signs. I am a sagittarius and everything I read about sagittariuses seems to contradict itself so when I was asked to look into my chinese zodiac sign I was skeptical. I always wonder how my birth month or birth year could possibly have any impact on my character. That is until I read about my chinese sign: The Snake. 

Week 6 - Ginseng and the Snake

Before I get into the meat of things, I would just like to make a few things clear. Admittedly, this weekend was pretty rough for me. I was vaccinated on Saturday and had a very bad reaction to the vaccine, and spent the latter half of Saturday and the most of Sunday recovering from a fever and chills. I was admittedly unprepared for that setback, as I usually never react badly to vaccines, but losing the weekend kind of hindered what foods I could prepare or eat without feeling sick. I tried to complete this assignment to the best of my ability without asking for an extension.

Food for a Dragon

As someone born on January 2nd, 2001, but before the start of the lunar cycle of the Snake which usually begins in February, my zodiac sign is usually characterized as a Dragon. I’ve also been told that my zodiac sign is more along the lines of a snake with the tail of a dragon, which I thought was interesting. To look into this, I researched both the Dragon and Snake zodiac signs via the Hox Zodiac page.

Snakes have a bad rep

I never particularly liked being born in the year of the snake. Snakes are nowhere near as cool as dragons, they aren’t as fast as horses, as cute as bunnies, as popular as dogs, or as majestic as the tiger. As animals, people get creeped out or scared of snakes. In popular movies such as Harry Potter or The Jungle Book, snakes are seen as villains. If someone is a backstabber, we say that they are a “snake.” Since a young age, I’ve felt that the only benefit of being year of the snake is that snakes are easy to draw.

Prunes, Plums, and Princesses

We learned about the history of the Hox Zodiac and its genetic diversity between animals and humans during the lecture. Hox genes are a group of genes that map specific regions of the body plan of an embryo. Hox genes are particular because the position of Hox genes ensures the correct structure and placement of the body. It was fascinating to learn about how homeobox genes (Hox) are critical for humans and animals, and all living beings share the same genes.

The Lucky Rabbit's Foot

Growing up in a Chinese household, I've known my zodiac sign since birth. Rabbit, 1999. I remember reading the characteristics of rabbits, snakes, and oxen when I was little because I knew these to be my family's signs as well. In my culture, zodiac signs meant more than just personality traits and also signified compatibilities between individuals, especially evident from interpretations by fortune tellers. My most compatible signs are dog, pig, and goat while my least compatible signs were rooster, dragon, and rat.


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