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.


Rabbits-- Myths on Myths!

As a last minute 1999 baby (November), I was born in the sign of the rabbit. For years, I fit the personality of a rabbit perfectly— “soft and tender personality traits. They keep a modest attitude and maintain a pleasant relationship to people around” (Travel China Guide). Yet, since I was the only one in my class having been born in 1999, I always envied the sign of the 2000 born students— the Dragon. I was always told that the rabbit would be “defeated” by the dragon, being frustrated as to why I was born just a month shy of 2000.

An Offering to the Horse

     I was born in the year 2002, making my Chinese Zodiac sign the horse. I was always aware of my zodiac sign, but I’ve never stopped to consider what that actually means for me. After doing a bit of research, I found that those born in the year of the horse are often characterized by being sociable and energetic, but also self-centered and occasionally short-tempered.

Defining and Experiencing the Dragon

I was born in March 2000 making my Chinese Zodiac Sign the Dragon. In reading “Games of Chance: Exploration Into Our Animal Selves” by Dr. Ramakrishnan and Dr. Vesna, I came to learn more about the dragon zodiac sign. The dragon is associated with the stomach. Dragons are described to be warm hearted, charismatic, and energetic. Given these traits I wanted to make a dish that reminded me most of these traits.

A New Take On Rats

As an early 1997 baby, my Chinese zodiac sign is the Rat, which just repeated its 12 year cycle in 2020. I think rats typically have a bad reputation as being unclean pests in this modern culture, however, in my research I learned that this is not the case in every culture. For example, in Rajasthan, India, the rat is worshipped and revealed. At Karni Mata temple in Rajasthan, thousands of rats travel throughout the temple snf drink from a large saucer of milk.

An Offering to the Rabbit

Having been born in the year 1999, my Chinese zodiac sign is the rabbit. The rabbit is often taken to be representative of amiability, compassion, sincerity, gentleness, fortune, and longevity. As such, those born under the sign of the rabbit are said to enjoy the company of family and friends, and present themselves as being noble, clever, or elegant.

Animal Zodiac Sign

I was born in 2001, which is the year of the snake in Chinese animal zodiac. As we all know, snake has a poor and often negative connotation in Western culture since the dawn of time. However, snake’s reputation isn’t much better in Chinese culture either. One of the most popular Chinese folktales was called “The White Snake”, which depicted a love story between an immortal and a human.

The Zodiac Chance Process and the Vietnamese Broken Rice

If there is one thing tying the threads of fate between any organism, it is their evolutionary history. Despite the human claim of superiority over other animals, we are ultimately sharing the majority of our genetic materials with them. It was ultimately by chance and selective pressure that allowed for human evolution from ancestral primates. Ultimately, it could be stated that genetics is a game of chance.

The Tasty Tiger Tart

As a whole, it is very interesting to compare Chinese zodiac signs to HOX genes. HOX genes are essentially the blueprints to an organism’s body plan. Even more interesting is the fact that many organisms have conserved these remarkable genes throughout their evolutionary history. Seeing as HOX genes are present in plants and fungi, it is likely that the HOX genes have preceded the divergence of these kingdoms (Lappin et al 2006).

Kitchen Science - Physical Chemistry Seminar

Today, I took part in the extra credit Physical Chemistry Seminar by professor Andrew Pelling. When I first saw the title of the presentation, I assumed that I would encounter several concepts that I already knew about. However, I was in for a surprise!

I’m really glad to have the incentive to take part in these workshops. While I knew before that they existed, I never took part in them, but now that i participate in them, I get the chance to learn about so many fascinating things that intelligent and accomplished individuals achieve in their fields.


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