Thursday, January 17, 2013

First Blogging Assignment

Hi everyone!

My name is Nicole Nelson and I’m a sophomore, majoring in Molecular and Cellular Biology and minoring in Anthropology. When looking for classes this semester, I stumbled upon this course and thought it sounded both intriguing and valuable. I believe gaining different perspectives to biology would be extremely beneficial to my overall understanding of biology. I also love how anthropology causes you to think of the consequences for society and the bigger picture that are not frequently discussed in biology courses which often focus on only the specifics and not necessarily populations and people as whole.

So I did some research and here are some blogs that I found particularly interesting:

In the last blog, I really enjoyed the article about epigenetics because it was a topic that I was recently exposed to and thought that it was a perfect example of what I described above. I had only really been introduced to the concepts that described the little picture, such as the addition of methyl groups to the DNA structure to signal the genes that need to be transcribed according to the environment that the organism is found in. Although the blog describes that research in epigenetics may unlock some secrets to the human body, Buchanan also explains that it will not be the end-all-be-all to genetics, it will only be the next step to further understanding. This is contrary to what many political scientists claim, that voting patterns and poverty can be tracked to epigenetics. I think these consequences are so important because they are the whole reason that we strive to discover new ideas in biology or any other field is to improve life and society through these findings by using the little picture to improve the big picture. 

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