This semester, I am enrolled in a genetics class. It undoubtedly lives up to the many horror stories encircling its name. It is not an easy class, to say the least. However, it is by far one of the most immediately beneficial classes I have taken thus far. Each week, we discuss in an online forum the newest findings in genetics. It may sound silly, but before this class I never understood completely how fragile we are as people…how fragile all organisms are with the exception of those damn viruses. Genes are so important in how we function, grow, and exist. It may surprise you to discover however, that the effect of a gene means little or nothing next to environmental factors and personal decisions in the grand scheme of things. There is so much to learn in this subject alone it would make your head spin. I recently learned how to become immortal! Well, if it’s that’s easy, you say, why haven’t they marketed it yet? That would be because…well, they can’t. It is the natural process of a cell to cut off a small end of the telomere (end sections) of a chromosome each time it divides. This is the cell’s way of preventing against deadly diseases. This is how we age. If the telomeres did not lose a small chunk with each division, this would cause a form of cancer. Genetics is one of the most fascinating subjects I have come across in my college career thus far. I encourage anyone and everyone to at least keep up to date with new discoveries in this field.
Rafinesque’s Big-eared Bat, mammalogy class trip
Fall 2013, mammalogy class chiroptera hunting trip
My first memory of being a real, live human being is watching the movie, Free Willy, and screaming in outrage over the capturing and captivity of these animals. Something somewhere deep inside of me connecting with them, and still to this day my heart is out there in the ocean swimming freely with them and also trapped in the bathtubs with them that they are forced to live in all over the world. I never thought I would see the day that someone, somewhere would stand up and say that the capturing and keeping of these animals in captivity needs to stop. God bless this movie and everyone who contributed to it.
Books that could change your life:
- The Diversity of Life – E.O. Wilson
- The Future of Life – E.O. Wilson
- World War Z – Max Brooks
- The Diary of Anne Frank
- Island of the Blue Dolphins – Scott O’Dell
- Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden
- The Lord of the Rings – J.R.R. Tolkien
- The Other Boleyn Girl – Philippa Gregory
- White Fang – Jack London
…to be continued.