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.


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