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February 22, 2007

Is it really food?

One idea that mainly comes to mind that ties in with genetic engineering is what happens to food. Although stem cell research and cloning make it into the headlines, our food supply should have us worried. As i talked about in the previous blog, genetic engineering can be good or bad. The thing is, there is very little known about the effect of genetic engineering over a long period of time. At this website, it is shown that a good portion of crops are being genetically engineered. Various pesticides or genes to make the crop last are being added.

Since there is very little knowledge about long term effects, it currently doesnt make those safe. Here is another example. The article linked here talks about the fast food chain Taco Bell. I was actually quite disturbed when i read this because i love eating there. Kraft foods, the company that makes the taco shells for Taco Bell, had to recall the taco shells because "after
tests confirmed they were made with genetically engineered corn that isn't approved for human consumption." To make it even more upsetting here is a list of products out on the market that are genetically altered. There are organic food areas in nearly all stores so avioding that is possible

I know these things may be slightly distubing but scientists have the right idea. There are some good ideas that can arise from this. For example, vitamins can be added to food to improve healthiness. Once more testing is done to make sure foods are safe, then genetically altered food can be called food. Otherwise there is the possibility of causing new allegeries, infections, etc. I recommend highly browsing the internet about genetically altered foods. Since i first read about genetically modified foods two years ago, i have payed more attention to what i am buying at the stores are far as preservatives or anything to "improve" the food.

Genetic Engineering

My apoligies up front for being one behind. This blog along with the one tomorrow go along with my reseachh paper slightly so i have been analyzing these topics much more. Throughout the brainstorming process i thought of various examples for either science or religion with enviromentalism. I ended up remembering one of the things brought up in class about genetic engineering along with a research paper i did in high school.

The topic of genetic engineering, people would think, would be apart of science. However, religion plays a role in a sort of balance to prevent chaos. Im sure you have seen the movie Gattaca. If not, i highly recommend it because it is an amazing movie. Gattaca shows what they world would look like if people were genetically engineered. It doesn't sound that bad....does it? Sure you could be born with a high intellegance but so could everyone else.

For those who do not know what genetic engineering is, it can best be explained with insulin. Yes, it is the medicine for diabetes. In order to create it scientists use genetic engineering. They take a strand of DNA that gives the code to make insulin and implants it into bacterian DNA. When the bacteria multiplies, so does the DNA strand. From here the bacteria can produce insulin to be collected. For other code, it may be removed and placed into the thing desiring that trait.

It sounds like a good thing from everything i have said so far but the things that can be done with genetic engineering can be pointless. For example, an article at http://www.wired.com/news/medtech/0,1286,54399,00.html tells of a rabbit that was genetically engineered with jellyfish DNA to make it glow. Don't get me wrong, of course a glowing rabbit would be a great pet to have but it is going way to far. That is where religion comes into play. With religion involved in genetic engineering, then scientists can only be regualted to doing things that could help mankind ( although i do wish there were glowing rabbits). Anyways, religion can help to play a role to regualte and control genetic engineering so our world does not end up like Gattaca.

February 8, 2007

Dark Matter

For those who know a little about science, you may have heard of something called dark matter. Dark matter is matter that exists in the universe that is not seen by humans and therefore is not taken into consideration. The enviroment that surrounds us has become the dark matter that surrounds society. Most people think they recognize the natural world. Nature to most people is the wilderness or a lake. When driving somewhere and seeing a family of deer, a person sees that as nature. Nature has become a vision in people's minds. The truth is, the enviroment is a major factor in all of our lives. The cars we drive, the paper we write on, even the medicine we have, it is all from nature. We take these everyday things for granted and forget where they came from.

Just like dark matter, it exists. However, they are both unseen by people except nature can be noticed. Society, as a whole, worries that we dont do enough for the enviroment. For example, fuel emissions are a major topic today. Scientists have proven that gas that vehicles give off contribute to the destoying of the ozone. People worry that something needs to be done as they fill up their car. By looking at all the little thing we come into contact everyday, a person can not only realize the importance of the little things that come from nature but they can also pave the path towards a better world to live.

The following link is for anyone who is interested in leaning a little about dark matter:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dark_matter

This next page has information about the ozone:
http://www.atm.ch.cam.ac.uk/tour/

February 2, 2007

Dillard's appreciation of detail

I just wanted to apologize for not having this blog entry up Wednesday because I wasn’t able to pay for the material until today. I didn’t want to put together a blog if I wasn’t able to read the material before then.
One thing I noticed right away when reading the section of Annie Dillard was her ability to describe everything around her. After reading this, I can honestly say that this reading was the most detailed out of any others that I have read. I could see what she was describing with ease because of all the details. An example of her writing was the section where she said “In summer’s low water, flags and bulrushes grow along a series of shallow pools cooled by the lazy current. Water striders patrol the surface film, crayfish hump along the slit bottom eating fish, frogs shout and glare…? The way that she describes the environment she lives is very well done. I make the assumption that she really appreciates where she lives. She puts a lot of detail into the little things that she notices. Whether it is the sound of frogs, the movement of the creek, or everything else, she makes sure to describe them with great detail. Overall, I get the impression that she appreciates the little things in life. The things that most people do not take time to look at, she sees great beauty and magnificence in them. These little things can be a great thing to have in a person’s life. It could help to get away from the chaos of everyday life and just maybe may bring a little joy.

the follwing link is to a biography of dillard
http://hubcap.clemson.edu/~sparks/dillard/bio.htm