BiologyI can't say that I was ever really interested in Biology as a child. I always thought of it as a soft science more involved with documenting taxonomies than anything else. In some sense that is how it was taught to me back in the day.
Boy how wrong had I been. It all dawned on me when I spent 4 days with Ellen Jorgensen @ Genspace in Brooklyn, New York.
It just opened my mind to the possibilities. I understood both the simplicity of the idea and the enormous complexity of realising it practically. We are at the tip of the iceberg with this stuff and already this tiny tip has the power to change the world.
The most important take away, for me at least, was the understanding that Genetics, is really firstly Engineering and everything else second. It is about tinkering, about real exploration of a world that is right with us, in us and around us, not a distant star or galaxy somewhere in the Universe.
Unfortunately, I lost touch with the subject and didn't pursue it with the energy and dedication required to really make use of it. I am always otherwise engaged, there is so much to learn in the world.
The following pages will be a documentation of where I have gotten with the subject. I hope that it will a guide to other novices like me, who just don't know where to begin or what to exactly modern biology / genetics is all about.
I hope you enjoy it.
GeneticsMost people like to think of DNA (and the genes they code) as a sort of blueprint for an organism. I think its better to think of DNA as the Operating System. The cell is like the computer, it has a living software, its DNA.
Organisms are colonies of closely related Single Cells.
The Genome is like the ROM (Read Only Memory), the Epigenome is like the Flash Drive (i.e. State).
- A Crack in Creation by Jennifer Doudna & Samuel Sternberg is a really wonderful book that will get you up to date on the engineering and technology at hand today.
- What you need to know about CRISPR, a TED talk by Ellen Jorgensen