Up@dawn 2.0

Monday, March 24, 2014

Group 3 Ch. 8,9 Peripatetic Experience

During our peripatetic walk we have considered whether or not Ventor claimed that he had synthesized the ''first synthetic life'' a bit too early. After a small discussion we all came to the conclusion that, indeed, the claim was made prematurely. Nonetheless, Ventor's research had tremendous importance and implications such as creation of pharmaceuticals and biofuels. In Ventor's defense, claiming that he had synthesized first synthetic life was not entirely wrong since the definition of what ''life'' consists of is very broad. According to what our group has discussed, in order to claim the first synthetic life creation one had to create it from scratch. I gave an interesting example of this situation: while having a car and not knowing how it operates or how it is built, a mechanic builds an engine and inserts it into the car which is then able to be driven; mechanic claims that he had build the first car.
Another discussion that we had was concerned with the Big Bang and our views on the theory. A few interesting remarks were pointed out and eventually lead to us talking about the first two episodes of Cosmos.


  1. FQ: Name 2 of the 5 guiding ethical principles which are considered relevant to the social implications of emerging technologies.
    (Public beneficence, responsible stewardship, intellectual freedom and responsibility, democratic deliberation, justice and fairness) p.156

    FQ: Proteins that contain a zinc atom and are shaped like an index finger which help read the DNA software are called _____?
    (zinc fingers) p.150

    FQ: What natural technique do bacteria perform to coordinate the behaviors of their cell populations?
    (quorum sensing) p.148

    FQ: What was the first organism to be modeled in precise detail?
    (Mycoplasma genitalium)

    DQ: Where do YOU draw a line between scientific freedom and national security?

    link: http://www.nytimes.com/2001/10/10/us/a-nation-challenged-bioterrorism-obtaining-anthrax-is-hard-but-not-impossible.html

    The link is about bioterrorism and how it is difficult to perform yet not impossible.

  2. FQ: What does "in silico" mean?
    A: Biological system in the form of "living" software (via computer system).

    DQ: Venter states, "The consequences of inaction can be more dangerous than the improper use of technology." What is your opinion on the limitations or overuse of technology?

    Link: This article discusses more about Venter's "synthetic life" which is similar to what our group had discussed last week.