5/22/2013 6:03:00 AM
Genetics 1 – Basics of genetics and genomics … eugenics – designer babies
Review: Themes of the course
Experts: Tension b/w experts and lay people.
Risk: Collective (Douglas – societal) vs. Individualistic risk (Beck – how do you
Uncertainty: Dogmatism vs. certainty.
Genetic engineering Of human vs. GE of all else
GE people less comfortable – what constitutes determinism vs free will; nature vs nurture
Determinism [you are your genes, that’s it] – (course theme 1, experts &
GE of non people – economic issue (who has the right to own property of GMOs)
Framing: debates over GMO are not always technical (sometimes poltical).
Unintended consequences: distinguish between risk, uncertainty
Most use risk imprecisely
Assumptions about ‘natural’
Why ‘natural’ = good healthy clean/artificial = bad/dirty/sick
Themes of todays class:
Central dogma of molecular biology: information flow from the genes out to your body –
nature not nurture.
Reductionism: to understand biology, sociology, psyc, we have to reduce things to smaller
elementary things such as chemicals, atoms.
Physics Envy to computer science envy: (if you have math that’s seen as ‘real’ knowledge),
akin to feeling unsecure because of a lack of math (for certainty).
Cells: distinctions b/w cells (were all made of cells). Inside each cell is a nucleus (factory).
Amino Acids: make up proteins. Proteins: hormones, structures that make up the formation
of cells, spark chemical reactions (enzymes). Gene : single gene is responsible for a single
protein (can be broken up into codon – single codon makes an amino acid). Genome: all the
genetic information in our body. Sequence: series of bases (linear sequence). Codon: 3
letter part of the sequence. Base: single letter of 3 part codon. Informatic: produced
information for a section. Proteins: We are made of proteins, proteins make structures, not just structural. And
enzymes (chemical reactions provided by proteins.)
Made of amino acids – where an AA is affects protein shape (how it folds)
Differently shaped proteins function differently. Proteins are made of ribosomes – cell
‘organelles’ (looks like an organ). RNA (chain) tells the ribosomes which amino acids to
create (in what