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Lecture 5: Nats 1760.docx

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Natural Science
NATS 1760
Darrin Durant

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 reduce/mitigate risk) 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 & publics) 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). Vocabulary: 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
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