Brief Introduction to Genetics

The ongoing nuclear crisis in Japan has generated a lot of news (and debate) about nuclear energy. But how does Nuclear energy work? I went out hunting for video that explains nuclear energy, but all of the videos that I found had an obvious political slant either for or against nuclear energy. Not what I was looking for.

I did find an excellent video about genetics. The video, by David Murawsky, “explores the history of genetics & genomics […] from Gregor Mendel, to concepts such as DNA and the genetic code.” It’s crazy how genetics influences our lives. Do you mix up left and right? Blame your genes*. When you grip your hands together, which thumb covers the other thumb? That preference is coded into your DNA. Crazy, right?

There’s a company, 23andMe that will unlock the mysteries of your genetic code for you. Send them some spit and some dollars and they can tell you about your risk for developing dozens of diseases or if you carry the recessive gene for particular conditions. They can even stir your spit in such a way that allows them to see your where your ancestors lived.


*My Biology professor told me this, but the article I linked is actually about asymmetrical organ development: our body not knowing left from right.

March 24, 2011