PDF too large, so uploaded onto Google Drive: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Up28-o7-wh_9WC8ZezX5LgM4XAQnEKls/view?usp=sharing
My original idea was to grow a book from mycelium and that has not changed. The initial proposal lacked substance, both for the project and for the book itself. “What is the book about?’ was a question that plagued me since I decided on this project, a conceptual gap that was never fully bridged. For me, it was like discovering an interesting technique, yet not knowing how exactly to apply it to my work in a meaningful way.
Sam explained to us last Monday how CRISPR works. He briefly illustrated the mechanism behind the biotech apparatus for gene editing with straightforward diagrams and labels devoid of scientific jargon. Though his explanations were clear, he did not have the time to cover the a full biology course worth of material on genetics and molecular biology. Some of his descriptions require a certain level of prior knowledge.
In the past week, we looked at building blocks: DNA, the building blocks of life, and atoms, the building blocks of nature. When thinking science, a reductionist view always seems to dominate, looking at the roots of any phenomenon through the lenses of its most fundamental components. We find our explanations there before slowly building up knowledge and ascending into complexity. This core of understanding was where we found ourselves at in the midst of week six.
Just through looking at the brief descriptions of each “book,” I was already able to tell that the UCLA Biomedical Library holds a collection of dedicated passions condensed into the art book forms. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend our class visit to witness and engage with each item. However, and fortunately so, I had the opportunity of going to the LA Arts Book Fair two weeks earlier.
Looking back, my midterm presentation depicted a limited view of mycelium as a medium. That is not to say that I did not find an expansive web of information about the fungal network itself--I did, all the detailed research and resulting facts were there.
The gentle web of tendrils look like neural networks in the human brain. This was my first impression of mycelium, aside from their similarity to mold inside a jar of long-expired fruit jam. Aside from the negative connotations of something rotten, mycelia struck me as something beautiful and elegant, alive and transformative in their existence and growth.
The human body is a sacred form to many. Tampering with it in any way, less say altering it, cloning it, and now, even attempting to recreate it through technology, has always been the greatest taboo.
Heat, fermentation, and the death of our beloved mobile phones and how we should put them to rest. Perhaps we should bury them. Or how about putting them in cryostasis until we are one day ready to analyze and repair them? Also, do we really need fire for cooking?
Week 1: Blog 1 – GMO and Grains
I am Stephan Xie, a sophomore DMA student looking to double major/minor in cognitive science. As the intersection point of neuroscience, psychology, computer science, and other fields in both the humanities and sciences, cognitive science is a vast area of study relating to the human mind.