Friday, May 13, 2016

Grandmother Nature

Bioengineering as a subject is both humbling and empowering. It’s humbling because you are constantly witnessing the elegance of nature. It’s empowering because you are using processes that have evolved over millions of years to your advantage for your own purposes. It's pretty amazing.

Purposes like growing an ear, maybe.

It's interesting to think that we use nature's process of evolution on two different time scales. We take advantage of evolution that has happened for millenia when we utilize techniques such as bacterial reproduction to reproduce certain plasmids or proteins. We take advantage of evolution on a much smaller time scale when we use techniques such as yeast display to search for favorable mutations. Yet all of it relies on the power of nature. Nature is like the patient grandmother who you see slowly knitting away everyday. You don't think much of it until you find that one day she is suddenly holding in her hands a brilliant scarf - one that can maybe mess up the world or salvage something.

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