Rohit's Realm - Biology

// / archive / category / bio

November 03, 2002

Retroviral Dreams

Dude! I think I've been studying Bio too long. I now dream about scary retroviruses that are coming to attack the world. I mean seriously...retrovirii are the bastards of the microbial kingdom: they DON'T have a DNA genome, they USE the host's DNA polymerase and ribosomes to replicate themselves, they INSERT themselves into the host genome and become provirii. Not to mention that whole reverse transcriptase thing...I'm telling you—bastards.

December 02, 2002

Get Down Tonight (With An Earthworm)

Bio lab final is in less than 24 hours. Anyone want to know about how cockroaches piss? How about how rats shit? No? Well, I know you want to know about how earthworms get off? STILL NO? Why not? I mean, if I need to know all this for a legitimate biology exam, I would think that this is knowledge that would in some way help me sometime in life. But that's where you are wrong: if this stuff actually mattered, why would it be part of the curriculum of a pre-med class? That would defeat the entire purpose of a shameless weeder classes where the only intent of the designers of the class is to create a very nice bell curve (i.e., normal distribution) of grades, with few As and few Fs, so the med schools know who the really talented students are—no doubt their knowledge of the deviant sexual practices of members of the Annelida phylum will help them diagnose brain tumors in their future, illustrious careers.

October 26, 2003

Very Holden Caulfield

I had a very Holden Caulfield moment today, and no, it did not have anything to do with prostitutes. For those of you who have had your head up up your ass for however many years, Holden Caulfield is the main character of The Catcher in the Rye, every teenager's favorite novel, and JD Salinger's classic angst-ridden adolescent.

November 23, 2005

To My Children

Dearest Children,

Forgive me, for if you are indeed reading this letter, that means I am veritably a father and probably have much to atone. I sincerely hope you took most of your qualities from your mother, since quite frankly, with the exception of my unwavering cynicism and prolific hatred, I do not offer much, especially genetically. Moreover, she must be quite an amazing woman to have put up with my antics for such a long time.

June 27, 2007

Paradigm Shifts, Family Jewels, and Schrödinger's Cat

Though I have previously argued that a Heisenberg-esque Uncertainty Principle exist[s] in social interactions as much as it does in quantum mechanics, two recent (and unrelated) news stories have really driven home (for me, at least) the challenges we face, both as individuals and as a society, in attempting to make sense of contemporary developments. While this could be said about developments (or advancements, as the case may be) in any field of academic inquiry, be it art, science, or economics, the two disciplines I will focus on are (American) history and (molecular) biology, specifically the recent release of the so-called family jewels by the C.I.A. and recent developments in understanding the role of RNA, as outlined last week in the Economist (registration and subscription required, respectively).

January 12, 2008

Scratch and Sniff Love

As yet another quarter of law school ramps up at an entirely unforeseen velocity, I am often left with the none too consoling thought that perhaps, everything I did as an undergraduate will have absolutely no bearing on my life or career in any way whatsoever. I mean, in between reading about rapists and murders and 19th century contract disputes about bales of hay and gravel, it's hard to see why either biology or computer science are particularly pertinent. In other words, the four years I spent at Berkeley, while immensely enjoyable, just as well might have been spent chaining smoking cigs and pounding shots of the three wise men (Jim®, Jack®, and Johnnie®) while contemplating the meaning(lessness) of life with a loaded revolver to my head (what?). Luckily, just when the feelings of worthlessness were about to consume me entirely, along comes the venerable Economist to rejuvenate hope, if ever so slightly, with a fascinating article that validates (for me, at least) the four years of onerous study of such voodoo as organic chemistry and molecular biology. (All right, who am I kidding? I loved organic chemistry. Don't judge me.) [...]