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Do-it-yourself genetic sleuthing
by noteworthy at 7:05 am EDT, May 13, 2009

Carolyn Johnson in the Boston Globe works the medical angle on DIY-bio:

Katherine Aull is searching for a killer that has stalked her family for generations. The 23-year-old MIT graduate uses tools that fit neatly next to her shoe rack.

Speaking of shoes ...

Lisa: Look at all those beautiful shoes! I know they're made from animals but WOW!
Marge: Mmmm, If only I didn't already have a pair of shoes.

George Church:

"There seems to be a very deep and growing curiosity about genetics that might dwarf electronics."

From last year, another Globe story about Zack Anderson, a curious MIT student:

"If a lot of people think hacker, they think of someone who illegally breaks into systems," Anderson said. "I don't at all think that's what hacker means. I think hacking is a culture of curiosity and exploration and learning and building and creating new things."

Also from last year:

Science brings uncertainties; innovation successfully copes with them. Society calls for both the passion for knowledge and its taming. This ambivalence is an inevitable result of modernity.

Neil Postman:

If we had known the impact the motor vehicle would have on life, would we have embraced it so thoroughly?

Louis Menand:

The interstates changed the phenomenology of driving.

William Deresiewicz:

I’ve had many wonderful students at Yale and Columbia, bright, thoughtful, creative kids whom it’s been a pleasure to talk with and learn from. But most of them have seemed content to color within the lines that their education had marked out for them. Only a small minority have seen their education as part of a larger intellectual journey, have approached the work of the mind with a pilgrim soul. These few have tended to feel like freaks, not least because they get so little support from the university itself. Places like Yale, as one of them put it to me, are not conducive to searchers.

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