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Yashaswini's picture

Heyy :)

Hey, I'm Yashaswini and I'm a freshman at BMC. I was always interested in studying bio in school, but 'cause of rigidity of course structures at my high school, coud not study it after tenth grade. :|

I'm really excited about Bio 103, however. I appreciate the fact that it isn't a typical 'sciency' class and that having creative thought and individual expression will be as much important as having a reasoning and curious intellect! I also like the fact that we will be encouraged to make observations of our own and delve deeper into them, rather than just study about other people's findings and observations. 

1. A few months back, I read a bizarre article about how the British royal family was using vintage wine (that they had SO much in abundance of!) as a biofuel for their Aston Martins. I'm not sure how reliable or feasible that would be, though! Not long ago, there was also another news article that spoke of the exponential rate of population growth in developing countries like India and China and how that was directly responsible for the dwindling of global food supplies and the acute shortage of food grains across the world. Another theory stated that the reason why the world *actually* faced a shortage of food crops was because most of the arible land was being used to grow crops that would better serve as bio-fuel, and not merely as a food crop. Crops that can be used as bio-fuel and crops that can be used to meet nutritional requirements are substitue goods, and increase in supply of one WILL decrease the supply of other (The potential econ major in me!). In the light of these.. amusing news stories, I'd like to explore the different points of view regarding the usage of bio fuel and it's implication on the developed and developing nations.

2. Caffeine interests me. A lot! Throughout high school, I'd always been told to take coffee during finals to increase alertness and mental awareness. Specially before math exams! But someone recently told me that too much caffeine can actually make one a scatterbrain! And I was talking to few of my friends about it, and I was surprised to know that many of them weren't aware of the fact that coffee isn't the ONLY source of caffeine! Even chocolates and fizzy drinks contain high levels of caffeine! Also, I read a random fact about Bryn Mawr while doing my college search last summer, that said the most frequently used drug on campus is a caffeine pill! Because Bryn Mawr women have excellent work ethics and always.. strive to complete all their work on time, they often take advantage of the "caffeine pills" to help them work late hours and finish their assignments! This is DEFINITELY something I'd love to learn more about!

3. Finally, I'd like to explore a bit more about genetically modified food and their intellectual property rights. I understand that most MNC's , if not all, that produce GM food are American and/or belong to the developed nations. Also, GM food like Golden Rice (a special variety of rice with extra added benefits of iron) appears to cater to people from poorer countries who can't afford to put together balanced meals for themselves everyday. This puts forward the question of economic terrorism, where developed nations exercise control over the economies of the developing nations (albiet in a more sophisticated manner) as developing nations are forced to utilize the technology and machinery needed to produce the GM food (which is all patented by the West, by the way) to feed their starving citizens. This furthur undermines their self-sufficiency and raises a moral debate, from the humanitarian point of view. I'd love to learn about other sides of this debate and know more, so I can form a well-informed opinion of my own!

Wow. That was long. :)

If any of you have anything to say about any of these topics, or have an opinion, or a disagreement, or whatever -- I'd love to hear it! :)

 

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