Up to his usual tricks. (Taken with Instagram)
“My darling girl, when Ramses destroyed Syria, that was an accident. You are a catastrophe!”
The Story of You: ENCODE and the Human Genome
Encompassing the largest analysis of human DNA sequences since the Human Genome Project, the ENCODE project has provided scientists with the most comprehensive look yet at what is going on in the “rest” of our genome. It’s a very cool thing, and a Big Deal™. Of course, it’s not the first time that we’ve been told that important things are happening elsewhere in our genome, and it probably has quite a few chucks of data in it that won’t pan out. But hey, that’s science.
Even if the research teams (dozens of them!) raised a few eyebrows with the way they announced the data, ENCODE is still a major milestone in deciphering the function of the darker regions of the human genome. Here’s a video to introduce what it means.
I’ll have more on what the ENCODE project found later this week! Should be a fun exploration.
(video by NatureVideoChannel)
Take, for instance, product manufacturing. A Styrofoam cup will be used once for about four or five minutes before being thrown away. The turnover time of the industry that purchases that cup is going to be a couple weeks or a couple months, at most. Those are the time scales that that object is created for. However, the refuse of that Styrofoam cup will last for millions of years, because it’s not biodegradable. What does it mean to live at a historical moment in which the time scales that we operate on are so radically out of touch with the time scales of the temporal footprint of the things we make?
THE COLD WIND PAUSES AT THE LIP OF THE TRENCH BEFORE DESCENDING IN A RUSH, SEEKING OUR HEARTS, OUR LUNGS, OUR VERY HOPE. I PUSH THROUGH IT, RISKING EVERYTHING, TO SURVEY THE KILLING FIELDS. OVER THE POCKMARKED SOIL AND THE GNARLED STUMPS OF TREES AND FELLOW SOLDIERS I STARE AT A SEA OF SILVER GRASS, IMPERVIOUS TO THE WINDS, GLINTING IN THE CLOUD-CHOKED SUNLIGHT. HOW MANY BAYONETS? HUNDREDS? THOUSANDS? EACH BLADE GREEDY AND SHARP, HUNGRY FOR BLOOD AND VICTORY. HOW MANY OF US SHALL WRITHE ON THOSE SLIM DAGGERS? HOW RED WILL THE SOIL RUN?
IT WAS NOT SUPPOSED TO BE LIKE THIS.
WE WERE NOT SUPPOSED TO SHIVER IN FEAR, BEREFT OF PRIDE AND PURPOSE, SEEKING ONLY SURVIVAL, OR RESPITE.
BOBBY, WHO ARE YOU TALKING TO? DID THE MAILMAN COME YET OR NOT?
AS IF IN A DREAM, I HEAR MY MOTHER’S VOICE. SHRILL AND NAGGING, YET SOMEHOW AGLOW WITH ALL THE WARMTH AND COMFORTS OF A HOME I MAY NEVER AGAIN SEE.
BOBBY, SERIOUSLY, WHAT ARE YOU DOING? IF THE MAIL’S HERE GO GET IT PLEASE.
I think it’s an enormous power and advantage women have, this understanding of time and mortality. It’s only a shame that we often do everything we can to abandon or deny this natural advantage. I always think of the menopause: what a gift it is to women to have, in their own bodies, this piece of time-keeping which allows them to fully understand, in their bodies, that death is coming. They’re not very good managers of time, men. Men don’t have that – you see so many men heading towards their deaths in utter shock and incomprehension because right until the final moments they thought they were going to be given some kind of reprieve. Or all those powerful men who make terrible fools of themselves in old age with girls a quarter of their age … They’re not very good managers of time, men.