Genetics – Origins 🧬

29 minute read

Science-fiction has always been fascinating. Growing up watching Sci-fi has ensured that I am always excited about the future. From Smartphones to Smart homes, voice-enabled AI to driverless cars. While not all of Science fiction has come true, at least not yet, we seem to be making progress.

An area of Science fiction that has seen relatively much less action in real life, the superheroes. Is that never going to be possible? So it got me interested to read more about what is currently going on in the world of Genetics.

Genetics is the study of genes. Genes are the software that runs a biological organism. Genetic engineering has indeed made progress over the last 2 decades, we have just not seen superhumans yet. But we are on the path.

Given my fascination with the future, I wanted to understand, what lies ahead. I have been keeping an eye on the developments over the last few years. And suddenly it seems we are very close to a major shift in what we know about Genes and what can we do with them.  ..... 

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Letter #4 – COVID-19

10 minute read

Read Part 2 – Test Kits, Cures and Vaccines.

The virus that managed to jump from animal to human sometime back in November / December last year, has managed to bring the entire world to a halt in a matter of weeks. There are just so many aspects to look at this spread that it requires a newsletter in itself.

What is a Virus

Walter Reid was one of the first people to discover a virus back in 1901. Viruses are present across the world, in every species and in the air. We take in and throw out thousands of viruses every day. They are like bacteria but so tiny that if bacteria could see, they would also not be able to see them.

Viruses are not living but they have organic matter than can self replicate. A virus is a shell made of protein that contains genetic material either DNA or RNA. The problem is it cannot replicate alone. It needs to infect another living cell to replicate itself. And as is true for all life around, the only thing every genome is looking to do is replicate.

Cell the smallest living unit whose job is to make DNA, manufacture protein and store resources. Once a virus has overtaken a cell, it uses it to create its genetic material and a protein shell, in essence, creating a new virus. Aim of the virus is the infect a cell and get the replication going.  ..... 

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