Wednesday, November 6, 2019

What do you collect ? Questions or Answers ?

What do you collect in life? questions or answers? 

A thought-provoking comic-strip, that is totally worth the time spent.

Please watch here and do use a laptop or any big screen. Phone screens don't help.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

13 Lessons from 13 Years of Brain Pickings...

Brain Pickings has been one of my favorite sites ever since I discovered it a few years back. It is one of those sites that enrich a person and worth every second spent.

Maria Popova has shared these beautiful, insightful and time-tested learnings titled "13 Life-Learnings from 13 Years of Brain Pickings" with the tagline More fluid reflections on keeping a solid center.

I have given below the 13 lessons. 

  1. Allow yourself the uncomfortable luxury of changing your mind.
  2. Do nothing for prestige or status or money or approval alone.
  3. Be generous.
  4. Build pockets of stillness into your life.
  5. When people try to tell you who you are, don’t believe them.
  6. Presence is far more intricate and rewarding an art than productivity.
  7. Expect anything worthwhile to take a long time.
  8. Seek out what magnifies your spirit.
  9. Don’t be afraid to be an idealist. 
  10. Don’t just resist cynicism — fight it actively.
  11. Question your maps and models of the universe, both inner and outer, and continually test them against the raw input of reality.
  12. There are infinitely many kinds of beautiful lives.
  13. Forgive, forgive, forgive. And then forgive again. 
Please do check out the complete post here

"Self-Refinement Through the Wisdom of the Ages: New Year’s Resolutions from Some of Humanity’s Greatest Minds"  comes with the tagline Enduring ideas for personal refinement from Seneca, Thoreau, Virginia Woolf, Carl Sagan, Alan Watts, Emerson, Bruce Lee, Maya Angelou, and more --is a post that I have shared on my FB wall every new year since 2016. 

A very short version can be read here.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

CRISPR - The What, How and Why...

I gave a talk on CRISPR - A Gene editing tool under the auspices of Varahamihira Science Forum on 25th May 2019 at Tamil Virtual Academy, Kotturpuram, Chennai.

Background: There is so much excitement and apprehension about this in the scientific community. As a person who follows the developments in science and technology to the best of my ability, i wanted to know more about CRISPR and purchased Jeniffer Doudna's 'A Crack in Creation'.

Jeniffer Doudna is a leading figure in the CRISPR revolution and in 2012,  she along with Emmanuelle Charpentier were the first to propose that CRISPR/Cas9 enzymes from bacteria could be used for programmable editing of genomes.  

After reading the book and more articles , I understood why people were excited and apprehensive about CRISPR, all at the same time. Thought that it would be a good idea to talk about this to general public so more people are aware of what CRISPR is and why we , the general public, need to be aware of the technique , so we can make sense out of articles in news magazines or legislations/ guidelines government have come out with or may in the future.


CRISPR - What is it ? How does it work ? Why do we need this conversation ? 

Purpose of the talk was to provide a high level overview of CRISPR - a targeted gene editing technique , potential applications and the ethical questions that we as a society need to face. In the process answer the above questions.

Objective of the talk was to help the lay person make sense of CRISPR and better understand the news items, debates and articles surrounding the same. Through reference to articles and books, it also aims to be a launch pad for people who wants to explore CRISPR further.


Here is the video of the talk.

Here is a link to the presentation i used for the talk. It has got references to the data i shared in the talk and also mentions the books and links for further study.

I also thank Varahamihira Science Forum, a group that is doing yeomen service in popularising science to the common folks, for giving me this opportunity to talk about CRISPR and to all the people who attended the talk in person/ watched on youtube and came back to me with questions and suggestions.

Happy learning.