Biology and Genetics

“Biology is the study of complicated things that have the appearance of having been designed with a purpose.” Richard Dawkins

Why is biology important? How can we understand genetics? Nihal hosts a program based on biology and genetics. He interviews teen author from New Zealand, Lucy Xu who wrote a creative and captivating retelling of the basic concepts of genetics through illustration and fantasy, The Scent of Genetics. It simplifies the complicated and technical scientific concepts for the layman or a younger audience. The graphic novel follows personified cells, proteins, and genes on their usual adventures. The cell is transformed into a kingdom, the nucleus becomes a castle, and all characters are ruled over by King Arthur. Lucy talks about her research and journey to publication. Newest reporter, Sharanya Roy joins the show with her segment, Squibbles. She shares her poem, Mirror Genes, that weaves the theme of genetics into her segment focusing on writing and poetry. Although many personality traits can be inherited from parent to offspring, writing isn’t one of them. The last stanza from her poem is

In reality,

I am 50% my mom,

And 50% my dad,

And 100% me.

Her favorite poet is Sylvia Plath with her vivid imagery. Sharanya recalls a few lines from Tulips and compares it to what is happening wtth the pandemic.

“The tulips are too excitable, it is winter here.

Look how white everything is, how quiet, how snowed-in.”

Bio: Lucy Xu

Lucy is especially passionate about biology and specifically, genetics. In her free time, she likes to read fantasy novels, play tennis, sail, and drink tea. In her final year of high school in New Zealand, Lucy published The Secret of Genetics: a Comic which has taken two years of her hard work. Lucy was inspired to create a graphic novel/comic book about genetics to make biology more accessible and interesting to younger students. She aspires to battle cancer and Alzheimer's disease through genetic research. In hopes of facilitating unity in this field, Lucy also chairs international and UNICEF committees and actively participates in initiatives like pride.

Bio: Sharanya Roy

Sharanya Roy is a 7th grader in Gale Ranch Middle School. She loves to swim, play the piano, and make amusing jokes with her friends. Apart from planning her goofy schemes, Sharanya really enjoys writing. She finds that each sentence has a life of its own, and she loves the sound of the keyboard clacking, as well as the scrick of a pencil. In her radio show, Sharanya hopes to change how teens look at writing, as writing doesn’t JUST consist of essays for school, it is a lot more. In Sharanya’s segment, “The Scribble”, she wants to share new methods of writing, and how writing can be a part of every teen’s life.

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Listen at Voice America Network, Empowerment Channel: https://www.voiceamerica.com/episode/133975/biology-and-genetics

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