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NTettamanti

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About NTettamanti

  • Rank
    Lepton

Profile Information

  • Location
    Henderson
  • Interests
    Biology, debate, philosophy, popular science books, education, and my girlfriend.
  • College Major/Degree
    Biology at U Minnesota Twin Cities '15
  • Favorite Area of Science
    Biology - Genetics
  • Biography
    Aspiring geneticist
  • Occupation
    Educator at learning center
  1. Although you aren't guaranteed to have the same resources/professors as the graduate school, the rankings for physics graduate schools probably indicate your ability to take those types of classes (plus, it will give you better access to graduate school). However, Swansont is right that you will simply major in physics. However, graduate school rankings are easy to find, so I couldn't help myself. url="http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-science-schools/astrophysics-rankings"]Astrophysics Rankings[/url] Cal-Tech, Stanford and UC Berkeley are among the top three. Keep in mind though, undergraduate is a different beast than graduate school. I've heard an anecdote that there is very little difference between learning classical physics from a professor at UC Berkeley and learning classical physics from a professor at a community college. Another piece of advice that I have heard is that you shouldn't let anyone elses rankings get int he way of your rankings. If you have the opportunity to, visit each of the schools and take tours, talk to students about their experiences and do some research to figure out which school fits your financial, social and geographic needs.
  2. I'd agree that science follows the scientific model. As such, my definition of science would encompass those "hard sciences" (Biology, Chemistry, Physics, etc.) as well as the social sciences (economics, sociology, etc) because of the method and goal of both of those science fields. They both rely on the scientific method and they both want to broaden understanding of a subject. As for everyone who would argue that social sciences aren't actual sciences, there is no non-arbitrary way to determine that one thing is a science over another. I would argue that the bright line is the method and goal; that makes it a science. The subject matter, however, does not matter. Its the mechanism, rather than the content.
  3. After digging a little deeper into journal records, I found this tidbit from the anthropology article "What Do We Know About Neanderthals and Cro-Magnon Man?" by Richard Klein: This seems to indicate that they probably have similar eye color and hair color to individuals that live in those areas; while its not conclusive proof it would be a good place to start. The article is pretty long, perhaps you can access it and then see if there is any enlightening information in it. (*cough* message me if you need access to a certain anthropology article...*cough*)
  4. I doubt that astronautics as a career would exhibit much growth (although, I couldn't find growth evidence over the years). The demand for engineers, and scientists may increase (or simply just be 'shifted' from one field to he astronautics field). A lot of astronauts that I've read about have research degrees in some science and then they become astronauts. They need to bring something unique to the field in order to be employed, I would imagine.
  5. Thanks for the awesome and detailed response Genecks, I'll keep all of you updated on where I end up. Any advice on which genetics/statistics books to get?
  6. I'd like to propose a thought experiment; albeit there may be some flaws to it. I think the way to determine this could be looking at it from an objective observer's point of view. If we view an individual who engages in heterosexual behavior, that behavior and subsequent emotions (sexual arousal, feelings of romantic love, etc.) can either be caused by genes or environmental influences. If we say that individuals are biologically drawn to heterosexuality then when we evaluate someone who shares the same behavior and subsequent emotions with another individual of the same sex we should find that they, too, are influenced genetically. Likewise, if you believe the homosexual gene is socially acquired then why would it be intuitive to assume that heterosexual behavior occurs by any other mechanism than environmental acquisition. I would suggest that both heterosexuality and homosexuality must be caused by the same thing: genetically, socially or a little bit of both. Of course, this is just a little thought experiment. It seems to make sense from an objective viewer's angle (rather than a subjective viewer who would proclaim that heterosexuality is genetic because a majority of the population is heterosexual, whereas homosexual populations are environmentally that way because "its not normal").
  7. Maybe this will help in finding out blood type? I know its unrelated to hair color (pardon the American-English spelling) and eye color.
  8. Evolution is not teleological. There exists no end goal for how we evolve; I do not exist to try to become the 'fittest'. Instead, if the way my genes intermix with the environment increases my survivability then I will potentially have a child that contains some of those same genes. Therefore, I would imagine that mutations are accidental. Imagine the complexity of the biochemical reaction that produces any organism; it's almost inevitable that there will be some random changes. Due to the fact that DNA is not sentient, however, I would imagine that these mutations are accidental. If every piece of genetic information wanted to be copied, then if they "had the choice" they would have no mutations because "they" would "want" to retain their own information. Currently there are numerous examples in the animal kingdom where organisms do not utilize DNA, but DNA 'utilizes' the organisms for its own replication. Think about a bee or ant colony, the sterile ‘worker’ organisms only exist to provide a means to raise and take care of the eggs laid by the queen. The worker organisms don’t exist to perpetuate their own biological selves; in fact, they give up their own reproduction to facilitate the raising of another individual’s young. When viewing biology through the lens of individuals reproducing, this would make no sense. However, when organisms exist to replicate information that they possess, the picture becomes perfectly clear. The workers in these colonies contain strands of DNA that instruct them to tend to the queen. While most of the organisms that possess this gene don’t survive, the gene itself survives through the queen’s prosperity. Survival of the fittest implies the fittest gene, not the fittest organism (which acts only as a vehicle for the gene), will perpetuate its survival. Under this paradigm, it would also make no sense for DNA to induce mutation because DNA does not act in any teleological way for the organism, but rather for itself. PS, sorry for the personifcation of DNA. It's difficult to explain in a manner that isn't personified, obviously genes do not 'want' or 'attempt' anything, they simply do so because of (in my opinion at least) complex biochemical reactions.
  9. This is a rather difficult question; trying to find a real world application for phototropism is difficult especially because the response to the external stimuli is not permanent. I was initially thinking that landscapers could use phototropism to organize plants a certain way; if plants grow more quickly to a certain color than a different color then perhaps there are different ways to place plants that will be more or less aesthetic. I don't know though; that application seems silly. A generic application into real life would be the increased knowledge of how plants react to the sunlight, possibly increasing our ability to bio-engineer better crop plants? Although, I feel like you would need a more specific link between phototropism and our ability to increase crop yields. Yet, this also sounds strange with phototropism. I think a more applicable form of research with plants would be the effect of different wavelengths of light on cell growth. Then you could determine in which environment bean plants grow best; which would definitely have real-world results in increasing our crop yield. Although, this only applies if you can change your research question.
  10. Thanks for the replies everyone; I think I'll contact the research coordinator at my university and figure out what I need to do next (I can't do my own research, the deadline for undergraduate research has already gone by). If you have anything else to say, then please do as it may be use to someone else who searches for similar advice.
  11. Hello everyone, I'm heading to college this upcoming fall and I desire to do research. However, I don't know how to go about getting a position. If any of you have done freshman research, I have a few questions: 1. Did you find a professor to research with before or after you started classes? Or were you offered an opportunity to research on your own? 2. Did you have prior lab work experience (I've taken AP/IB Biology and AP Chemistry, I'm just assuming that isn't considered experience)? If you did, how did you receive it? 3. Are there any books about lab work that I should read before school starts? Any books on scientific thought I should read? I suppose I'm just kind of lost as to where to go, and I figured that since a lot of you have experienced this that it wouldn't be a problem for the community to answer it. Thanks!
  12. I assume we would as well... I guess it depends on the methodology of how they determined what genes were present in what area. The genes that all human share due sharing a common ancestor in our lineage are probably thrown out of the test results. I would assume, though I have no idea, that they simply take the genes that appear in high frequencies from different regions and compare them to other groups. If gene A exists in high frequencies in region 1 and 2 but not 3, then we can (probably not very accurately) assume that an individual who lives in region 2 probably originated from region 1 (assuming that most migrated from region 1, sub-Saharan Africa). Like I said, I have no idea how they actually calculate those numbers though.
  13. Yup; we're making the same point... I was just illustrating it in a poor way I was saying that the 2% difference exists because we have drifted away from our common ancestor, and saying that the idea that you won't find chimp DNA in humans is relative; because it works both ways. To illustrate (perhaps in a better way), the x would represent DNA that was from the common ancestor, while H and C would be human and chimp DNA respectfully. You wouldn't ever find human DNA in chimps, and vice versa (because that is what makes us different!) [xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxH] [xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxC]
  14. The direct descendants may not have the same DNA as the groups who have migrated; however, I don't believe that just because there are changes in the DNA sequences that it necessarily means that those newly evolved frequencies are any better or worse than the original. Also, this would simply show that there would be genetic variation from one group to another (that can be quantitatively and qualitatively measured). We could expect that the new Also, if chimps and humans have 98% DNA then you wouldn't find Chimp DNA in humans. What you would find is the DNA from our common ancestor; the 2% difference works both ways. To demonstrate this better, your statement could be rewritten as: you would never expect to find human DNA in chimp tests... but you would never find that other 2% (chimp DNA) when testing a chimp. That's the point; we are 98% similar and the 2% differences work both ways. I think Lemur brings up really good points; particularly about the actual application of this science into society. I do believe, however, that these types of tests can actually destroy that harmful racial ideology; if people understood how similar they were then there would be no reason to engage in racial discrimination. In addition, even if individuals wandered everywhere, they eventually settled down in an area and the mechanism of migration took affect. I believe its clear that certain regional groups probably contain a higher frequency of certain genes simply due to a lack of migration. And while the idea may not be perfect, I think that the regional classifications we create can be (not necessarily are) descriptive of the gene pool in a particular area; however, I would say that these classifications are not prescriptive (they may change in the future) and they don't necessarily describe any important difference.
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