The central dogma is foundational to our understanding of biology. It might need a little updating, perhaps a fresh suit. But it is still the foundation. Just know that there is a version 2.0 to this story.
I was frustrated. Frustrated by the situation that I found myself in. I had a plume of smoke above my head. But then, I took a moment, and thought I should probably keep an open mind. Then I thought: Everyone would agree that an open mind is almost always, and for sure, better than a closed mind. Ain’t that right? So I took another look. To my utter surprise, my mind was only half open; I had assumed an image of a very open-minded self that was becoming untrue. While I was busy with my frustration, I have tuned the conversation out, and was closing my mind as the frustration built. So I pried my mind open. I pried. And I pried. And then, wow. A door revealed itself, unexpectedly. And the door opened.
On the August 25, 2020 episode of Charles Duhigg’s How To! podcast, Guy Raz said that a disruptive idea is (I assume he means “almost” and not “absolutely”) going to be rejected by most people, quoting the Airbnb founder’s experience.
Professor Massimo Pigliucci of CUNY-City College hosts a podcast called Stoic Meditations. The episodes are really short. I tend to hit play; and it would end in a blink of an eye. A bit of a criticism for the professor: The audio quality or perhaps the way it is delivered results in a slightly muffled audio that is sometimes difficult to follow and goes by very quickly. It is, after-all, only 2-minute long.
That said, the latest episode caught my attention and had me replaying the episode ten million times. It is about Epictetus’s discourses, Book 3, Chapter XXIV.
Ah, impromptu speaking. How do we make sure that we are ever-ready to say something, especially something smart, when you run into someone or when you are called upon to speak impromptu at a group meeting?
Think of virus like a bag–a bag filled with genetic material. Pretend that the bag, a circular bag, is the envelop of a virus. Inside the bag, or the virus’s envelop, you can find either DNA or RNA (i.e. the genetic information of the virus).
SARS-CoV-2 is the kind of bag that contains RNA, not DNA. In fact, the SARS-CoV-2 bag only contains a long strand of RNA. The “bag” or the envelop of SARS-CoV-2, like many other viruses, is made of lipid bilayers, i.e. fatty acids chains organized in two layers. (See Figure 1 below)
Figure 1: The image of the infamous SARS-CoV-2, taken using transmission electron microscope (TEM). (Photo: GEN) The diameter of the virus is around 120 nm (Britannica, accessed March 21, 2020). As a comparison, imagine lining these guys up in a straight line, all 1,000,000 of them, and you will get 1 mm!