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Polymerase chain reaction is a cornerstone of molecular biology research. Using short pieces of single-stranded DNA called primers the previously invisible becomes tangible.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Television: The West Wing, The Wake Up Call

This was mostly an unremarkable episode. The political issues concerned constitutional theory and foreign affairs. Toby debates and discusses the merits of parliamentary democracy over a strong executive democracy with a constitutional scholar, aka Jim Ignatowski, and the presumptive founding fathers of the Republic of Belarus. Iran mistakes a British passenger plane for a US spy plan and shoots it down.

CJ comes to the realization that her job is to manage the President not his disease. The President and the First Lady realize that he is not managing his disease. We saw the return of British Ambassador, Lord John Marbury, whose government in this fictional universe is the hawkish counterpart to the more diplomatic American President.

The episode's saving grace, however, was in its references to molecular biology. Seems Ellie, medical student, middle First Daughter and self-confessed lab rat, has a new beau. The President queried, “What's not to like about a guy who has spent the past fifteen years studying the mating habits of Drosophila melanogaster?” I know mating habits don’t seem like the province of molecular biologists, but tell me, how many anthropologists or sociologists out there use this fruit fly as a model? And to top it off, what better universe could exist where Miss World 2004 lobbies the Whitehouse regarding “micro-array based gene expression studies”? Outstanding!!!

1 comment:

Sara said...

Are you in molecular biology?