Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Module 3 Reflection

Alternatively titled: What Is Biological Engineering?

Unlike what I've heard from some of my classmates, everything about 109 was new for me. My only internship experience falls under the area of architecture or what many people here would vaguely refer to as "HASS type stuff" with a wave of the hand. Biological engineering research was new for me.
Some of it was what I expected (read: flu! tissue culture! DNA! I get this stuff!), but then module 3 began. Professor Belcher began her first lecture.
"...We'll be making solar cells..."
Solar cells? Solar cells?? Really?
I'm not a nuclear engineer--mechanical engineer--no, electrical engineer...I don't even know who makes solar cells, let alone how I, with my arsenal of biologically focused knowledge, could make one.
Of course, I discovered that it could be done. More than that, I found that it was actually quite fun.  It certainly stretched my views of my field and what it could accomplish. It also made me fall in love with Bio E just a little bit more. It's so incredible, when you think about it, using viruses to help harness energy in an environmentally friendly way.
So what is biological engineering?
I've come up with what I think is a pretty good working definition: biological engineering is the manipulation of living materials, organisms, or parts of living organisms to solve a problem.
And it's pretty cool.

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