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July 27, 2006

the nucleosome code & the middle east

"The pattern is a combination of sequences that makes it easier for the DNA to bend itself and wrap tightly around a nucleosome. But the pattern requires only some of the sequences to be present in each nucleosome binding site, so it is not obvious. The looseness of its requirements is presumably the reason it does not conflict with the genetic code, which also has a little bit of redundancy or wiggle room built into it."

Now, don't you think it would be cool if this biological wiggle room could find its way into human political (war)fares?

I was warned about going to Iran last night by a non-american. First time that has happened. Not that I'll be going anyway. :-( Just received the offical "no" from the university that tried to sponsor my visit:

"I hope you are well. Thank you for your e.mail. Please note that
unfortunately due to new regulations, visa applications from US citizens needs to be sent to the Foreign Ministry many months in advance and this was not the case with your application.

I am sorry for this matter and I hope that there will be another chance for you to visit Iran sometime in the future."

I'm bummed but have had plenty of time to adjust to this possibility. :-/

Meanwhile, there's been much energy toward the "unwanted war" in Lebanon which is devastating the national economy and hundreds of thousands of people's lives. My friend Yasser sent information a few days ago, including these statistics:

"the recent Israeli war on Lebanon and Gaza has killed more than 400 civilians, injured several thousands, and displaced more than 500,000."

Activists at the recent Crossroads conference designed and distributed a petition (which I signed) to end the violence. Here's another one: Academics against Israeli Aggression on Lebanon and Gaza. Meanwhile, here are some links for detailed information about what it's like from "their" side.

Updates on the Israeli Aggression in Lebanon, a blog reported the headline news from Lebanese television.

Electronic Lebanon, self-described as "publishes news, commentary, analysis, and reference materials about the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict from a Palestinian perspective. EI is the leading Palestinian portal for information about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and its depiction in the media."

Sanayeh Relief Center in Beirut, affiliated with Lebanon Updates (above) are humanitarians who were all working in Beirut when this latest round began.

Gizem's father (who hosted me to a spectacular dinner in a well-appointed Turkish apartment) spoke at length about the history and politics of the region, emphasizing that humanity has lived here – with and against each other – longer than anyplace else. He described the current situation with Iran as "delicate," and suggested I might want to wait. I have no choice now, of course, but I wonder if humanity will be able to collectively turn this tide around? Everyone needs to feel safe, at least safe enough from random explosions, accidental and deliberate early violent death, and such incredible mourning.


Those of you with loads more bucks than me might want to check out UrbanSurvival.com.

Posted by Steph at July 27, 2006 4:38 AM


oh oh :(
unfortunate that you can't make the Iran trip!
but looks like you are having a fun time in Turkey, nice.

mei-mei says she misses you :)

Posted by: Puru at July 27, 2006 12:09 PM

Puru, I was beginning to wonder about being all alone in cyberspace. :-) Especially because I had some angst with the internet and my laptop, which delayed several emails....and thus certain responses....and therefore a sense of connection with others-in-the-world...!

I miss Mei-Mei too. Although I am being entertained by an all black boy cat named Mystic, he's not my very own fuzzball. :-/

Posted by: Steph [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 31, 2006 8:27 AM

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