Dear students: if you see me at the protest today

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I’ll begin with two key points:

  1. Students who defend diversity and social justice, this professor supports you.
  2. A professor (myself) will be at today’s campus protest. I will not have a sign and I will not be chanting. I will be taking photos. Sometimes protests spark dangerous situations; sometimes people will only act their worst when they think no one of authority is watching.

On November 8, 2016, Donald Trump was elected President of the United States. Shortly after, several walk-outs and protests have occurred. Before you assume that people are simply pouting over “not getting their way,” consider that there are many reasons why people protest. Protesting the election result isn’t my reason. As far as I understand, any vote-rigging and election fraud that may have occurred happened as must as has happened in other elections. Fixing these instances would still yield the same outcome.

My motivation to participate is to be on the better side of the international image of the USA. When the message is “we are not Trump” I support that.

A professor from Columbia University published an open letter to his students that I feel echoes my own sentiments and is very inspiring. Please live a wonderful day today with your humanity principles to lead it.


Dr. Karmella Haynes


GMO Labeling: a (chance for) victory for GMO’s

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Think of the worst thing that the food industry has done with genetically modified foods (GMOs). If you say “sell them at all,” I’d disagree. I enjoy genetically modified foods, and they rely less on pesticides than “organically” grown foods. More on that later. Read the rest of this entry »

Professional bullying: personal comments on the recent assault of Dr. Ore

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Unfortunately, the disingenuous practice of disguising emotion-driven assaults with a veil of rules and laws is widespread, even amongst esteemed protectors, leaders, and professionals. This is what happened recently when a Tempe Police officer exploited his authority and applied excessive force in apprehending ASU Professor Ersula Ore for jay-walking in an area where the street is currently blocked off and there is no through-traffic on May 20, 2014. Read the rest of this entry »

A Biological Parts Repository journey

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I’m heading back to ASU from a very mind-expanding week of leadership training, a very generous  investment in the future of synthetic biology hosted by the Sloan Foundation, NSF, SynBERC, The BioBricks Foundation, and the Woodrow Wilson Center. Twenty  emerging leaders of synthetic biology were invited to propose and develop strategic action plans [1] to advance synthetic biology in the public interest. The speakers were amazing and inspiring. I feel both fired up and focused.

This blog post marks the beginning of my synthetic biology community project, a parts registry that captures the community’s activities related to every biological part that lives in the database. I plan to draw framework structures from the big biology databases, dynamic crowd-sourced editing sites, and even social networking sites. The project will start as a series of micro-experiments where I ask the community to report their experience with a biological part or a protocol.

The repository I envision has no official name yet. But as I typed the title of this post, Biological Parts Repository or “BPR”; seemed to have potential…beeper? The acronym is short, and can be pronounced as a word that ends in a sound that makes it work as a verb (I beepered the promoter we ran those measurements on). #GuyKawasaki

  1. Haynes KA. Incentive-driven information sharing for engineering biology. http://synbioleap.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/incentive-driven-information-sharing-for-engineering-biology.pdf