A few weeks ago, there was a remarkable article in the Science Times (NYT, 29.04.08), in which Dr. Arno Motulsky was interviewed. As a teenager in Germany, Dr. Motulsky spent years trying to emigrate to the United States, and--like Walter Gropius, see Bauhaus idolatry below--he was fortunate to be able to do so: in his case, the window between staying and going boiled down to a mere 10 days. "If my visa had taken any longer," he recalls, "I wouldn't be here...I would have ended up in Auschwitz, like most of the people I left behind."
It's a good thing, for all of us, that he got here.
In 1957, Dr. Motulsky asked a question about the negative interaction of two drugs with a set of enzymes produced by certain human genes that "set off a revolution in research." What does this have to do with design? In the simplest terms: the good doctor goes on to discuss how one of his new projects relates to human color vision, and a recent finding that "the same exact red color is perceived as a different type of red, depending on a person's genetic makeup." Amazing, yes?
"Q. What's the point of knowing this?"
"A. It's exciting to learn that because of heredity, different people can see the same thing differently. I think this may prove useful in studying more complex brain functions.
If this were 20 years ago, I'd focus on neurogenetics.
What's going on in the brain, that's the last frontier."
Doesn't get much cooler than that, as far as I can see.