Thursday, 9 June 2011

"Summer stretching on the grass"

Finally a post after god knows how many months.

I'm having a pretty nice summer so far, with my project and everything and it feels good to be contributing a tiny microscopic little bit to research that will some day go a long way to cure people with spinal cord injuries. We are working with clinical samples of cerebrospinal fluid from patients with varying degrees of spinal injury, and trying to analyze what proteins there are, compare their expression and eventually figure out what causes degeneration. At the end is the answer to the very fundamental question we've taken for granted all along - why can't neurons regenerate? What I find very interesting about this is that we'd learnt all along, ever since we had biology, that nerve cells are the only ones that cannot regrow. Something we were just made to accept as a fundamental fact. But now, we asked why. Of course there must be a reason! And we're going to get an answer some day.

I guess for the people who do this all the time that novelty isn't there because this is their work, the procedures are things they do routinely.  But for me its exciting now not only because the procedures and concepts are totally new to me, but also because when I learn something there and so something with my own hands, I feel like I too am playing a tiny part that will eventually lead to a solution to the problem. What little I'm doing is probably inconsequential but to me the experience matters, and maybe the little work I'm doing now is repetitive and monotonous, but its thinking about the big picture that will shape up one day because of this work that keeps me on my toes. Its like a drop of water in a bucket.
But whatever it is, I'm learning and I know this is what I want to do!

And otherwise I'm failing miserably regarding my plans to go to the gym (again!), I desperately want something to read, and I wish I could play more table tennis.

Another few weeks and we're 3rd years, officially! :)