Nerd Talk with the Boss


1:57 PM. June 18, 2010. National Institutes of Health, UP Manila.

While waiting for our meeting to start, my boss suddenly asked me, “How will you find the gene that codes for aneurysm?”.

I was dumbfounded. How indeed am I supposed to look for that gene? My answer was, “It’s a matter of trial and error, sir.” Which is partially true.  He asked me again, “How do you do a trial error?”.

I gave him two examples: (1) He could hope that at the height of aneurysm, he observes an abnormal level of protein, neutransmitter, or a metal. Most likely, it will have something to do with a disease.  He can then look for an enzyme related to the activity, sequence it, then locate the gene that codes for it.  (2) If we were talking of a E. coli genes, you could directly tweak gene then observe it will have an effect on the organism’s phenotype.

Hah. How I wish it could be simple as that but it isn’t. Situations like this makes me realize how little I know despite being a science enthusiast.  When you thought you know a lot, the more you will realize you know nothing.

I hope in time I will develop critical thinking. I hope it takes me to heights that may not even make sense to the laymen but will still make significant impacts in their lives.

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