Thursday, November 4, 2010

What are you working on?

A question that comes to me *too* often these days after the initial greetings and what are you upto these days inquiries!

I truly appreciate the curiosity and I like it when someone is interested in knowing what kind of work do I do?
BUT the point is the people asking this very *interesting* questions are in our common usage terms *layman*

Just to give an example,
If I am working in the depths of Mariana trench, they are at the shore/the beach! And now, how will one at the shore in *unscientific (read sane/layman)* terms understand and if by a very gross mistake understand; appreciate the need, fun and challenge in doing something AWESOME called *RESEARCH* which in the general perception is a boring, insane activity restricted to the nerdy, whimsical minority!

I mean when I was working for my dissertation,
I at least had *circuits* handy- to which if I attach genetic its okay! Cause out of *genetic circuits* people definitely have heard of circuits (I don’t expect them to know what it is, the meaning part, except for those with science background) but it’s okay I mean! SAVER
And then comes *protein* (in my mind- sorry no substitute available here, might give milk protein caesin as an example but no SUBSTITUTE) and then this *protein* (still the person figuring out what I just said) is never produced in constant amount (Why? I don’t allow them to ask or this question never comes to the person’s mind, don’t know! BUT THANK GOD) so, we have designed a circuit which will produce the protein in constant amounts! Tadaa!!!

And there is SILENCE Golden SILENCE until one of us comes up with a CHANGE of Topic!!!

BTW now I work on expression of stress, cell division and repair related genes in E.coli, which has been evolved for 2000 generations in the lab under Oligophilic low nutrient conditions!
I better not talk about this one!!! STRESS (in cell?) REPAIR (what to repair, in a cell?) and EVOLUTION!!! (BTW almost everyone knows or has heard of Darwin J )

(I wish to appear SANE to the layman’s world, I am no different! I am your kin, your species! )

I think every RESEARCHER/someone doing SCIENCE must have gone through such a dilemma where you are so eager to talk about your work; but even after trying hard, harder and still Hard(btw if you do this you are boring) you are not satisfied with your own explanation and convinced that the other person *layman* has not understood it! I go through this definitely!
Nonetheless, howsoever boring I might sound while I talk about my work to you (which is in the *true* sense, is not boring, you fail to appreciate it due to: still figuring out what?)

P.S: All special characters are intended!

1 comment:

  1. Well same here...
    I say "Am working to understand Protein Stability and Folding."

    Generally people dont ask any further BUT my mom did. So i had to explain that proteins are chains of amino acids (she had heard about amino acids!!) and that for functioning protein need to fold.

    I also give stuff like "my work is mostly computational..."


    Sometimes I just cant help feeling that 'lay-people' are just like chicken or vegetables. :P