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I Am A Biologist

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Posted by Eric J. Andresen on May 8, 2005 07:50:58 UTC

I know about mistakes. I work in the biotech industry, and for example I used to process genomic DNA from a particular immortal cell line. The people in the cell biology department were trying to improve efficiency in supplying me greater concentrations of these cells to work with...however, when I tried to process these new batches, I was always coming up with degraded DNA. At first I thought I was contaminating these processed cells with DNase somewhere in my processing, but I had been doing this for years with great results; but then I had an idea that with these cells in greater concentrations, these batches were acting like tissues, and tissues have necrosis factors that affect nearby cells when certain cells within the tissues are injured...it is a means of tissue defense when enzymes, or other chemicals, which are spilled out of the cytoplasm due to membrane rupture could act on a cause of the injury. The cell biology department started doing batches at lower cell concentrations, and DNA processing improved on my part to yeild intact DNA. Mistakes happen and we can learn from them, and in some cases these mistakes can be enlightening and lead to something profitable...that is kind of interesting in the world of science.
Now, I have had a lot of interest in astronomy, and I did well in courses in college and I found most aspects of it fascinating. I have of course seen some of those specials on tv regarding string theory with Briane Greene. I have also read a lot from various authors on all sorts of things. In a sense, I am saying things on concepts that others have developed with discipline, greater knowledge, greater understanding, etc.; but I can listen to others outside my field, and perhaps others can listen to me. I am probably wrong, but I may say things in a generalized way which someone in the field can approach use...who knows? I don't know which is inherently harder to grasp: I always heard that space is just nothing, period. I think I have a greater sense of something infinite than I do of what we would call just nothing. It seems to me that something also is kind of screwy where we live in a Universe in where we can imagine a whole lot more than will ever happen to it...including a whole bunch of wrong things. Or say that there is a supreme deity, why should I have the ability to conceive of something else that is even greater than this supreme being: I can easily say "litro", and define this term as being the beyond ultimate of this infinitely great supreme being. The last I heard of the totality of dimensions in Briane Greene's explanation of the string theory was of 11 dimensions...how did 15 more come in? Why can't I say that maybe one of these other dimensions impels the existence of even more, so what looks like 26 dimensions is actually 27? I'll leave it here to carry on later....thanks.

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