March 17, 2002
You know, one must wonder why scientists have only found for cures for impotence and treatments for herpes instead of the major diseases they've been studying for years like AIDS, Cancer and even the common cold. I have a theory. Scientists are too smart. They are too concerned with the processes. Go to any lab and you'll see what I mean. They have a strict plan for what they are doing. Most have to write out a detailed procedure before they start and they have plans for what to do if something doesn't go as planned or if something gets contaminated.. They disinfect labs and sterilize everything. I hear you saying, "Isn't that a good thing? I mean, they need to know what they're doing right...and it should be clean shouldn't it? You don't want some guy's fecal matter everywhere do you?"
As a matter of fact, yes I do. Well, not in my house but let's not go there. I think the lab is a great place for unplanned events. Some of the most interesting and helpful scientific breakthroughs were caused by, basically, morons who made a mistake or lived like pigs (the technical term is "serendipity" but I like my description better). Once they made this mistake they tried to defend it to their boss so they didn't get fired. "Yeah, I meant to do that. I'm just going to let the experiment run. Trust me. We shouldn't start over or anything." Bosses back in those days must have been easier to sway.
Let's take a few cases and study them. Vaccines were found by accident. Pasteur's lab aide (undoubtly a graduate student working on his master's thesis and 2 hours of sleep a night) accidently injected a chicken with dead cholera bacteria. They wanted to kill the chicken but the chicken didn't die and Pasteur decided to just try again on the same chicken (I guess they couldn't spare more chickens or maybe the guy who issued the grant was coming and wanted to see a dead chicken immediately). He did it himself this time and checked to make sure the cholera was functioning. The chickens still lived and he had discovered a vaccine.
Penicillin was discovered by Fleming. He had a bacteria cultured on a plate and his lab was a mess so some mold accidently got on it. He noticed it killed the bacteria. Let's face it, Fleming was a lucky pig. He also accidently dripped snot in a culture and discovered the valuable enzyme lysozyme. He was basically the smart version of a college aged kid in a dorm. Whereas most wouldn't notice the mold growing in their fridge (or at least think anything of it if they did), he took the time to study it. Maybe he just needed a girlfriend.
Some argue that we've come to far in science now for any really life changing accidental discoveries to take place. I disagree. There's bound to someone who can f--k something up in an all new way and find something really important. I have faith in modern's people's ability to f--k things up.
I think we need more snot and idiots who don't know what they're doing working in labs. Heck, I'll sign up for lab work tomorrow to further my cause. I'm bound to be at least as stupid as Kekule (who had too much to drink and dreamed of monkeys dancing in a circle and found the structure of benzene).
Posted by vixen at March 17, 2002 07:50 PM
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