Saturday, January 9, 2010

wild goose chase.

Science is a wild-goose chase where you're blindfolded and trying to find a goose that's black. In a gaggle of 73 gooses that may be black, but you don't if they are. Try that for once. It's really hard. And at the end of the day, once you catch a goose, you may be right, you may be wrong, but you never do get to see the color of the goose you caught. That, my friends, is what it's like to do a literature search to "find something out" - code for "dredge out a possible conclusion but not exactly since their culture system was different and the species of parasite was also different...so it might work?" Come on. This is supposed to be science. Not guess and check.

But I have an idea...can someone just beam me into a sci-fi show where there is a nice and sweet holograph that knows everything and I could just ask her questions and she would know? What concentration of tetracycline is necessary to kill 99% of malaria-causing parasites in 10 mililiters of blood culture with a parasetemia of 8%? How many different antibiotics work effectively on yeast cells in culture at a low enough concentration? How many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsie pop?

2 comments:

Rachel M. Slough said...

These are the kinds of questions that librarians get giddy with excitement about. I don't know the people at MIT, but I'm sure they are excellent. You might ask and see if they can help :) Hopefully they can, and I know you'll make their day with questions like those!
From what I understand of research, your description is right on. Kind of like life in that we just sort of work hard, guess a lot, do the best we can, and trust that it'll be ok?

You Are My Fave said...

I'm so not the person to ask about this. Science was never my forte.

I guess the other 2.5% of me would be dancer of TV theme songs and commercials.