Lab rat

Long time, no write! I have been fiddling around with the widgets and content though, not in the last two weeks, but before that there was some changes instituted. In addition, I often add links to articles etc. in the resources section, so in case anyone is starved for some reading of this kind, you can always check in there…

But! Now to other exciting things! I’m in ‘Merca, a.k.a. AMERICA, and I’m sorry to say that I never want to leave (again). In all honesty, I didn’t expect to have this reaction, but I am, and at this point I don’t understand how I could have thought that I wouldn’t feel the way I do. I think Denver is the city where I feel the most at home. I won’t go into the details, because it’s not what this blog is for, but since I know that some people that mean a lot to me will be reading this, I just want to say that I wish that I could import you all here and have you all fall under the same spell as me, and then we could all live happily ever after with 300 days of sun a year and go climbing every day. IN THE MOUNTAINS, yo.

Health. Right. I’m working. It’s my first week at the hospital. I was very anxious about proper clothing before I started, so it was a good thing that me and Sonja spent hours and hours at the mall last week. Because now there are funky pants high and low. Focus…

I’m currently writing a research proposal related to celiac disease and cancer (mainly enteropathy-associated T-cell lymphoma), which is really interesting. I started on another one the other day about whether it is safe to consume GM foods. The point is, that I need to propose an experimental design that is feasible in the sense that I could potentially perform it in this lab. So, for instance, I couldn’t suggest that I would like to prove that artificial food dyes induces ADHD in children, because a) people respond differently, and b) there are no biomarkers for ADHD that I could investigate in any of the labs I’m in, because you can’t tell from for instance a blood draw. But you can do some initial testing into whether someone has celiac disease by checking for certain antibodies. If that comes out having a certain count of some things (like tTG), for a certain diagnosis you’d have to proceed with a biopsy. Again, I won’t go into the details.

There was something else that I encountered yesterday, in my mind, that’s been there for a long time, but that I hadn’t felt so intensely until now when I’m in this setting where things/assays are simply analyzed and checked in a strictly scientific sense (because, of course, it’s a hospital lab, samples are there so that info can be sent back to the doctors and patients). Nevertheless, as I was writing and reading and researching about GMO, I was going a wee bit crazy, as I’m sure you can imagine, by the thought of only focusing on whether consumption does or does not cause any pathologies. If it doesn’t, it in my opinion still does not mean that the green light is on.

Anyway, the general “consensus” at the moment seems to be that these products are “generally” safe for consumption, and thus it is the opinion (?) that they ought to be used that prevails, at least in those circles where decisions are made.

I read a lot about the justifications, and it was difficult to find any information that didn’t use the third world and their scarce resources as the main motivator for the continued use of GMO. I was trying to find articles that link GMO to cancer, through rather advanced and refined searches, and, as mentioned, I immediately got sidetracked to world hunger. It was a hard realization to have, that as a scientist in a lab, I’m not supposed to be concerned with whether the developing world can get a chance to provide for themselves in a more natural way, or if the developed world has an obligation to make use of what we have to solve (put a band aid on?) the problems that we, in part, created and maintain. Is there a middle way? Like reducing the activities that we engage in here that fuels the problems that the developing countries dace? It’s not relevant. I’m supposed to be researching the nitty gritty: will GMOs, upon consumption, in whatever amount, potentially increase the risk of developing cancer, or will they not?

What I’m experiencing might be a culprit in why we find ourselves where we are. I could go on for ages, but I need to get ready to head on over to the hospital again, going to be in the core lab today. One thing is for sure though; fields of study must merge, both within and between fields.

One response to “Lab rat

  1. Fractal of problems begins, does it not?

    I liked this particular sidetrack:
    “I read a lot about the justifications, and it was difficult to find any information that didn’t use the third world and their scarce resources as the main motivator for the continued use of GMO.”

    As the West are main importing countries and in the middle of the trade game, we often deprive the third world of its own food in the first place. I realized when reading this that the third would could feed itself if we didnt exploit their staple good (like the instance with Quinoa).

    Wheres the escape???? AH

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