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Old 12-04-2010, 10:30 AM
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Akula2ssn Akula2ssn is offline
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Seattle
Posts: 1,454

Originally Posted by Saquist View Post
We've been working on potential for the last 100 years.
Don't get me wrong we've done some good things medically but nothing like we were expecting to when we discovered DNA in the first place. Our expectations must have been too high from the Darwining era before we know about DNA. So many lofty claims were made once they found out about DNA and mutations...and none ...little of it has panned out.

The difference is now we know what's killing us...but we still can't do much to stop it. My grandmother is fighting cancer...There is just so many more important things to focus the money of the people that are dying and waiting for those cures and remedies that never really come...we're busy funding research is not going to help societies most pressing issues. I don't condone science being used in this way. If feels like we're putting alot into it and getting nothing in return.
I know what you're saying but on the other hand when you consider how much we spend each year for decades and decades on research for diseases like cancer and it does seem like we still aren't getting much closer to a definitive cure, you almost have to take a moment and think that maybe this particular line that we've been following is a dead end. The history of the R&D that led to the polio vaccine is an example of this. There were numerous dead ends and tests that left children dead or crippled. A lot of what researchers thought they knew about the disease turned out to be wrong. In the end, it's the scientists that do the basic research that provide those that do the practical research the tools they need for their own work. If you've got the basics all wrong then trying to build on that is quite disastrous. The answer may not lie in the DNA but in new biomolecular processes. It may not even lie in the critter itself but new methods developed to further study those processes within that critter. This is why, even though I don't care much for being part of the academic community, it does serve its purpose. Through the academia such as research, journals, etc researchers can find out about not only new findings but new methods that they might be able to apply to their own work that can allow them to further their work. The main problem is that there's so much out there and a central data base still isn't complete where scientists of all fields can easily refer to for such information. That's something that's in the works but that's a lot of information to compile and organize not to mention to convert to digital format. There's still a lot of word of mouth, personal initiative, and chance that goes into how a scientist hears of another scientist's work, especially if you're not someone like Steven Hawking or haven't been published in a journal (one of the potential weaknesses I find in academia). When I did my undergrad thesis I contacted one expert in the location for that I was planning my project in for some advice and he didn't even know about one of the systems that I was going to be using and was interested in learning more about it for potential use in his own work. So I put him through to my professor and it just went from there.

The truth about science is that you don't really know what you're going to find and when you start out with the intent to find something, you really aren't even sure if you'll find it at all. Unfortunately we live in a world where nothing happens without cash so in order to just try to get things started, scientists and engineers have to try to double as salesmen which is why I have no intention of becoming a serious scientist in charge of a project and my dad decided he never wanted to be a lead engineer of a project again. The salesmanship part is most distasteful and brings with it all kinds of headaches. When you think about it, scientists are expert panhandlers.

"Don't confuse facts with reality."
-Robert D. Ballard

Last edited by Akula2ssn : 12-04-2010 at 11:03 AM.
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