“When I woke up just after dawn on September 28, 1928, I certainly didn’t plan to revolutionize all medicine by discovering the world’s first antibiotic, or bacteria killer. But I suppose that was exactly what I did” Alexander Fleming (1881–1955).
“Fleming’s curiosity to investigate the reason behind the bacterial death, followed by his experiments, led to the discovery of the antibiotic penicillin, which is produced by the fungus Penicillium. Even in the highly organized world of science, luck—when combined with an observant, curious mind—can lead to unexpected breakthroughs” (in Science of Biology https://openstax.org/books/biology-2e/pages/1-1-the-science-of-biology).
What I personally found intriguing in this (in Science of Biology) was “Fleming’s curiosity to investigate the reason behind…” One of the common attributes of great scientists is their curiosity. They are not satisfied by their current knowledge but seek to understand the why and the how things they observe occur. As the summary states, “The common thread throughout scientific research is using the scientific method, a step-based process that consists of making observations, defining a problem, posing hypotheses, testing these hypotheses, and drawing one or more conclusions. The testing uses proper controls” (in Science of Biology https://openstax.org/books/biology-2e/pages/1-chapter-summary).
What we are practicing and modeling in our Labs is researching. We are following those observers before us who designed our labs to teach us skills of using proper controls to repeat what others have done before us. Science is all about repeatability and verification.
My interest started in Genomics (https://genomicscience.energy.gov/) so I was particularly excited about these Virtual Labs (https://learn.genetics.utah.edu/content/labs/) on DNA Extraction, Microarrays, PCR and Gel Electrophoresis. I have had the privilege of studying for several years Greenwood Genetic Center’s (https://www.ggc.org/courses) courses for science teachers learning about Genomics, Proteomics, and Bioinformatics. These are growing fields of study that have revolutionized cancer and autoimmune research leading to immunotherapies to fight cancer!
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