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What is it like being a scientist?

What is it like being a scientist? What expiriments have you recently done? Have you worked in a laboratory? If you have, what is it like? Do you know any scientists with wild white hair and are in a lab coat? What do you do on an average day as a scientist?

Abigail Mitchell

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One Response

  1. Hi Abigail,

    Well I was a scientist for a couple of years (although I now organise National Science and Engineering Week). I will therefore have a go at answering this for you! I have actually never met a scientist with wild white hair but many of us do wear lab coats! This is to protect our real clothes from damage from some of the equipment and solutions that are used in the laboratory.

    I worked on trying to understand a disease called Alzheimer’s disease that many older people suffer from. I looked at the proteins that are found in the brain to see what was going wrong. To look at those proteins I often used techniques called western blots and I also used a technique called an ELIZA. Both of these allowed me to see proteins which are not visible by the human eye. These techniques allow scientists to visualise where particular proteins are and allow us identify these tiny things. It is thought that the disease is caused by proteins being cut or changing shape in the wrong way and then getting stuck or aggregating in the brain.

    An average day is usually thinking about what is happening in the disease or subject you are studying. Science is all about trying to understand something we don’t yet understand. The human body is so complex that it is very hard to understand what is going wrong in disease and so scientists spend their days trying to work it out. Using their brains and using lots of different experiments to test out their theories!

    I hope that answered your question!

    Jenny

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