You simply can’t remember where you put your keys. It’s fine, happens to everybody and you are just getting older. Good-humoredly, you even start calling yourself “absentminded.” Then, one day, you cannot remember your boss’s last name. You start forgetting the stores you’ve been to, where you went for vacation last year, or what your favorite meal is. You forget how to use the bathroom or when to eat, and the people you care about fade in and out of your memory.
Growing up in an antibiotic age has predisposed many of us to think of all bacteria as harbingers of death and disease. We see them as things to be wiped, washed and scrubbed away. But for the past decade or so, the research, consistently proving the essentiality of microorganisms to human life, has us changing our tune. Because the truth is, we live in a bacterial world. Microorganisms in and on our body outnumber human cells 10 to one, and it can be argued we are more bacteria than we are human. And instead of threatening us, they keep us healthy by supporting basic physiological processes from digestion to defense.
There is a room in the Biochemistry building overflowing with scientific gadgets and gizmos. The dull glint of old microscopes and beakers sitting on every available flat surface is conspicuous against the piles of papers and boxes. Hidden behind this hodgepodge sits the desk of Professor Emeritus of biochemistry David Nelson: His necessary “I’m back here” is a beacon of sound guiding me through his office.
You want to be a doctor. This could be a completely new realization or a chronic one. The goal remains the same however. The first hurdle in becoming a doctor with a capital “D” is getting into medical school. You may have heard that medical school will make you crazy, and let me tell you personally, that it starts with the application. The process of applying is long, expensive, time-consuming and all sorts of hair-yanking and zit-inducing stressful. But we know its rewards, a career in medicine, and this can make the whole process worthwhile.
I am no stranger to Chamberlain’s white walls or garish fluorescent lighting. But until recently, I never noticed the ‘No Bosons Allowed’ sign above the Physics club lounge on the second floor. Until recently, the word boson meant nothing to me at all. Now it represents the heart of all matter.