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Jul 26, 2013

Thinking about being a scientist

One fine day, there was a discussion and somebody out of blue raised a question regarding cross-protection between the infections caused by the two serogroups of V. cholerae. For me, uhmm... my neo cortex started getting alert to understand what it means, so I began to ask myself what is this cross protection in its literal meaning? then another question followed, what does it mean in terms of immunological explanation? While the discussion started with facts, opinions and so on, I was struggling to recall my undergraduate basics and make sure that my understainding on biotype, serogroup and serotype is correct before I blurt out "non sense". At this moment, I vividly remembered somebody saying, " hey, if you claim yourself to be a scientist or have a responsibility to carry out duty as a scientist, remember that basics ( in our cases, on V. cholerae) must be at tip of your tongue."  I agree 100 % with what he said. This few anecdotes that I have come across that I remeber and ever since, I have been haunted with 2 questions :
  1. Who are considered a scientist?
  2. What are the qualities that need to be in a scientist?
Now, let us try to explore the first question. Before entering in the field of scientific world, I was of the impression that scientists are supposed to be with thick glass, bald and of course, always in the lab or buried in the pages that is filled with equations or looking into deeper sky or ocean. Now, I am questioning the very notion of understanding, who are scientists? Am I being too skeptical. May be "Yes", may be "Not".  So, I googled this "great" word [great because scientists are considered great people in the society, so the word "scientist"also must be great / strong :)] for it straight forward meaning. First thing first, I came to know this word to be a 'noun" and its meaning as, "A person who is studying or has expert knowledge of one or more of the natural or physical sciences." So, I asked myself, "Do I fulfill the quality to be called as a scientist?" Uhmm..the answer lies within me, whether I accepted the meaning or not. But one thing I can assure you that I asserted on working hard to do justice to its meaning.
                                                               Serogroup  Serotype   Biotype

##  Serogroup is was characterized by the presence of a capsule and a modified lipopolysaccharide.
## The serogroup O1 V. cholerae is subdivided into two serotypes based on specific antigens in the O antigen: Ogawa and Inaba. V. cholerae O1 is also divided into two biotypes based on biochemical reactions: classical and El Tor.


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Anuj in Himalayas

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