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Working in a lab can be exciting, fulfilling and upwardly challenging at times, especially when tests prove results in a path towards the desired goal of an outcome. Right now many countries are relying on laboratory work and testing more than ever. Working in a lab can also feel removed, disconnected, inhumane and cold, as the hours can be long and experiments don’t always consider the bigger picture of humanity and the need for laboratory work.
Those dedicated to the field of study and work are what drive progress in many areas of science and society. The medical research field is vast and complex, with so many factors coming into play, from as small as DNA to as large as climate change and environmental factors. Some scenarios are easier to replicate in a lab setting than others, and all are impossible to account for, but necessary for the holistic view. Bringing the human element into science is more of an art in many cases, than a science.
Considering the actual people that can benefit from your years of dedication, ideas, brainstorming, experimenting and late hours spent poring over research, results, and data, in order to get closer to the desired result, can be the motivation one needs to keep going.
Some go into scientific research for very personal reasons, like a mum with cancer, or a childhood best friend that started showing signs of Huntington’s disease all too soon in their young life, that ended far too soon. Unnatural and uncontrolled body movements are some of the early warning signs, and when experienced in childhood, the disease can spread and advance quite rapidly in severity.
Knowing first-hand how painful and detrimental this can be for someone, can be the very life experience that propels someone into the field of scientific and medical research, in memory of a late friend or suffering loved one.
Dedicating one’s life to a specialised field of study is no light decision, and it has many factors to consider, but if done with full heart and mind, can be quite successful for both the researcher and the parts of society that will benefit from the results of years of dedication and hard work to discover and develop solutions to life’s most challenging and painful problems. Yet, the yearning to do something that could make a definitive difference is absolutely what drives many to go this route for study, passion, and career.
There are many diseases that have millions in funding for research, and many that are orphaned, or have no funding because they aren’t as commonly experienced.
Still, that doesn’t stop the curious few from doing unfunded, and less official research, as it could lead to important discoveries, regardless of its marketable viability in the long-term. Saving a life is saving a life, no matter what scale possible.
What drives you deeper into your field and focus of study and research? Is it natural inclination, personal experience, or some other underlying reason? Whatever it is, keep in mind the people on the other end of your hours and years of curiosity who are potential beneficiaries of research, experiments, and outcomes of it all.
Dennis Relojo-Howell is the managing director of Psychreg.
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