Sunday, June 10, 2007

It's just an idea - but what an idea!

So right now I’m designing an experiment that is focused on developing a new technique for organ transplant surgery. The problem is that I can’t do it alone so I have to recruit people to collaborate with. The tricky part is that I have to tell them enough to convince them that it is a hypothesis worth testing, but not give away every detail of the final application.

This time I failed. Scientists are not generally stupid people. I already bounced the idea off a couple of other people who loved it. But as I explained the concept to one person in a neurobiology lab, she began automatically extrapolating the concept to current work in her own laboratory. Finally, I just had to ask her straight out not to give away the idea to anyone. It was really kind of awkward.

I really hate those kind of moments. I mean, it’s just a hypothesis after all. It may be utterly useless. But what if it isn’t? Not only would it provide a powerful new tool in transplant surgery and prolong the lives of a lot of people, but it would probably redefine the next 20 years of my own research life - in a good way.

Now I am chained to a new project- in order to publish it first - when I had so many other things to do first. What crazy situations I get myself into sometimes.

I guess I wouldn’t have it any other way though. Let's just hope something substantial comes of it all.

- Just a peasant