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Quotable quotes

I don't have anything interesting to say, but Tom Curtis certainly does. This sums up a large part of why I am a microbiologist, not a biochemist or a molecular biologist:

"I make no apologies for putting microorganisms on a pedestal above all other living things. For if the last blue whale choked to death on the last panda, it would be disasterous but not the end of the world. But if we accidentally poisoned the last two species of ammonia-oxidizers, that would be another matter. It could be happening now and we wouldn't even know..."

- Tom Curtis, Nature Reviews Microbiology 4, 488 (July 2006)

I had a conversation at IADR with some professor from a university in New York who was head-hunting dental students for post-grad positions, and I unabashedly told him that I was a microbiologist. He called me a "bug person" like it was a badge of honour, and we talked about how few dedicated microbiologists there are left in the world. It was kind of cool. During my departmental presentation on tuesday someone asked me about the different properties of two proteins which T. denticola is supposed to bind readily to, and I answered with an almost gleeful self-satisfaction that I wasn't sure because I wasn't much of a "protein person". (Incidentally, the protein people who were at the presentation couldn't answer the question either.)

And you know why? Because proteins are for nerds like designadrug ( :P ), and microbiology is for cool elitists like me. They are the misunderstood bohemian rebels of the science world, clinging to their archaic techniques and their zen-like spimplicity of approach.

Oh, and I'm getting sick, so I'm probably a little fever-crazed right now. Not so you'd notice.

Comments

( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
harkon
Jul. 6th, 2006 02:05 am (UTC)
I first read the name as Tom Cruise and so I was sad that there was no mention of placentae.
miss_rynn
Jul. 6th, 2006 02:22 am (UTC)
You know, despite the fact that a) it's perfectly healthy to eat placenta and b) I've eaten my fair share of odd foods in my life, I still find the concept of eating placenta (let alone *human* placenta) quite icky.
designadrug
Jul. 6th, 2006 02:36 am (UTC)
Careful.

I used to teach Bug Science at uni thank-you very much.

I'm not a protein person either. For drugs you need to know a little bit about bugs, proteins, DNA, physical chemistry, synthetic organic chemistry, toxicology, metabolism... gah.

"Thats TOO MUCH KNOWLEDGE!" :)

Meh. I don't know what I was saying or what I meant to say.

Ummm your post inspired me to comment but I'm not sure if I said what it inspired me to say or not. So consider it said, even if it isn't.

Glad you enjoyed the conference.

Have a day.
miss_rynn
Jul. 6th, 2006 03:02 am (UTC)
Yay! I inspired a comment! My life is now complete, and I can die happy. :) And besides, I know you're not a protein person per se, I was just stirring. Because no-one is easier to stir than a scientist.

Seriously, though, William Shatner is much cooler than most people realise.
designadrug
Jul. 6th, 2006 04:47 am (UTC)
Yes, yes he is. And yes, yes we are. And yes, yes you did. And yes, yes you can, but I hope you won't just yet.

I'm having a bad day. I've lost my thingy of thingy again. Great now I've lost my wossname. You know.

Vocabulary. Lost my vocabulary.
Lost my train of thought.

Gah. What was I crapping on about?
meleah
Jul. 6th, 2006 04:33 am (UTC)
yes my pretty... come to new york. And if it was us, we have an awesome dental school, and I've met some cool profs from there too - although their campus is midtown, so not as cool as us village people.

...did I just say that? hmm.
miss_rynn
Jul. 6th, 2006 05:11 am (UTC)
... so, are you the Indian, or the policeman? :P
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )