I have started my second rotation in a lab that works on a field that is almost totally alien to me... NEUROSCIENCE!!! I have been more of a protein biochemist who likes to express proteins in E.coli cells and then purify and characterize them. I have some knowledge on protein structure-function relations, protein folding, enzyme kinetics etc etc, but believe me, I stayed away from neuroscience.
So what inspired me to suddenly try this out? Suddenly out of the blue? Well, it was on somebody's recommendation that I went and met this professor. I figured, whats the harm in meeting. Its not like I am going to commit to anything, not even a rotation. So I took up an appointment and went to see her. And she turned out to be one of the best people I have ever met! Her love and enthusiasm for her work was so infectious, I just had to be a part of it! So I committed myself to joining her lab for a rotation... in spite of being neuro-illiterate, in spite of not having worked with animals, in spite of all the odds against me, I took a bold step forward (if I may say so myself)
And I find that I don't regret it! Its an awesome lab! And today I got to do something entirely new. I worked with mouse brain sections, put them in order and mounted them on slides, then I went with the grad student who will be mentoring me to handle rats! I held a real, live, white lab rat in my hand!!!! It was kinda ok, sorta like holding a tiny kitten (something that I am very much used to). And I have decided that I love the lab, love the prof, love the people and love the science.
But at the end of the day, we all know that nothing is perfect. There has to be a catch somewhere or the other.
Somehow I am wondering if the ethics behind using animal models will come in my way, should I eventually decide to join this lab long term... Will I be able to sleep with a peace of mind? Maybe I will get used to it, it didn't seem so bad today.
But the question still lingers on in my mind.... I guess only time will tell.
I will have to wait and see. Hope and pray