“Adios to this bench” & Vaccines

Today was officially my last day of my laboratory rotation. I have been working in a chaperone protein lab that investigates the function and activity of chaperones – proteins that maintain proteostasis (homeostasis of all our proteins) for the last two months. Particularly I have been looking at the connection between chaperone activity and cancer formation. Yesterday I presented my work to the laboratory group and today I’m packing up my final things and cleaning up.

Now I have a couple free weeks before I endeavour on my next lab rotation, which will be abroad.

On another note, I mentioned in my last post that I want to contribute to “science communication”, because conveying research to the community is what helps everyone benefit from what we do in the lab. That’s why I thought I’d share a couple of insights on a quite recent topic – vaccinations: Last week I watched a “middle ground” discussion where 3 individuals argumented PRO vac and 3 ANTI vac (Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WQptarOLSBU). Personally, I am PRO Vac, and although i sympathize with their personal stories, i think its very sad that people with little knowledge about the underlying biology of vaccines preach so adamantly against it. Overall, there was one important aspect that was never mentioned, that i think is incredibly important:

Viruses have a high mutation rate, meaning they incorporate mutations in their DNA (genetic material) pretty fast compared to humans. In order for a virus to mutate however it has to proliferate – it requires hosts (the more the better) to mutate. Mutations in turn allow the virus to build up a resistance to vaccines.

This is in my opinion, one of the most important arguments PRO Vaccines. Because by people not vaccinating themselves and their children, they actually put other people in harms way. Vaccines are the only weapon we have, and if these become ineffective this could, in the worst case, lead to an epidemic. This is one of many arguments why I am pro vaccines!

My next post will be on animal testing, coming in a couple days.

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