September 21, 2009

The Universe Within.

Being involved in scientific research is to me an incredible adventure and an incredible privilege. When I finished my education and started to work exactly twenty years ago, I had no idea what I was about to experience. My professional career seems to have flourished over the years, as I was seemingly in the right place at the right time and met people who made it possible for me to excel in the field of science.

Working in research is a very complex and unconventional occupation. The successful scientists will tell you, it is not work, it is a way of life. You have to love it, or you will hate it. There is nothing in between. Ninety nine percent hard work and repetitions and one percent true magic.
There are days when I feel helpless, trouble shooting experiments that should work, trying to solve a puzzle with a piece that should fit, but it doesn't. And it takes all my mental power not to give up. Then, when it finally does fit, and the hidden message emerges, the obstacles are all forgotten and the feeling that encompasses me is indescribable.
And occasionally, those few precious moments in time occur, when all this leads to discoveries. Those that signify that one percent of magic, making the hardship worth my while, thousand times over.

I often feel like an ancient explorer, taking a journey into the unknown. My work is all about using my imagination, combining logic based on experience with visionary possibilities, in order to explore the biological process within the human body and the incredible mechanism with which it functions.

Our body is an amazing creation. Its simplicity and simultaneously its complexity, are astounding. We get up every day, never even realizing all the processes that has taken place over night, in the incredible machinery within us. While we have slept, multitude of small components started a chain of events, which has produced new material and new building blocks needed for repair, control or protection, inside a factory that never seizes it's production. With incredible precision, year after year, multitude of workers carry on, in order for our body to function adequately. And they work even harder, when it doesn't, as a part of our immune system. To me, it is almost as if we harbour a universe within us. Magical, fascinating and still as undiscovered as the space above us. And I get the privilege to venture into parts of it, every day.

The below is The Harvard 3D Cell Animation , which offers a glimpse into the micro-space that is the human cell. All the events depicted within the animation reflect the reality that is taking place inside all of us, right now, at a constant rate, endlessly. Resembling more an alien planet in a science fiction movie, than en environment in our cells, it can be difficult to comprehend that this world does truly exists within all humans.


Anonymous said...

Science is interesting:) I'm sure I can do it better if I learn to put my mind in it!

Reading Tea Leaves said...

Such a fascinating insight into your work Protege - very thought-provoking for a Monday morning! I like the idea of a universe within each and every one of us ...

Just catching up with previous posts too.

Jeanne x

Beverlydru said...

I have always been fascinated by your references to your work. Great post. I linked to you today... I had bookmarked your May post about memes. I love your curious mind that results in research and revelation!

Hilary said...

You are indeed lucky to get regular glimpses inside this hidden world of ours. Great post, Z.. and I really enjoyed that animation.

Betsy Brock said...

Science is fascinating. I can see why you love being a scientist and how is would be so rewarding! Creation is filled with wonders...and I don't think we can ever exhaust all the discoveries to be had!

Jill from Killeny Glen said...

I am SO intrigued by what you do!!!! I love this post...a lesson for my sluggish brain this Monday morning.

Lulda Casadaga said...

truly amazing...but, I have to go home and watch it on my computer so I can hear sound here at work! :D

Since we study anatomy & physiology in massage, I do understand how we are complex machines, which most people take for granted.

Have you ever seen "BodyWorlds" or "Body Works" ? I think everyone should see these shows.

As an artist, it would be cool to freeze frame one of these shots of the cells and do an abstract painting! :)

You are very lucky to get a glimpse into a world many of us will never see!!

Have a wonderful week...

Claus said...

There is a saying in Spanish that goes "Cada hombre es un mundo" = every man is a world. They were not joking! We are each a universe, so complex and fascinating. How true that of getting up every morning and not realizing how much goes on within us, day and night. Great post Protege! You are indeed immerse in a fascinanting career.

United Studies said...

I completely understand what you are talking about here, when you said:

The successful scientists will tell you, it is not work, it is a way of life. You have to love it, or you will hate it.

For me, engineering is a way of life for me. I can't stop learning about it.

I was reminded about my love for science and engineering this week. Emma has been learning about magnets in school, and so one day she was showing me her work and explaining about how magnets have a north pole and a south pole, and all that. I could see how fascinated she was with it all, and I am so glad she is.

So this weekend we went to the library, and now we have a DVD and some more books to read. :-)

sprinkles said...

Thanks for the education! Your job sounds very interesting.

Thanks for the kind words you left on my blog.

Sumandebray said...

Amazing animation!
I find your work extremely interesting .. only self motivated persons and continue in this journey.
It was a very interesting post!

Donna said...


Rosezilla (Tracie Walker) said...

That must be fascinating work to peak in to the inner workings of the body. It reminds me of the verse in Jeremiah that says God knit us together in our mother's womb. Such an inspiring thought, and a picture of a loving Creator God.

Beep said...

I'm impressed by what you know and what you do :)

Brian Miller said...

what a cool video. looking at it like an explorer is a neat perspective. i think my oldest is going to go into science...he loves it.

Keith said...

Cool video. I enjoyed this post. I love science. Astronomy, biology, anthropology & a few others really interest me.

Zuzana said...

yes, I think science is very interesting too.;) But in schools it very much depends on the teacher as well.;) So glad when yo stop by.;)

so glad you are back. And I am happy you enjoyed this post, your kind visits always make my day.;)

thank you again for the link and for your kind words, that is very nice to hear.;) Always happy when yo stop by.;)

thank you dear friend and I am happy you watched the clip; isn't it just absolutely fascinating?;)

thank you so much for that kind comment - yes there is so much wonders for us still to yet uncover when it comes to human biology. Always happy when you stop by.;) xo

you are always so excited and happy, I love that about you.;) Thank you for that great comment.;) xo

thank you for this great suggestion, I will deffinitely lok into the shows you mention. How interestng that you have studied human physiology and anatomy. I agree about the abstract appeal of some of he frames in the clip.
Glad to have you visit at all times.;)

I love that Spanish saying, as it is indeed true. Our bodies are amazing and we should take good care of them.;)
Your comments are always so well thought through, thank you for always being so kind in your words.;)

thank you.;) And how nice that you can relate to what I mean with the 'way of life'.;))
So Emma might be gong in your foot steps then perhaps? I can understand how amazing it must be to see all the wonders of the natural world trough your daughters eyes.;)

glad you enjoyed this and I hope everything will sort out itself for you with your parents dog.;) xo

glad you liked the clip - I have watched it so many times and it still touches something within me, to see all these elements at work...
Your comments are always very appreciated.;)

thank you dear friend, glad to see you back.;) xo

I feel at all times that we are magical and divine.;)
Thank you for your kind comment.;) xo

thank you, that was very kind of you. I love my job;)
Glad you stopped by.;)

I am happy to hear you to enjoyed the clip, it is fascinating. And I am delighted to know there is a future scientist in your family.;)

thank you - so glad you enjoyed this post.:) I share all your interest, all the natural science fields have always intrigued me.;)

Gal Friday said...

I sometimes feel if I had my life to "re-do" I might have liked to have studied more science and gone into something in that field(especailly oceanography). So, your entry was very inspiring for me to read.
I believe we as a general society overlook the important work of hard-working and dedicated scientists and researchers like you, over more fluffy stuff like movies, actors and TV sensations.

I liked the music that played along to the video, BTW. :-)

swenglishexpat said...

Wow! Who needs screen savers? Just play this! But how much was a true depiction, I wonder. It looked too good, in particular that walking string pulling a giant balloon! ;-)
On a more serious note, you do work in an exciting field, and I can understand that 1% joy situation very well. Keep up the good work!

Maria said...

Zuzana, are you a biochemist? My husband is one....

Zuzana said...

how interesting, as I have thoughts in exactly the opposite direction. I love my work, but sometimes I wonder what would have happened should I have chosen a more "creative" path, as you have.;))
Glad you enjoyed this post and the clip.;)
Always love when you stop by.,) xo

so glad you enjoyed this post and the clip! I agree, this would make a perfect screen saver.;))
Actually, it is all very realistic, in fact everything in the animation is based on reality. So yes, the walking man holding a big balloon is taking that walk in your cells right now.;)) They are so called membrane transporter vesicles.;)

yes, I work in biochemistry, protein chemistry.;)) What does your husband do?