Debate and discussion of any biological questions not pertaining to a particular topic.
3 posts • Page 1 of 1
Hello, everyone here. I am a phd candidate who is doing so far so good with the phd work.
But I realize that I have always been struggling with the significance of my study, I had a hard time seeing the bigger picture of my research.
Everytime I wrote something, my boss would see the significance of the study section is weak. you got to learn how to see the big picture.
I am sequecing a particular, not so commercially important orgnaism sequencing, because yeilding detailed phylogenetic relationship, I dont know what more significance it has..
Anyone here can suggest what i shall do or read to help me develop my ideas on the bigger picture of what i do?
PS, layperson always ask me the practical aspect of my research, I always had a hard time. it is not practical, it is not economical beneficial, it is just pure science research, not going to change people's life, ordinary people wont care, how shall i persuade them that I am doing something meaningful?
It looks like the problem is with figuring out what is the use of your work. DNA sequencing of a species can yield quite a bit of new knowledge. Phylogenetics is one thing, comparison to a more well-studied species to understand how they are different. But the other possible aspect is to study the organism itself. When you have the genome, what can you say about the genes? What can you say about gene regulation? How does the DNA allow cell-specific propagation of gene expression? Can you employ any form of genetics to create mutants to study individual gene function? Does RNAi work? Can you test if gene homologs in this organism can rescue a mutant phenotype in another (well-known) species? How about a smaller piece of the gene, eg. a specific protein domain, whether it rescues the phenotype? The idea of these approaches is to relate DNA to function. If a layman asks what is the purpose of your work, you can ask them first "Does an eye cell and a skin cell have the same DNA"? Then you emphasize how every cell in the body has the same DNA, but look very different and take on different functions.
3 posts • Page 1 of 1
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