Friday, May 05, 2006
Albert Einstein wrote: The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious - the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science.

I am writing on a break from an enormous protocol I received yesterday morning. It is an experimental drug trial that hopefully might prevent HIV from infecting other cells. The science of this trial is truly beautiful. since I came back to UCLA, I am awed by the beauty of a few of our trials. Which makes my job incredibly fulfilling.

My job involves taking a protocol written by either an individual scientist or a drug company. I read it and translate it for approval by the Institutional Review Board (IRB). The IRB meets twice a month to make sure that research on humans at UCLA is not doing anyone more harm than good, both physically and psychologically. I also write an informed consent which tells the person signing up for this experiment what is going to happen to them during the trial so that they can say either "Sure, sign me up." or "Nope, that doesn't sound good to me. What are my other options?"

Anyone who signs up for a clinical trial is a part of the scientific process. There may be the most brilliant scientist in the world and without human subjects, she would never be able to help a soul.

Some trials fail. We need to know this to move on to (hopefully) something more successful.

In this vein, there is a very fabulous woman who just happens to be a knitter, a blogger and a research trial subject who was on CNN this morning. She is involved in a human trial for NASA. You can go to her blog Stardust Holiday to check out what she's doing. Go on with your bad self, Erin, go on!

There is science, logic, reason; there is thought verified by experience. And then there is California. -Edward Abbey


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Blogger K8 said...

I love the quote.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I saw that woman on CNN. Can you imagine staying in bed that long? I can't. By the way, I'm your Secret Pal. HEHE!!

Blogger Faith said...

woo hoo!! so looking forward to this.

Blogger MonkeyGurrrrrl said...

Good seeing you last nite! I almost stopped at whole foods on the way home, but remembered your previous post and thought the better of it. :) Since, as we all know, I am an arsehole magnet.

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