MidReal Story

Laura , a geneticist , discovers her DNA research is

Scenario: Laura, a geneticist, discovers her DNA research is being used for creating genetically modified soldiers. She fights to expose the truth.
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Laura, a geneticist, discovers her DNA research is being used for creating genetically modified soldiers. She fights to expose the truth.
I was hoping that I wouldn’t be too late for the lab, but now it looks like I’ll have to wait until tomorrow.
I’m sorry to disappoint you, but I won’t be able to make it today.
I’ll see you tomorrow.
I’ve gone over my notes many times, but it doesn’t make sense.
It just doesn’t add up.
I’ll have to try it out myself… I’ll start with the mouse embryos first.
I’m going to need some UV light, a sterile environment, and some syringes.
My mentor Dr.Emily White is a great scientist of our generation.
She has been my mentor for a year, and I am very grateful for her guidance.
The project I am working on is about using CRISPR-Cas9 to edit the DNA of mammalian embryos, which is very pioneering but also controversial.
This is an important step in the research, and my work will be recognized one day, so I have to be careful and patient.
I take out one of the mouse embryos from the petri dish.
And then I take out a syringe with a needle at the end of it.
My hands are clean and sterile, but there are still some bacteria on them, so I torch the end of the needle with alcohol to make sure that it’s sterile.
I suck up a small amount of liquid from the petri dish, then carefully inject it into the mouse embryo.
It’s not easy at all, because the mouse embryo is very small, and I can easily damage it by poking the needle into it too deeply or by pushing too much liquid into it.
It’s like doing surgery on an ant with a dull knife.
But I have been practicing this for weeks, and now my hands are as steady as rocks.
There’s no way I’d screw this up now.
This is the final step of the procedure—injecting some DNA into the embryo.
This is a very important step, because this DNA contains a special protein that will change the gene expression of this embryo.
This might be a major breakthrough in our research.
We may publish a paper about this in a well-known journal, and we might even win the Nobel Prize!
Oh God, how can I not get excited about this?
I’m almost done now, but then I suddenly feel a sharp pain in my finger—
Damn it, I just pricked myself with the needle!
I’m sorry for using bad language like that, but when you’re working on something so important and you screw up like this, you’re allowed to curse a little bit.
My finger is bleeding now—I can see some blood coming out from the tip of my finger—and this is not good at all.
If any bacteria from my finger go into the syringe and then I inject it into the mouse embryo… then the whole procedure will be ruined!
And worse yet, if any bacteria go into my bloodstream then they could kill me!
I don’t want to die yet—I still have so many things that I want to do in my life—so I need to do something about this right away!
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I’m going to have to stop right here and take care of my wound first, but in order to keep everything sterile, I can’t just walk away and let everything sit here like this, so after torching the needle again, I place it on top of a piece of paper towel, then use another paper towel to carefully pick up the petri dish and put it in the incubator, and then after washing my hands again, I wrap a piece of paper towel around my finger to soak up all of the blood, and then—
I can see a small cut in my finger, and it’s bleeding a little, but it’s not too bad, so after washing it with some alcohol, I put a bandage around it and then put on a pair of gloves to keep everything sterile again.
And then, I’m ready to continue with my work.
I take out another mouse embryo from the petri dish and put it under a microscope, and then—
The mouse embryos look almost exactly like human embryos when you look at them under a microscope, and they even have beating hearts like human embryos do!
I have done this many times before, but every time I look at them like this, they still amaze me.
It’s hard to believe that something like this can happen… and yet, it happens all the time.
I use a pair of tiny scissors to cut open the mouse embryo right in the middle of its body, and then I use a pair of forceps to carefully separate each part of its body, and then… there it is: the tiny brain of this mouse embryo.
It’s so small that it’s hard to believe that it can contain all of those neurons—those cells that are responsible for processing information in our bodies—yet it does!
The human brain is much more complex than that of a mouse, but they are still very similar in many ways, and that’s one of the reasons why we are using mouse embryos in our research—it can help us to understand how human brains work, too, and also to find ways to cure diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, or even autism!
I put a few drops of liquid on top of a Petri dish, and then use forceps to transfer both parts of the dissected embryo into it before carefully covering them with some paraffin oil, and then—
I have to do a PCR analysis to make sure that the DNA has not been damaged by the UV light.
If the DNA is damaged, then my experiment will be a complete failure, because the whole point of the experiment is to change the DNA of the mouse embryo!
I put the Petri dish into an incubator, and then I set up the PCR machine, which is like a big box that can heat up the liquid inside of a bunch of small tubes while also vibrating them at the same time, which can help to make DNA copies faster.
It’s quite a handy tool, but I’ll have to wait for a few hours for it to finish, so I decide to go to my office to check my emails while I wait.
After I get back to my office and sit down, I try to read some of my emails, but I just can’t focus on them, because I keep thinking about how amazing life is.
When you think about all of these things that are happening inside of our bodies—how life is born, how we grow up, how we get old, and how we die—it’s impossible not to feel amazed by them!
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do not know why
I am thinking like this when all of a sudden I get an idea—I quickly open my computer again and check the results of the PCR analysis to see if the DNA is damaged.
I look at them carefully, and then I let out a small gasp.
The results are not what I was expecting at all!
At first I think that maybe the machine made a mistake or something like that.
I quickly set up another PCR reaction and put it into the machine before checking my previous results again, but they are the same as before!
I look at them again, and then I realize something that makes me very excited.
My heart is pounding in my chest as I lean back in my chair with a huge smile on my face, but I dare not say anything aloud because it’s just too amazing to believe.
When you look at all of these things that are happening inside of our bodies—how life is born, how we grow up, how we get old, and how we die—they seem so complicated that it’s impossible to understand them.
But what if they are not complicated at all?
What if they are actually very simple?
What if we are just missing something that makes them look like they are complicated?
That would mean that we have been searching for the answer in all of these wrong places!
And if that were true—then what would be the right place to search for the answer?
My heart is pounding even faster now as I realize what I have just discovered—I feel like I’m standing at the precipice of an enormous cliff, and I’m looking down into an endless abyss below me!
This could be the answer to everything!
This could be the answer to all of my questions!
This could be…the key to life!
A long time ago, people believed that life was made up of something called a “vital force” or “vital spirit”, which was thought to be some kind of mysterious energy that gave life to all living things.
People thought this way because they did not know about things like cells or molecules or atoms back then, so they did not have any other way to explain how life worked.
But now we know about these things, so we no longer need to rely on such “mystical” explanations.
We know that life is made up of cells, and that cells are made up of molecules, and that molecules are made up of atoms—and atoms are made up of protons, neutrons, and electrons, which are smaller than anything else that we know about!
So what could possibly be even smaller than them?
What could possibly be even more fundamental than them?
The answer to all of these questions is so simple that it’s almost ridiculous: it’s…DNA!
Yes, DNA: those tiny little strands that look like pieces of spaghetti when you look at them under a microscope, but which contain all of the information that our bodies need to work properly.
And not only do they contain all of this information—but they also contain all of it in a way that is so simple that it’s almost unbelievable!
It’s like a computer program where every single letter has a meaning, and yet you can read all of those letters together and they will still make sense—just like a sentence or a paragraph or a book.
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