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How to do a research and obtain amazing results?

  1. Jan 10, 2016 #1
    Hey I am a high schooler and I wish to do a research that could actually prove useful to the society.The question is how do I do it and what's easiest way to do research at this point in my life like considering the fact that am still learning,should I only consider being a lab assistant and nothing else?
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  3. Jan 10, 2016 #2


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    If you really want to become a researcher, at the high school level it's most important to focus on building a strong foundation in science. The probability of doing anything "amazing" at that level is fairly small. That's not to say you shouldn't bother pursuing an idea though. You could look at some recent projects in the Google Science Fair for some inspiration. Read up on the stuff that interests you and put together your own project. Talk to your teachers about your project. They might be able to find someone help mentor you if you're really serious about it.
  4. Jan 11, 2016 #3
    Actors have a saying that I think aspiring scientists (and others) should internalize. Their saying is, "There are no small parts". You are still learning (we all are), but you are really really young, (like 1/4-1/3 my current age). A lab assistant is an early step in scientific development. I may not remember my history right but Faraday was once a lab assistant to Davy, (or the other way around). Anyway the point is well made in the example.
    I worked in a biophysics lab one summer, as a lab assistant (I was a first year graduate student in physics and 25 years old (many years senior to your current age I assume) . My boss was a fifth-year graduate student in physics about to complete his doctorate (a much more senior but still a lab assistant). Next we had a post-doc researcher in our Lab. We were all under the direction of an Assistant Professor, and even his lab was associated with a more senior professor in physics. So you see there is quite a hierarchy involved. (By the way, I regard it as the best time of my life.)

    Because you are in high school, it is important to do well in all the sciences (natural and social); languages, and whatever else you need to get into a college for more training and education. Like Choppy says, talk to teachers, counselors. If you can, even get input from counselors, faculty, or staff at local colleges.
  5. Jan 11, 2016 #4
    It actually isn't like I "really" want to become a researcher.It's my hobby.I am considering medicine field to become a genetic scientist and I have been preparing for getting into a reputed college like Harvard(though I know it is merely very less possible but the fact that I am a topper throughout makes me consider that option) I heard that I should involve myself in some research stuffs to get my CV attractive.So I thought why not do a research that is worth doing and that truely create a difference out there.But there seems to be no way to start with other than being a lab assistant and that is truely annoying.So how about I start my own lab doing my own research?
  6. Jan 11, 2016 #5


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    Most of the time, successful research starts with a problem, not someone who simply wants to do research to improve his or her CV.

    And why is it annoying to be a lab assistant? That's the easiest way for someone with no research experience to start conducting research. If you go it alone, you'll end up spending a lot of time and energy re-inventing a lot of wheels.

    So what problems interest you?
  7. Jan 11, 2016 #6
    If you have the funding to set that up nobody will object to the idea, but your lab will have to conform to standard scientific method and practices.
    Otherwise it won't be taken as serious and at worst you'll be called a crackpot.
  8. Jan 12, 2016 #7
    Problems? Well,I have been thinking about how would it be to find a medicine that cures almost all the diseases on earth.A medicine that has the capacity to fight against all kinds of germs,viruses and bacteria.I know that seems ridiculous but there is nothing I can do about that.My wish to get my CV attractive has a strong reason too.
    One of my loved person passed away due to an ailment that was left untreated for a long time.It got me thinking how could something so tiny as bacteria could rob a person's life.I knew there are lots of diseases out there and it will take centuries to find medicine for each one of them and that means losing a lot of lives.So I thought of starting my research earlier and getting into big universities will fuel me with more knowledge and courage.That's why I wanna get my CV attractive and research was a part of my ambition to get that amazing result of a medicine for all diseases.
    I know it is totally sense less but that is the problem that interests me.The problem of losing lives when curing is still possible provided if someone takes the lead.
  9. Jan 12, 2016 #8
    If you are talking specifically of diseases caused by bacteria, we do already have antibiotics which are effective against a range of bacterial pathogens (germs).
    However they are useless for other kinds of disease, (heart conditions and cancer for example), and also viruses, (which are very different things to bacteria)
    There is a problem though in that bacteria usually develop a strain which is resistant to an antibiotic, so new antibiotics continually need to be developed.

    Antibiotics are the closest we so far have got to a medicine which can be effective for a wide range of conditions.
    Aside from the resistance problem though, there is something else.
    Most bacteria are not life threatening and we actually require some of these 'good bacteria' in our body to function normally.
    So if a person stays on antibiotics for a long time this can cause problems which were not there in the first place.
    Additionally some people can have severe allergic reactions to antibiotics.

    Few would doubt that antibiotics are the closest we have to a 'miracle cure' which can be applied to a range of illness.
    People no longer commonly die at 40 years old or less due to them.

    However what you are after seems to be some kind of magic spell which can be applied to every possible condition ranging from common cold, to schizophrenia, to MS.
    Science isn't magic, it's the methodical pursuit of knowledge and through technology the useful application of knowledge.
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2016
  10. Jan 12, 2016 #9


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    If only there was an industry investing hundreds of billions of dollars and employing top researchers around the world to do just that...:wink:

    So you have a problem. The next step is to narrow it down to something you can work on. To do that you need a specific question to start with. It should be something that you can expect to find an answer to by making some kind of measurement or calculation.
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