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Procedures in Biology Question

  1. Jun 3, 2004 #1
    I went into a Biology course not expecting anything exciting. When asked later how I liked the course I said it was ok and explained that I only took it because it was the best course in my time slot. Starting out with a pessimistic view probably contributed to my view somewhat. It was also the first relatively work-challenging course I'd taken. Which started out bad, but turned out for the best.

    I've decided to take another semester of Biology. Which I've concluded that I enjoy. This one will be more focused on Genetics than body systems. Something that is more interesting to me. Genetic Engineering and the interesting life altering concepts of the future intrigue me to an extent.

    I'm a flexible and adaptable person, but I can't decide for certain what career path I want to go down in the future. I like most subjects and topics involving thinking and learning.

    Concerning procedures I'm wondering how things in Biology work. I'm a person who gets grossed out fairly easily. By touching/smelling rather than hearing. I'm slowly getting over it but I'm not sure if its something that can disappear. When working in Biology do things commonly perceived as gross eventually become commonplace?

    I'm trying to keep my options open but I don't want to end up in a few years considering a Biology career and finding out that I can't stomach it.

  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 3, 2004 #2


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    Why do you think a biology career will be gross? What do you think it means to be a biologist.. There are many different directions you can go in, and it doesn't always involve working with animals. Think biochemistry, molecular biology, cell biology, genetics, population biology, biostatistics, biotechnology, plant engineering, the list is endless :)
  4. Jun 3, 2004 #3
    I'm not saying all Biology careers are gross. Things like cutting a heart into pieces to make slides seems a bit gross to me. Something being appealing or not appealing is a matter of opinion in many cases. A heart with blood dripping down it and stuff like that doesn't appeal to me. I'm just wondering if you can get used to dealing with that type of thing? I'm assuming genetics would deal with that somewhat, and genetics seems like an interesting option to investigate.

    I don't know what it means to be a Biologist personally. If I had to guess I'd assume its alot of repitition of procedures to get towards the goal of create something new. There would be many other meanings as well. What it means to be a Biologist would be perspective for the most part. Helping people would be a good part of Biology as well.
  5. Jun 3, 2004 #4


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    I think I know what you mean.
    Time and habit are certainly powerful and can change your reaction to those situations. Think of the singing gravedigger in Hamlet ;)
    I think a better idea is to examine why you are grossed out by those things. Perhaps because you associate blood with pain or death, for instance. The solution is to recognize these associations so you can try to change them to suit your needs.
    You may enjoy this

    or google the psychology of disgust for more info.
    Happy thoughts
  6. Jun 3, 2004 #5


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    As Monique already pointed out, you don't have to be forced to do things you find "gross" if you pursue biology. A lot of genetics work can be done with plants or cell cultures...no dripping blood. Actually, a lot of lab work is pretty clean (don't want to be contaminating your samples). I have worked with a lot of blood samples, but as one professor used to tell me, as long as you can think and design the experiments, you can always hire a technician to do the parts you don't like (she couldn't stand working with live animals...was terrified of being bitten...so hired people to do the animal work and she supervised the in vitro stuff). And, yes, things that seem "gross" at first can become routine and stop bothering you. It depends somewhat on whether it's just a dislike for something or a real phobia. Sometimes the best way to overcome something is to just do it. I've had several students over the years who started out terrified of needles, and with some gentle coaxing and patience, became some of the best at collecting blood samples, and then one who stayed in the lab pipetting samples into test tubes because she would never touch a needle.
  7. Jun 4, 2004 #6


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    :uhh: you are a vegetarian? :biggrin:

    I can understand how opening up and dissecting an animal can be gross, or having to draw blood from someone, or cutting tails of mice, but the rest isn't that bad at all. I wouldn't be worried about it :smile:
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