A spark by the hamster in the mind


My first ever blog post. As a Biotechnology major and having just started my Honors project, a hamster is slowly but continuously running on the wheel in the back of my head; generating potential ideas in biotech I could study and explore as part of my project. The spark came to me on a seemingly lazy day: a particular herb I know of. Being a staunch believer in the medicinal properties the seeds of that particular herb harbor, I started making a connection between them and the (broad) topic of my project: stanniocalcins (a hormone) and the tumor microenvironment.

cancerous cells

So, stanniocalcins (STC) and that herb. What about them? What can be the connection, if any? I started zeroing in on the thought. Did some preliminary research. I knew already that the seeds of that herb help normalize hormone levels in the body. And since stanniocalcin is a hormone, that herb would have an effect on STC. Advancing to the molecular stage now, the important players in my project topic include the STC 1 and STC 2 genes and proteins, HIF1 transcription factor, VEGF signalling protein and probably other molecules I have yet to read up on.


So I conjured the final statement: the effect of a particular component of that herb on STC 1 and/or STC 2 and the molecular mechanism behind it. I think it is a scientifically viable idea but have yet to receive an expert opinion on this: the daunting task of discussing with my project supervisor this particular spark produced by the hamster-in-the-mind.


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