Chapter 3 -Kaitlyn L.

Chapter three of the book Rigor Mortis by Richard Harris explained Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS); and the steps scientists missed while performing procedures to try and find a cure for the disease. The information which surprised me the most in this chapter was how precise everything has to be. There are so many important variables that the scientists have to take into consideration while conducting a procedure.  The author mentions, “The scientists at ALS TDI look at the genetics of every single animal they use in an experiment to make sure that all are identical. “These variables are incredibly important,” Perrin said. Other scientists had often overlooked those pitfalls.” This quote leads me to another fact that surprised me from this book. The information which also surprised me was how “sloppy” the science was. I feel like a lot of people, including myself, thought that scientists were some extremely highly educated people who were very precise and never made any mistakes. However, the book mentions a few important things which needed to be considered that scientists did not take into consideration, such as needing to figure out if an animal model works the same way for a human model: “An entire field may rely on a particular animal model, even though scientists often have no idea whether it’s a valid surrogate for human disease. It’s quite common to cure a disease in a mouse model, only to discover that it’s irrelevant for treating human disease.” I would be interested in learning more about ALS because I remember as a child doing a walk to raise money for the ALS Association. I would like to eventually find a cure to ALS because there is currently not a lot of information known about it; and it is extremely hard to diagnose because it has the same symptoms of other neuromuscular diseases. ALS is such a scary disease because only about 10% of people who have ALS inherited it, which means they have familial ALS; however 90% of people who have it didn’t inherit it, which means they have sporadic ALS. This disease is also a scary thing to have because there is no way you can get tested if you have it. Since not a lot is known about this disease, it would be very interesting to learn more about it. I hope in the near future scientists will have more breakthroughs and find out more information about this deadly disease.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

A Website.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: