Tuesday, May 12, 2009


I attended a stem cell symposium which entailed what we know about cells that have the ability to change into other cells and thus fabricate our bodies. Professors from UNC, MIT, Duke, Yale, and more, gave speeches, showed graphs and figures, and occasionally had playful powerpoint slides.

Breaks were punctuated with snacks, bottled water and coffee, plus the usual suspects of softdrinks.

Thus I learned that a single stem cell can repopulate the entire marrow of a mouse, that over time stem cells stop regenerating and focus on differentiating, and that the two professors from MIT flew themselves down from Boston.

It seems like way more than a year since I set off to Belize. Looking back, it was still a great trip. Sometimes I want to travel again, but mostly, I am focused on purpose and curiosity. Quotes tend to sum things up, so here are some that define this time for me:

"If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours." Henry David Thoreau

"There is something within me that might be illusion as it is often case with young delighted people, but if I would be fortunate to achieve some of my ideals, it would be on the behalf of the whole of humanity." Nikola Tesla

"I am credited with being one of the hardest workers and perhaps I am, if thought is the equivalent of labour, for I have devoted to it almost all of my waking hours. But if work is interpreted to be a definite performance in a specified time according to a rigid rule, then I may be the worst of idlers. Every effort under compulsion demands a sacrifice of life-energy. I never paid such a price. On the contrary, I have thrived on my thoughts." Nikola Tesla