The Vermont Cynic

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A History major tries on Virology

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I’m definitely not a scientist. Like definitely not. I don’t dislike it necessarily, but I’m also not a huge fan of it.

So why I decided going to MMG 225: Eukaryotic Virology at 8:30 a.m. on a Tuesday would be a good idea is beyond me.

But I did it. And I didn’t hate it, to be honest.

I even recognized some of the words.

We were talking about retrovirus replication.

You know, taking single stranded RNA and making it into double stranded DNA.

There was a transfer RNA primer, an adapter molecule, that allowed DNA polymerase to transcribe the RNA into DNA.

The only thing that was missing was the mitochondria, also known as the powerhouse of the cell. What up, high school biology?

We even went over a little bit of history!

Did you know that retroviruses were first discovered in 1911 when Peyton Rous found a tumor in one chicken that he found could be transmitted to other chickens?

I won’t lie, I was definitely on a science high after the class. I was convinced that I could become a scientist right then and there.

I mean, I’m basically an expert at watching some retrovirus diagrams replicate, so how much harder could it be to actually do it?

But as I slowly come down from the high, I realize that my future as a scientist is pretty limited.

Plus, I like talking about the things long-dead people experienced too much to just give up being a historian.

Eukaryotic Virology wasn’t terrible. It was actually kind of fun.

And even though I love saying the word pipette, history will always be my baby. And abandoning her now will be too sad for both me and my parents’ wallet.

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A History major tries on Virology