“Dad, can you name any machine that runs 800,000 hours continuously without stopping or servicing? “, asked Tarun mischievously. “Probably an Aircraft engine?”, replied Dad. “But an Aircraft engine gets serviced after every flight”, countered Tarun. ” Tarun, no machine in the world can run that long. Every machine needs servicing and oiling to run smoothly and trouble free”, retorted Dad.
Looking amused, Tarun continued, “you are wrong Dad ! There is one machine that can run 800,000 to 100,000 hours without any servicing or oiling. That wonderful machine is our heart. It beats 70 times a minute on an average till we live (from 60- 95 years) . Isn’t it amazing?” Tarun now had Dad’s full attention. Putting down his paper, he looked at Tarun with disbelief ! “From where do you get all this information?” , he asked. “Our teacher had taken a class on the workings of the heart. I was really intrigued and curious about what she said. So i looked up on the internet to learn more. Do you know that athletes and sports persons who play high intensity sports have a much lower heartbeat of 40-45 beats per minute compared to normal persons? That makes their heart even more efficient, which means if we were to compare the heartbeats of 2 persons of same age, say 75 years, one athletic and the other normal, the athletic person’s heart would have beat only half the number of times that of the other person for the same age. Can you imagine how efficient that would be?”, explained Tarun.
Dad was now confused ! “So now you are getting more interested in the healthcare side of things. From when did you get interested in becoming a doctor? I thought you wanted to be an engineer!, he asked curiously. “Dad, what does a doctor have to do with heartbeat? A doctor diagnoses issues and tries to cure the illness. Iam interested in understanding the functioning of the heart. I want to understand how the heart adapts itself by becoming more efficient under certain circumstances. This is such a fascinating subject that could provide us so much information on the intelligence of our organs and how we could live a healthier life by preventing diseases rather than curing them” , replied Tarun.
Dad interrupted, “So what career are you talking about ?”. By then his mom had come back from her office. As she entered the living room, Tarun looked at Dad and Mom and continued , “I want to pursue a career in Pure Sciences and research the human heart to understand how it functions and the entire physiology of the heart so i can provide a solid foundation to address health challenges related to the functioning of the heart. I really want to discover the secret workings of this wonderful organ and come up with new insights about the heart. Hopefully what i uncover in my career could be used by Doctors in the future to cure diseases and in textbooks in schools to teach new concepts on the workings of the heart”.
Now it was Mom’s turn. She asked curiously, “what will you be doing in Pure Science, how will you solve these big challenges?” Before she could complete, Tarun shot back, “Mom, Pure Science is a fascinating area today thanks to the power of computers and their application in DNA sequencing. Pure Science research deals with basic building blocks of science related to physics, chemistry, biology and maths and unravelling new information for the benefit of the world. If i become a Pure Science researcher, i will be using computers and statistics to identify the proteins and molecules that impact the efficient functioning of the heart and how different people have different genetic traits that make their heart less or more efficient. This not only involves biology of the heart but also several aspects of chemistry that deals with how our body takes in oxygen and creates energy and carbon dioxide which is exhaled. This is so exciting to use the concepts of chemistry ad biology to understand how the heart works. I will also be able to discover what are the unique traits in people that make their hearts more efficient. This could be due to exercise or diet or lifestyle or genetic. Isnt this area fascinating?”
Dad and Mom could just nod in disbelief!
That is the beauty of Pure Science, which is pushing the boundaries of science !!!