June 20, 2011

Immunology scares me

Working in a virology lab, I should have known what I was getting into.  Prior to joining the lab, my PI told me that she expected all of her students to learn immunology, whether that be through taking the painful class or through osmosis and reading.  Because I do not want to take this painful class, I have elected to read the Janeway Immunobiology textbook and learn as much as I can by teaching myself.  So far, so good.  Nonetheless, I can't help but be overwhelmed by immunology.

I think it stems back to my undergrad days, when very few people in my major (genetics and *cough* math) took the immunology course.  I knew of people that took it and enjoyed it, but it was just kind of ignored by most people with my major.  Thus, I've never really been exposed to immunology in any respect.  Combining that with the intense immunology talks that I've attended over the last couple years, it seems very intimidating.  And for many reasons:

1) Why are there so many types of T cells?!
2) Are those FACS plots really just the researchers making dots on a chart?
3) What are all those CDs?
4) Exactly what language are immunologists speaking?

Of course, this isn't a complete list.  I could go on and on about why I think immunology is scary.

I hope that in the future, I will look back on this post and think about how far I've come in learning immunology.  I do realize its importance, but it's just so difficult for me to learn for some reason...

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