What is Research?

What is research? What are you supposed to do as a researcher? What do you actually research once you're in the lab? For many of us who aren't researchers, our general idea of being one consists of this:

In reality this is not the case. In fact, research is fun! You get to work with people from many different backgrounds who know a variety of subjects. You collaborate with one another to brainstorm ideas and to work through them step by step. By taking part in Boston University's Research Experience for Teachers I was able to get a first hand glance in the life of a researcher. Along with my partner Ken Altshuler, a teacher at Wayland High School, I worked alongside a team of researchers that were focused on the development of a technology that could detect very small amounts of a disease biomarker in a human sample such as blood or urine. Being able to detect a biomarker at such small amounts will result for earlier treatment of the disease and increase in the chances of recovery. Throughout our RET program we conducted several trials and experiments to help the team create a layered chip that would bind a biomarker, in this case a specific antigen. Though this may sound simple, the process itself consisted of much detail and protocol. Take a look at my blog to learn more about our particular research project. Check out the rest of the page see how you can incorporate some of the technology and engineering skills I learned into your classroom!