Why bother studying biology?

DNA methods trace back to Yellowstone hotsprings. NPS image

  • Curiosity about life and basic research has led to impactful discoveries
    • 1950s marine biologist discovered a snail that utilized neurotoxins to kill and eat fish
      • Biologists continued to study how the chemical worked. Today, that same neurotoxin is used by doctors to treat extreme pain in the drug Prialt. The drug is valued by investors at $80 Million

    • 1960s bacteriologist discovers bacteria living in Yellowstone’s hot springs
      • named Thermus Aquaticus, the organism’s heat stable enzyme allows for DNA amplification and analysis
        • People can identify relatives, doctors can test for Covid-19 and other diseases, police can make use of crime scene data, genetic diseases can be identified and cured
        • Essential component to PCR, a procedure whose rights were purchased for $300 Million in 1990s