I’m not under any illusions that the reason I do what I do will change as I get older and the way I interact with the world alters.
Right now, the reason I study genetics is simplicity.
I am in the field of clinical genetics, which means I ams dedicated to knowing and learning about different diseases. The ones I’m looking at right now are awful, genetic disorders that strike suddenly and kill young, diseases that we can’t really predict (“clinical heterogeneity”) or easily find the cause for (“genetic heterogeneity”).
Reading all about liver failure and nerve death and sudden respiratory failure, it eases my heart a bit to be able to think that the key to all of that will be found in an impersonal sequence of letters. That underpinning all this sadness and all these unfortunate families is something simple.
People are messy. Cells are messy. A lot of the time, genetics is messy. But when you come down to it, it’s just sequences of letters, and things that go wrong are really just typos, and typos can be fixed.
I study genetics because it calms me to know the world is simple on some level. Simple things are easy to make better.