Diary of a Biotech

Its been a hectic one and a half months. The exact number of days i have been an intern at a local research institue. I remember our orientation clearly with words from a Mr. X saying,“this is not a production house, its a research center!” meaning when they are busy, they are really busy but at times there just may be no work to do!

So yes i am working at a research center where at times am forced to sit in the library sifting through old newspaper or perusing through the shelves hoping that i might discover a secret room by pulling a book from the shelf. But these days are far apart and of late its due to strict rules that students should not be found in lab for extraction of DNA from GM crops.

When it rains, it pours! I can’t begin to describe the mass of knowlege and hands on experience i have aquired so far. To actually work with GM sorghum as the fine grains sifted through my fingers, all these done in the biosafety level 2 green house, the only one in east, central and sub saharan africa. The GM sorghum is still under trials and the local mwanainchi may see it say in 2017. The time is to make sure the crops are safe and fit for human consumption.

Its about time we embraced science and stop viewing it with suspicion. Yes, technology always has a risks but if the pros outweighs the cons i say lets embrace. Take for example a car, it has a potential to kill if not handled properly but would you rather walk?

Biotechnology has been a part of us for a long time. Simple things like making of local brews, or fermented porridge use biotechnology. As Africans we can’t let advancement in science pass us by because of some misinformed political viewpoint!


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