Saturday, 13 June 2009

Questions for Dr Karl, part IV

Our bodies are composed of a large amount of water and each day we are required to replace the water that is lost to maintain healthy bodily function. We consume water in drinking and eating, and lose water in urinating, sweating and breathing. If we are to sufficiently replace lost water, why is that we excrete so much of it, apart from the reason of removing toxins from the body. Here is an example: If you drink a large quantity of water in one go, most (if not all) will be excreted in urine soon after. If water was so vital for the body, wouldn’t the body have developed a way to harbour the excess water or even utilise it rather than excrete it at once. I know for a fact that I don’t drink enough water and as a result my body is dehydrated. If I drink a large volume of water, most of it is excreted in urine. Why isn’t my body designed to use that water even though I know that I am often dehydrated? Is that part of the imperfection of the human body?

The light at the end of the tunnel….

Two weeks ago (1st June) was the third anniversary of me starting my PhD. For the past two years, I have blogged (here and here), about my PhD and its progress (sort of) at each anniversary and have even celebrated by bringing in cake to share with my lab mates. Sadly, this third anniversary may be the last I will ever celebrate if things go according to plan. I should be happy because it means that my PhD will soon be complete and I will enter a new period of my life and not have the burden of lab work/thesis writing or ‘feelings of guilt for not being in the lab or not reading a manuscript’ hanging over my shoulder. A few weeks ago I prepared an application to extend my candidature and scholarship for another six months. Part of this application required a detailed ‘time line’ of my plans for the extra six months of time and funding I was asking for. In it I had to state what I was doing month-by-month until the end of the year and this included submitting my thesis in early January 2010. The main reason I feel a little sadness over completing is because, unlike most PhD students, I have enjoyed every step of my PhD. I immersed myself in university life as much as I could and feel I have received as much back as a result. Thankfully, I haven’t encountered too many obstacles from my PhD and this also has contributed to an enjoyable candidature. Anyway, I won’t go into detail about my candidature but my point is, the time during my PhD has been the best few years of my life – academically, socially, personally. And to think that these enjoyable years are now coming to an end is a little sad. On a happy note, I’m so not going according to that timeline I prepared so this PhD thing may go on a little longer than proposed.