The first microbiologist didn't have a doctorate from Oxford or MIT. He was a Dutch merchant named Anton van Leeuwenhoek, and he built microscopes by hand before using them to explore pond water, blood, and snot. In the late 1600s he suggested that the "animacules" he saw in his microscope might cause disease. The germs he had discovered were ignored by the medical establishment for 200 years.
Leeuwenhoek was a "citizen researcher," not the first and not the last. Today, citizen researchers have a tool far more powerful than any microscope-- they have the internet. We can use www. pubmed.gov to ferret out answers to our questions. If we find something interesting, we can forward it to professional researchers in the time it takes to type an email address. We can also share our findings with other citizen researchers through discussion groups.
Yahoo infection-cortisol group. I started the infection-cortisol group this summer to facilitate the exchange of information on, you guessed it, infections and cortisol. Professional researchers and medical practitioners are welcome in the group, and I hope some join us, but the group is primarily a forum for citizen researchers. It isn't a sympathy⁄support group, although we should try to be sympathetic and supportive to each other. This isn't a medical advice group, either. Here's what I hope to see:
- Pointers to interesting research on infections and cortisol.
- Questions about infections, cortisol, and related topics.
- Friendly, reasonable answers, with pointers to relevant literature.
- Descriptions of individual reactions to various supplements, medicines, and protocols.
*Note: I'm looking for a catchier term than citizen researchers, but haven't been able to think of anything yet. Any suggestions? firstname.lastname@example.org