My time at Harvard Research Program has ended. It has been a fruitful month, with discussions with Mentor W and works on my own. In addition to the knowledge gained in the field of life science, which I heartily thank Mentor W for his guidance, I have come to realize several essential points to me maturing in science and research. I noted my eagerness at the first meeting Mentor W explained the mission of the research—to redesign syringe-injectable electronics using AutoCAD to overcome the device’s limitations, including its severe damage to organisms’ (mice’s) neurons as about one in twenty mice survives after being injected the electronics, and small range of neural activity detection, for only a few neurons’ signals have been detected. With excitement to start, I underestimated the difficulties, which later became evident, of coming up with a satisfyingly reasonable improved version of syringe-injectable electronics. Therefore, Mentor W’s request for me to create an AutoCAD design of the original syringe-injectable electronics in the paper “Syringe-injectable Electronics” took me slightly by surprise. What seemed at that time an unnecessary preparation or a waste of time turned out to be quite useful in allowing me to proceed further in my improvements of syringe-injectable electronics. One week after the first meeting I had another discussion with Mentor W. By that time, he had already acknowledged that my draft was good. As I questioned him about when to start redesigning syringe-injectable electronics, Mentor pointed out to me that the moment I successfully reproduced the original design I had a better understanding of the underlying principles of the current technology and that such understanding was vital to finding and overcoming the limitations of the device. Here is the first rule learned: do not begin a project with superficial understanding of its details. Researchers in sciences, especially, should pay attention to the stage of preparation because good basics can offer them insights into the core of issues.
我在哈佛大学研究计划的时间已经结束了。这是一个富有成果的一个月，与W导师讨论，并自行开展工作。除了在生命科学领域所获得的知识外，我衷心感谢W导师的指导，我认识到了我在科学研究上成熟的几个要点。我注意到我第一次见面的渴望W导师解释了研究的使命 – 使用AutoCAD重新设计注射器可注射的电子设备，以克服设备的局限性，包括对生物（老鼠）神经元的严重损害，正在注入电子，小范围的神经活动检测，只有少数神经元的信号已被检测到。随着兴奋的开始，我低估了后来变得明显的困难，想出了一个令人满意的合理改进型注射器可注射电子产品。因此，W教授要求我在“注射器注射电子”这篇论文中创建一个原始的注射器注射电子设计的AutoCAD设计，让我略感意外。当时看来，不必要的准备工作或浪费时间对于我进一步进行注射器可注射电子器件的改进来说是非常有用的。第一次会议一个星期后，我和W导师又进行了一次讨论。那时候，他已经承认我的进程很好。当我问他什么时候开始重新设计注射器注射电子产品的时候，W教授向我指出，当我成功地复制原始设计的时候，我更好地理解了当前技术的基本原理，这种理解对于找到并克服设备的限制。这是学到的第一条规则：不要对其细节进行肤浅的了解。科学研究人员尤其要注意准备阶段，因为良好的基础知识可以让他们洞察问题的核心。
While having meetings continued to discuss possible improvements for syringe-injectable electronics, I made appointments to visit several other projects that Mentor W was also working on in the laboratory of Center for Life Science Boston. They included the in-drop, which aimed to analyze massive DNAs at a single-cell level simultaneously, and biologically synthesis of materials, which hopefully could fast produce desirable proteins without extracting them from cells. Before I entered the laboratory, I had expected people wearing white coats with confident expressions step by step doing the correct process. The reality was much more different. When I entered the laboratory, Mentor W was fixing the connection between a microscope and his computer because images that were supposed to be presented on his computer failed to show up. Noticing my look of confusion, he explained to me that much of research time was dedicated to two things—designing new experiments and fixing technical problems. The actuality was, to my disappointment, less legendary than what I would like to believe. However, I could not blame the nature of research for being not very dreamy. I had never any experience with real-life research before and reading papers from natre.com and the Cell Press about many interesting discoveries about cancers and evolution had created me this illusion that research was easy or of small difficulties. Everything written in scientific journals deceived me with its fluent thought flow and made me ignore the fact that to produce a set of good data requires numerous times of testing. Most of the time when I paid my visit to the laboratory Mentor W was performing experiments related to the in-drop project. I soon learned that he had, before my arrival, worked on the project for six months without receiving any desirable result. He wished to see that an even band be produced on the gel by gel electrophoresis, by which ensuring that all RNA contained in droplets were reversely transcribed into DNA and that having complete DNA tested while surrounded in droplets was, chemically speaking, probable. I asked him what changes had he made to have that even band on the gel, and out of questions he had done many, including the concentrations and types of detergent for cell lysis, cell concentration and vitality percentage. He was testing the effects of a new detergent and I asked him what would he do in two scenes—one in which he was successful and one failed. The answer was to continue either way. Mentor W said that the project was far from being finished. If the even band still would not turn up, another method would have to be employed to fix the problem. If the even band showed, the project would proceed to another stage, in which barcodes on different sequences should be designed and further DNA analysis would be in order. This in-drop method of DNA analysis could potentially analyze cancer cells more specifically and therefore aid the process of curing cancers. However, there is a great distance between experimental success and clinical applicability, which means more experiments. Just as biology is young science, it is way to early for any research in life science to halt or finish, Mentor W sent out such message, and researchers’ work can be far less ecstatic than most people have expected, but the work is meaningful. I was fortunate and happy to witness that even band on the gel eventually on the day I left. Although the problem was in fact related to the sequence design of the genetic material and had little to do with detergents and cell concentrations, I believed that such surprise was a common part of research. There are several thoughts to be taken away from my time in the laboratory. Number one, look at the core of things and do not expect significant discoveries to come from idle hours with research apparatus. I recalled my time researching materials about optogenetics and fiber optics that could be installed in syringe-injectable electronics to expand the device’s applications, which was the idea for improvement that was finally being figured out, and I did not think for a single moment that the task was simple or could be accomplished by doodling. The core of research requires hard work. The second rule is that research is an infinite journey of explorations and within a project one stage follows another and within the field one project follows another. Mentor W’s message deeply impressed me and I believe that if I am to become a qualified researcher in sciences, I must pace myself and be convinced that the unachieved is far more than what is achieved.
One last important element that I experienced in this program is the lectures on different technologies in 100 Geological Hall. The lessons were intended for students in graduate schools. As the only high school student in the room, I found it both stimulating and intimidating. I did not wish to be the only fool who knew nothing about how to characterize porous materials or atomic layer deposition method, but the truth was that I knew nothing. This blunt truth struck me and made me realize my own limitations in the field of biology and chemistry, of which subjects which I was more or less satisfied with my extent of knowledge. Immediately after this discovery, I sprung into actions and began to linger after lectures so that I could ask the lecturers questions to clarify what did they mean by, for example, classifying porous materials by their isotherms. The more questions I asked, the more I began to settle down with the idea that I knew extremely little, if not nothing. At the end of the day I enriched my knowledge about some commonly utilized machines and techniques. Then I put down my final share of the wisdom I gained in the research program. Reach out for more information. Seat in a class where other students know much more than I do. By doing so I realize my short sights and subsequently I free myself from my pitiful contentment that I know already enough.
我在这个项目中经历的最后一个重要元素是100 Geological Hall的不同技术讲座。这些课程是针对研究生院的学生的。作为房间里唯一的高中生，我觉得既刺激又恐吓。我不想成为唯一一个对如何表征多孔材料或原子层沉积方法一无所知的傻瓜，但事实是，我什么都不知道。这个直言不讳的事实让我意识到了自己在生物学和化学领域的局限性，其中我对于自己的知识水平或多或少感到满意。这个发现之后，我马上就开始行动起来，在讲课之后就开始流连忘返，这样我就可以向讲师们提出一些问题来澄清他们的意思，例如用等温线对多孔材料进行分类。我提出的问题越多，我越是开始解决这个问题，即我知道的东西极少，即使不是什么也不知道。在一天结束的时候，我丰富了我对一些常用机器和技术的了解。然后，我放下了我在研究计划中获得的智慧的最后一部分。了解更多信息。在其他学生比我更了解的班上坐下。通过这样做，我意识到了自己的短暂景象，随后我摆脱了自己已知的足够可怜的满足感。
Finally, this is the end of my gains in Harvard Research Program and thank you for reading.
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