For the Mouse Experiment
Animals = $40K
Animal handling (dosing, housing, spleen harvest) = $150K
Reagents (including HIV virus, media, antibodies, magnetic sep,
p24 assay, MPLA, CpG, etc) = $100K
FLUOROSPOT plates = $55K
For the Lab
40 HLA Type determinations = $30K
HLA Subtyping determinations = $20K
Flow Cytometer = $60K
Larger capacity Clinical centrifuge = $6K
Larger capacity CO2 incubator = $6K
Biosafety cabinet = $8K
Lab Refrigerator = $2K
Lab Freezer = $2K
Rent = $3K

Check them out here: Immunity Project.

A bunch of guys are trying out a cool strategy to try to defeat the HIV virus. Will it work? Who knows. It’s another shot at this elusive plague that’s been tormenting our species. Just our species mind you, I doubt the rest of the planet is in much danger or that Gaia / Mother Earth is unduly worried about its future.

But anyway, that aside, I’m fascinated by their project target of $482,000 and the breakdown listed. A few thousand dollars here, a centrifuge there, equipment that I see routinely in the course of my studies and work. Stuff we purchase, use, upgrade. Sometimes I wonder who is making a bigger impact in human history, in the world. What does $482,000 buy you? A wrecked Lamborghini? A porsche? 8k? Not even the price of a first class ticket between continents. Why do we spend this precious money on frivolous luxuries? It’s so…or rather, it feels so wrong. But perhaps they didn’t have the opportunity to put it to better use. Perhaps it was simpler to just order another bottle of Cristal instead of giving 2k for a Lab Freezer.

Accessibility to Science? to worthwhile causes?
A Right to spend what they have Earned?
A capitalist market?
Without these structures, would some congomeration have been able to research, design, develop, build, distribute, sell and service a $60k Flow Cytometer?
It’s really hard to take a cog out of a big system and say that this is unnecessary. Just like how people ask NASA why do they have to spend so much money to go to Mars instead of spending it on Education.
And what about the $100 million spent on the movie Gravity (which is a mostly computer generated movie about a space walk), and $80 million spent by the Indian space agency to actually send a spacecraft to Mars.

You never really know the true and complete effects of your actions. But we think, we question, we improve, and we marvel at this huge complex, if possibly flawed, world that we exist in.

P.S. The title ‘Centrifuge’ symbolises that mind boggling price tag and precision that we place on essentially spinning some objects round and round at a very fast speed. Like a merry-go-round, but faster.
It also is a small reference to how things, and effects, in life go around, and come around.


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