Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Stroke of Genius (4)

Scott's pace was becoming frenetic. He abandoned physcial therapy in order to spend more time with his research. Cecilia begrudgingly dropped him off at the lab every morning and picked him up every night. Often he would bring his notebooks home to work further after Cecilia went to sleep. His lab assistants and students had been reassigned so he worked alone. As his pace quickened his organiztional skills started to fail. His once neat and clean notes were now scattered about the lab and apartment. At some point his thoughts were coming so quickly he abandoned keeping formal accounts of his activities. He used any piece of paper he could find around the house for quick calculations.

And Scott was energized. Never had he felt so capable. Never had his ideas been so vibrant. He was getting closer and closer to the answer. The unique solution that would bypass the damage to the oxygen starved, seemingly dead cells and bring them back to life. He visualized the compound entering the infarcted area of the rabbits brain. He saw the alterations occuring at a cellular level. But the compound was a loose cannon. An unguided missile. Its effects spread to other parts of the body. Sensitive parts. Parts that eventually led to the rabbits death.

It was as clear as day. He needed to modify the compound. Allow it to hone in on the incapacitated tissue in the brain but ignore the rest of the body. A coating to keep it centered and not allow it to cross back over the blood brain barrier. He again went over the chemical formula. How could it be modified. What component changed such that it would get stuck in just the right place.

The answer came to Scott in a dream. He had fallen asleep in his chair while studying the numbers. The chemical he had been using to treat the rabbits was flawed. Although it erased the damage from the stroke it eventually led to toxic metabolites that killed the rabbit prematurely. But now...now in the subconscious depths of sleep he stumbled upon the answer. It was a simple adjustment. A basic organic reaction.

He fell back asleep with his mind made up. Tomarrow after Cecilia dropped him off he would alter the compound. And then....then....

He would try it on himself.

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