Saturday, March 25, 2006

An update from the experimental trenches

It would seem that I'm being punished for my recent whistle-blowing description of the realities of lab work. Consider: since then, I've wasted a week trying to figure out why a boringly standard PCR reaction [a technique for amplifying DNA, kind of like a copier] wasn't working, only to find out that it was because one of the reagents was contaminated [and of the two tubes containing that reagent, I kept picking the contaminated tube ...]. And I've spent the last week trying to get run-of-the-mill yeast cells to grow in a medium that is the yeast equivalent of nutritional paradise, with no success.

In other words, I'm having trouble even with stuff that should be simpler than falling off a log. This does not bode well for my proposed thesis project, which involves making lots of changes to yeast DNA. On the other hand, maybe I'm just frontloading all the experimental woes and once I get past the startup issues, everything will go swimmingly ... yeah, that's it.


Anonymous Andre said...

You're not alone. I feel better that I'm actually part of a failure community. Good luck! I think (hope) you're right about frontloading the problems...

11:09 AM  

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