Monday, June 12, 2006

Thesis Odyssey: Ithaca in sight

Due to reasons I previously alluded to [to wit: "not feelin' it"] , I decided over the last couple of weeks to radically reconfigure my thesis project. No more yeast for me -- I'm a proud phage man now. More specifically, phage T7, a little critter that infects E.coli. I'm going to be mucking around with its genome, as described here -- v1 of the new genome was completed a while ago [and was the first official paper of the Endy lab at MIT] and work is now underway on v2, which is what I'm picking up and going to make the focus of my thesis. It's full-on, non-apologetic synthetic biology and will even give me a chance to write some code [because existing tools for genome redesign are non-optimal/non-existent], both of which are things I'm pretty excited about.

Of course, this means I have to learn a bunch of new biology [i.e. read about 2,567 more papers] and experimental methods, disband my existing thesis committee and form a new one, and reschedule my qualifying exam, so it's not all gravy.

Now, if you were too smart for your own good and wanted to upset me, you could ask impertinent questions like "Gee, Alex, how come you've been whining and moaning about not being able to find a decent thesis project when this one has been right under your nose for the last 9 months -- wasn't that a bit of a waste of time ?". And I would give you an answer involving the phrases "target fixation" and "too much action, not enough thought".

But you're not going to ask me questions like that, right ?


Anonymous Bill Tozier said...

Who among us could?

8:57 PM  

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