Tag Archives: failed

That’s what the “re” stands for


I like my job, I really do. I won’t go as far as to say I love it – I don’t feel I have the experience (yet?) to be confident in what I’m doing, or even why, and as a result I’ve got this constant nervousness flowing through my veins whenever I’m at work, half expecting somebody to show up anytime, grab me in the neck and pull me out of the lab, shouting: “How many times have I told you not to play around with grown-up experiments?!?”. It keeps me from really enjoying, and loving, my job.

But still, I like it. I like it enough to spend 12+ hours a day in the lab if I feel it’s worth it, if I’m onto something.

And this week, I felt it. I’m working on introducing a specific mutation into a gene (for those of you opposed against GMO’s and the like, hold your comments, I’m trying to make biofuel here!) and I had been fumbling around with this PCR for a couple of weeks now, which really should’ve been a piece of cake to begin with, and finally managed to get it to work. At least, “something” was produced. Whether it was my gene or even whether I got it to mutate, I was about to find out.

I let you guess.

It didn’t mutate.

It should look like this...

but instead, it looks like this...

The worst part is, I have no idea WHY. I included all the controls, excluded all variables, and there is just no friggin’ way that it could’ve gone wrong. But it did.

So I’ll redo it.

Or as my former advisor would say: “That’s what the ‘re’ in ‘research’ stands for.”.