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    04 January 2008


    okay, so the bio studying must be getting to me, 'cause I looked at that and just went, oh f**k. Madness, she lurks behind every corner. Especially the ones like those. Yeah.

    Hi, I work for a company that makes western blotting kits--can I help? it's one of my areas of expertise and I am the "2nd tier" technical support for western blotting applications. :) So, I feel your pain, in 2007, I ran 1564 westerns. And, I have had them work beautifully and sometimes not at all.

    That would really, really suck.

    For me, this is where the stubborn streak would kick into overdrive.

    I shall send you some of my blind stubbornness and hope the experiment goes well pretty damn soon. Nothing more frustrating than something that doesn't do what it is supposed to every damn time!

    so those are the finger smears of a dying scientist on the foggy glass on the lab doors in a film noir?

    Hang in there!

    [Longer comment in e-mail!]

    yep. after i submitted my undergrad thesis describing a project that after a full year of working on constantly had produce NO results, i realized i am not cut out to be a bench scientist. i really admire you for your work.

    (i later learned that a post-doc had designed the experiment but had retreated to industry after getting NO results on this an other projects. i don;t think malate dehydrogenase works precisely the way its supposed to.)

    What is that? A western?

    That sure is the frustrating part of being a working scientist: repeatedly plugging away at something to try and get it to work correctly.

    You've got the great bench chops, intense determination, and perseverance to keep plugging away at it -- to figure out how to get it to work (or how to approach it differently). Hang in there Biologist Babe! We know you can do it! Love, -DH

    I took a biology class for fun a few years ago, and quickly realized that I simply wasn't cut out for the sciences when two hours of dribbling wee drops of solutions into tiny tubes over and over and over again almost drove me over the edge. I sincerely admire both your optimism and your patience.

    What's even worse? When it works and you can't REPEAT it. Argh! I can still clearly remember this one gorgeous gel with the bands we wanted all the way across for nearly every sample and I was never able to get that one to work again.

    Scientists impress me for a great number of reasons, but at this moment, I think the perseverance is the most impressive character trait. Though it probably doesn't mean much, perhaps my kudos will get you through just one more repeat. And another person can get you through the next. And so on. In short -- Girl, we're all here behind you!

    So do you change the experiment a little bit each time you run it in hopes of success? Or just the same thing each time, hoping for slightly different behavior?

    Because that second option seems like it would drive me to insanity pretty darn quick.

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