Take a look at this:
It's an experiment. More to the point, it is an experiment that has failed over and over and over and over again. Experimental science selects for people who build up a head of optimism, charge at a cinderblock wall with no protection, smash their skulls against it, piece their skulls back together, and repeat. The driving force for this is that every once in a while, one passes through the wall and attains a secret of nature on the other side. As Nietzsche said, that which does not kill us makes us stronger. I've gotta tell you, it's a close call on this one. If I get mowed down by a truck on Longwood later today, at least I won't have to repeat this fucking experiment.
Now that you mention it ...
Jenn C, I never precisely repeat an experiment that is not working, since if science works at all, then a precise repetition should give the same useless result. In grad school, I was a sucker for just repeating things until I realized that implied a lack of confidence on my advisor's part. I now know how to deal with this suggestion.
Mafia, it means a great deal that people stop by, read a desperate post, and leave some encouraging words. I am always tickled pink to see that you've left a comment. The membrane between sanity and self-violence seems unbelievably thin at times, and more so recently than ordinarily.
Julie, it is, in fact, one of those! The damn thing either works barely or not at all. Maddening, and worse, because it really makes one wonder about the relevance of one's research. Just what is real?
Ariel, thank you for the compliments, and especially for suggesting that I have some optimism lying around here somewhere.
Dear Husband, thank you darling, for everything.
Nik, it's a pulse-chase. Newly translated proteins are labeled in vivo with radioisotope (35S methionine) then chased with cold methionine in order to evaluate protein turnover. After the time course, extracts are prepared (a real nuisance with tough as nails yeast), radio-immunoprecipitations are carried out, and proteins are resolved by SDS-PAGE. The gel is fixed and dried, then exposed to a phosphorimager screen (or film, if you are old school). It is a long process, which makes it all the more painful when it bombs.
Emily, those projects that don't work should not be propagated without full disclosure. My guess on the malate dehydrogenase: missing cofactors or lack of activating in vivo modifications.
Erich, I can translate your short response even without the longer email (which I thoroughly enjoyed): "Have read, understood, and empathize like nobody's business."
IH Toast, that's it exactly! It's not caused by reanimated or transmogrified flesh at all.
Dorothy, blind stubbornness gratefully accepted.