Sunday, November 25, 2007

The Matrix

As the geek I am one qoute sticks to me when I see the Matrix for the ummpieth time tonight (by the way, SciFi has really made my life in the States easier since it is the channel I really missed back home).

There is one quote specifically I am thinking of, when Agent Smith interrogates Morpheus he says, “I'd like to share a revelation that I've had, during my time here. It came to me when I tried to classify your species I realized that you're not actually mammals. Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with the surrounding environment, but you humans do not. You move to an area, and you multiply, and multiply, until every natural resource is consumed. The only way you can survive is to spread to another area. There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern. A virus. Human beings are a disease, a cancer of this planet, you are a plague, and we are the cure.”

Really, a virus… although, I don’t really like the analogy the quote stuck.

Personally, I like the quote “what is real?” more seeing it emphasis the large question of what we are and what we believe is real etc.

Ah well, this is all just a distraction from writing my outline but seeing that the time is late I will accept that I have had a great Thanksgiving weekend and I have worked some yesterday and today but not tonight… I’ll just write the outline tomorrow and now enjoy the famous lobby scene in The Matrix.’ Too bad it isn’t the best music score in the movie (that’s the club scene IMHO) but still, I like it, after all it is Rob Zombie.

I know, I am a tad bit geeky but hey, I am a scientist so why not? ,)

Monday, November 19, 2007

Fun things

The experiment I have been dreading last week turned out excellent!!! I guess it makes a huge difference to have the right kit (against mouse things rather than human…) that isn’t too old… and knowing that the cells that are producing the right stuff is doing so after 1 hour of adding the bacteria and not 2.5 ….

And I can take that any day because I got significant results when I ran the test. I am redoing it today and really hoping that I can repeat it and see the same results in the ELISA tomorrow. Apparently, hope isn’t dead in me. Yey me!

Haven’t told PI about taking vacation yet, will wait another few days, although I think I would feel better if I just said “I’ll be going home for a few days in early January” and then buy the ticket so I don’t end up here without a ticket. On the other hand, really – I couldn’t care less about when I am going “home” seeing it will be a mixture of really bad and boring things to do as well as some nice meetings with friends and family. Mixture as I said.

So, all in all: the last couple of weeks have ended up in having a few different results.

PCRs working, transformations not so much. I’ll give it this week and then I will remake the construct, i.e. flipping the res gene and make it run the same way it should. It shouldn’t make a difference but it might.

Models of the different diseases, one is behaving as planned, the other one is a tad bit hard to interpret.

In vitro stuff, apparently really good!

Thinking and planning an abstract to be sent in to the conference in early January, well… I am thinking about it…

Manuscript writing, not at all. The whole thing is up in the air depending on the results of the four different tests I am running at the moment. Oh, and of that stupid mutant that doesn’t want to work.

Finally, there is a good feeling at the moment. Let’s hope I can keep this for at least a week because I think it would be really good on my self esteem to feel like this.

I'll mention the talk another time but in short; my computer didn't like me so it stalled for the first 20 mins. My PI told me to go to the white board and give the talk anyway while he smooth talked my computer and after an introduction and background on the board the computer gave up and let me access my result slides. All in all, I did a great job of presenting my introduction without any tools apart from my hands and a white board. (It doesn't hurt to be an underdog sometimes.) The result section, well I think it went ok all in all so... another time I will go into more depth how "not to panic when computer hates the new cord to link it with the projector...."

(and then of course, there are always articles like this one that keeps me grounded… pahh… let's hope the research wasn't as extensivve so I can dismiss it.)

Sunday, November 11, 2007


As usual the stress before a talk is awake. I think I can pull it all together before tomorrow when my PI wants to see my slides. Hopefully I can make it good, as long as I decide on the colour... duhh... as if it really is that important. It is not even a 'real' talk, just a bit bigger than a group meeting in an informal setting. Although, it is my only talk this year and I am supposedly getting feed back tomorrow.

At the moment I am mostly feeling all the stuff I should have done before this. All those things that haven't worked, i.e. the two different mutants I am trying to get. (note to self, I will flip the gene and make a new ligation since I think that might help out.) I probably could put something in about the other mutants that I have made though. Should focus on the fact that I have some results, since the abstract/poster at the conference even if I miss the easy ELISA since the cells refused to grow last week and the kit was old... ah well, it is all good?! I just, as usual, need to focus on what I have done and not on the stuff I haven't done!

Be proud of me and my research and try and put it out to the audience.

well, it is a bit tedious to always realise that my worst enemy in science is me, myself and I. Although, I would like it to be my bacteria or my PI but I really do think it is my self image... but I guess I could make it a positive thing seeing I see myself every day so why not change it?! he, let's focus on this and get the presentation going. It is going to be fun!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Not complaining

Well, after reading my lst post I did decide to stop whining and maybe to keep things more objective (hm, that’s not going to work but at least I can try not to always write sad, bad and complaining things but rather a little more of the objective “life in the lab” or at least write some things more that are happy…)

So, in all earnest to try and make good on my promise (intention). The latter part of the day went almost as bad as the first part… (to be completely honest it went worse but I am trying to focus on the few good things here ,) ). My results from the tests with my first mutants that actually have worked (the ones I am trying to do now are a little complicated and sad) are ambiguous… that said, I see a difference between the wild type and the mutant which made me happy…. Until I tried to explain why that happened seeing that the mutant is not suppose to either grow slower (has to do with clearance rate) or adhere worse (has to do with sickness) so I am in for a little mystery solving, which I am actually looking forward to. Printed a ton of papers today to try and read through them with the eyes looking for “adherence”, “colonization” or something else I haven’t thought of yet…

Time to get back to reading.

(and yeah, I cut out the last post. Sorry Hypoglycemiagirl for loss of the comment. Thanks though! It was spot on. My talk will be good :) )