Shiny Metal Tiger

Experiences in Baltimore, MD

Knockdown!

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It’s 1:24, and I just got back from the lab. I’d been to a poolside BBQ earlier (which was nice. Too much food though…), and decided that I didn’t want to wait until tomorrow to finish my latest experiment. So I went in and finally saw a knockdown of the Cockayne Syndrome proteins in my cell lysate, which I’d been working on for about a month. Hooray!

Western blot of triumph

I won’t bore anyone with the details, but I guess the important point to all this is that being a scientist isn’t really a job. It’s not something you do to make a living (though some people referred to as scientists have arguably assumed such a state); the hours are too long and the pay is too low, the social status is conditional at best, and you need to attend university for about 8 years before you even get a real job. All significant deterrents for those without sufficient dedication. And yet some of us go through it willingly, enjoying it. Even going to work at one in the morning to finish something.

I am not going to make any blanket statements as to why we do so. Although I think most of us are compelled by a natural curiosity, I imagine there are any number of reasons besides that. In my case though, one such reason is that it’s one of the few things that make a difference in the long run. Winning the NFL or making a billion dollars, though highly impressive, don’t really change anything, in my eyes. After all, someone else will be around to do the same thing next year, and then what was the point?

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Written by Martin

2010/08/08 at 00:36

Posted in Uncategorized

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