Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Unpredictable Children

I never could have imagined that I would be dedicating a full 18 pages to a paper effectively entitled “Effect of Drug in Cells Unclear”, but I guess that’s what happens sometimes when you’re conducting an experiment with an unknown outcome.

It’s strange to think that even though the experiments in this module were very well planned out and followed a somewhat logical progression of steps, the results still spun everything into a sort of mess. I felt like the order of the questions we posed in our experiments implied a certain narrative by themselves, and I realize now that I had already mentally filled in many of the results with assumptions. Looking at the order of experiments, I had made an initial assumption that the drugs we added to the cancer cells would have some definite effect on NHEJ repair ability, in one direction or another. However, that was clearly erroneous. Perhaps this serves as a good reminder of the unexpected nature of research and a reminder that a lot of research ends up being you grasping at interpretations of unsatisfactory data. It is disappointing but it is all part of the process. 

Had this been an actual research lab, there would be freedom to adjust experiments and spontaneously decide on research direction. In 20.109, however, it made for an exciting foray into flow cytometry and work with mammalian cell culture. Nicole and I took care of the cells like they were our babies and we were bipolar parents. At times, we made sure they were safe and incubated at temperatures that would allow them to be content. We gave them baths in TBS. We took headcounts. We handled them gently. Except sometimes we also broke them open and shot lasers at them. I would say our parenting needs work. (Shoutout to Leslie for dealing with a real child AND all of this lab stuff.)

Maybe they just don't want to be friends with loperamide.

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