June 27, 2008

Gel of the Day: Epic Fail!

I hate it when I don't get PCR products on a Friday afternoon. I especially hate it when one of the attempts was extraction from a species of which I have but a single specimen. Blah.

#007 is Pentaphyllus sp. and #004 is Penthe pimelia. The latter was going to be an outgroup useful for rooting trees. What I've got is pretty useless, though, because it's nothing. As for Pentaphyllus, it looks like I got my small subunit product but nothing else. I'll take it and try the whole thing again over the weekend, I suppose. Or on Monday. I'm feeling a bit frustrated with the whole thing at the moment. I've got the COI and wingless dilutions down to 1:5, too.

Stupid bugs. How am I going to work out your phylogeny if you won't give me nice big globs of amplifiable DNA?

By the way, something about this blog and why I write about stuff like this. It occurred to me some time ago that there are a lot of people out there who have no idea what it's like doing research and who buy into the whole "big science" bullderdinky (like it? I just made it up.) There's a tendency to think that science is like what gets shown on TV and movies. Everything is gleaming and shiny and digital, hunches always pan out and the experiment always works. In real life that just ain't the way it is.

There are lots of blogs out there that review papers and deal with big issues in science. I like the idea of putting forth what life is like, how the successes and failures feel, and generally getting the point across that we science nerds are just like everybody else and that if there's anything like a "big science" conspiracy it has entirely passed by me and everyone I know.

Today? Epic fail. Tomorrow? Maybe not so epic fail. Maybe even success. In the meantime, I still need to go grocery shopping and, if I'm feeling up to it, do the dishes. See how that works?

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