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March 7, 2005
The Next Science
Blogging time is sparse tonight, since I'm (finally) starting off Tax Season here at Rapacious Pharma Manor. But I wanted to point people to a longish post by William Tozier at Notional Slurry, on how he became a scientist - and on what sort of scientist he found himself becoming, and what to do about it. His section, midway through, of snapshots of his graduate school days made me shudder with recognition:
But instead I learned over the next few years that Im merely a bad molecular biologist, botanical or otherwise. In practice, at least. In theory, I rocked. Ive been thinking about it a lot lately (for reasons I hope will become clear nearer the end of this vast wordy spume), but for brevity let me portray this period as a series of portentous snapshots:
* In a lab notebook I stumbled across the other day is a photograph of the results from my thirteenth (13th) extraction of plastid DNA from Hosta sieboldiana. I cant recall right now whether the gel is blank, or a flame-shaped smear of random molecular fragments of size ranging from eensy to weensy. Doesnt matter. Neither result is good, though both appear with about equal frequency in each of the 13 attempts I made over 8 months. I think on this one we decided Restriction enzyme buffers too old; need to make new ones. Use Franks as control?" . . .
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