Well, I got the results of my experiments this afternoon. There might be something there, but I'll have to see the rest of the data in the morning to be a bit more sure. In research, we live for slam-dunk experiments that really prove things, but most of the time we get this could-be might-be stuff.
Most of the reactions did nothing, which was disappointing. Two of them showed what could be a real effect, though, and those two were from the same chemical class. That could be telling me something, or it could be just a coincidence. The analysis of some duplicate runs of the same things will be ready in the morning, and I'll see.
If they repeat, that's probably good news. I'll then simultaneously narrow down and fan out in other directions. That is, I'll set those same reactions up again, and add a few runs that are controlled for against some other variables. On the other hand, if they don't repeat, then I first need to make sure that my wonderful pipetting technique isn't one of the causes, but then I have some other things to try on different systems.
One of the few things I can prove is that not every system I can set up has an equal chance of working - in fact, some of them definitely won't work at all, for reasons that can't be foreseen. Perhaps I've landed on one of these and need to get out into another area - or perhaps I'm just wrong from the start. It's too early, fortunately, to be able to prove that.
UPDATE: Well, all the experiments repeated quite nicely, which is something to be glad of. If I'm wrong, I'm wrong the same way every time. I'm already planning another run of stuff for sometime next week, and I won't inflict the details on everyone until they're finished.