I have to write a presentation, but I don’t know which one – Wed 16th March

I arrived this morning at 8:30am, and after a minor rant that someone had left the office window open overnight (again) I hit the lab. I needed to set up a sequencing plate and then get a growth curve on. Sequencing plate was in the freezer ready for collection by 9am but the growth curve took much longer. A last minute request from the boss (yesterday) to include something on the plate (for a friend) meant trying to source some glycogen to grow the bacteria on. After working out we didn’t have any glycogen in our chemical room or fridges, I had to start hunting through the other labs to see if anyone had any. Quite a long time later I managed to convince another (very, very kind) PhD student to lend me some. The reason it was so difficult to find is that I didn’t need the good stuff. Glycogen is quite often used for precipitating nucleic acids, this glycogen is very clean and so very expensive. When it’s not the high molecular grade stuff it’s cheap, I wanted the cheap stuff, everyone only had the expensive stuff. I was very kindly lent an aliquot which gave me enough to set up a single run, but one is all I needed.

After all that faff, and the plating I had to do alongside the growth curve (to check bacterial numbers and to act as a control) it was 12:30pm and lunchtime. We went out to the students union, which is always quieter on a Wednesday. I was back at my desk by 1:30pm and dealt with some admin while I avoided writing my talk for the Microbiology Society conference next week. Now in my defense I’m avoiding it because I was hoping to have an answer from the society. On Monday I realised (or it was pointed out to me) that I’ve been listed for the talk I declined and not for the one I accepted. Hmmm. I emailed on Monday but haven’t had a response yet. Tomorrow I’ll have to bite the bullet and make a decision about what I’ll actually include and what I won’t. It’s not ideal as I’ve been focusing on getting a particular set of results for the talk I thought I was giving, not the one I’ve been listed for. If I’d known earlier I would’ve switched my focus.

At 3pm my sequencing data came back and I was excited to look at these, 3 new mutants to look at 🙂 . 1hr later 3 hypotheses disproved 😦 . Yep, nothing gave me the result I was hoping for, although one did give an interesting, if difficult to explain result. I chatted to one of the post-docs, and then the boss about it. Our overall conclusion was positive, it might not be the result we expected but for the first time in a long time we’ve seen an effect. I do now need to make a mutant that’s probably impossible to make as it’s a double knock out of two very important genes (the single knock outs are pretty sick as it is) but it’s worth a shot.

At 5pm it was time for Pilates so that was me done for the day. I had a dip in the late afternoon where I was convinced science hated me, but now I’ve had a chance to think it through an unexpected result is definitely better than no result. Now I just need to work out how to understand it. Until tomorrow everyone, thanks for reading.

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