The research process

As this is a blog partially meant to educate its readers on the process of summer research, I thought I’d write on an integral part of the biological laboratory experience. As bacteria and other living organisms don’t, as a rule, conform to timetables set by researchers, it becomes necessary to come in to the lab on the weekends to set up your work for the coming week. For example, today, I came in to prepare media for a protein induction tomorrow, and to inoculate liquid cultures so I can have some DNA to work with tomorrow. Even with the most meticulous planning, these little visits can only be minimized with respect to their frequency and duration, never eliminated.  When your work is progressing quickly, often it’s difficult to stay out of the lab, but when things stagnate for no apparent reason, the Sunday matinee becomes a far more appealing prospect…

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