Some Last Thoughts

While it is true that I left lab a few weeks ago, it is not true that the work relating to my different projects is over. In fact, one could say that we are just getting started. What we were looking for was something compelling but we have not yet found it. In the fall, I think the lab will do some reflection in terms of which projects are worth our while to pursue and which are not. It takes time along with trial and error to achieve these answers.

The last thing I did in lab was The Conditioned Place Preference test. While the procedure itself demanded a few days of nearly full attention and carefulness, it ended up going smoothly. As well as it seemed to go to me, the real question is what kind of data the test yielded. One important lesson I have learned from the zebrafish research is that a well-run procedure may or may not lead to results. Results are anything but immediate. Anyway, once I return to August in a few weeks, I will be examining  the data from the CPP with high hopes. I will include those results in my final blog post.

Although I neglected to mention this before, there is another side project in progress. Up to this point, all the fish that have been used in my research have not been embryonically exposed to ethanol. This is logical because it is not worthwhile to test fish exposed in this way until we find something which we could test them in – from a behavioral perspective. Now we are raising several groups of fish which have undergone different levels of exposure to ethanol at different times of development. Exciting times are ahead when these zebrafish are tested in the same manner that we test our zebrafish not exposed to ethanol embryonically.

I look forward to updating you all a final time shortly.


  1. We humans naturally seek patterns. We want results to emerge from seeming chaos and to match our intuition. But you’re absolutely right, results are not immediate. From my experience, positive acceptance of the lack of desirable results might drive research forward in unexpected ways. In fact, in the world of the scientist, logic and intuition should be malleable. They should defer to the observational truth that is manifest in the experimental process. If that truth is a non-relation, then no connection shall be drawn, no matter how attractive and intuitive it is to do so. If that truth is uncertainty, doubt must rightfully take precedence over conclusion. After reading through all your blog posts and hearing about you lab experiments, I think you have a contemplative, objective, and measured way of conducting science and those qualities will benefit you immensely as a well-educated person.

  2. That is great! Very informative!