Monday, June 29, 2009

Nothing works :(

Well, like the title says, nothing works! I feel like I've been busting my butt trying to get experiments to work. I'm trying to characterize a totally uncharacterized protein picked up in a loss of function screen with a super cool (if not so penetrant) phenotype. I made an antibody. And I'm trying (desperately) to figure out if it works, and where my protein is expressed and localized. Nothing works. Or it half works, or it just doesn't make sense and things are conflicting. Or the controls don't even work in the experiment. *sigh* So much for my group meeting/progress report this week. Summary: no progress made, oh except for the realization that I screwed up the cloning of my overexpression contructs and had to remake everything (at least I think I'm mostly caught back up with completed constructs). Not the best way to end my nearly 5 year stay in the lab (it's likely to be my last presentation before I leave in September). I am bummed. Why won't SOMETHING, ANYTHING work?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


OK, it's been a while again. I'm having a bit of an identity crisis. I always thought of myself as part of the "women in science" set, but these days, with my career on hold for my family, my project rapidly headed down the crapper, and my motivation dwindling to a near all-time low, I'm even a bit more saddened that 9 times of out 10 when I interact with someone else from the lab they ask me about my pregnancy and not about my work :( Is it because they think it's not worth talking about any more? I'm not one of them anymore? Or just an innocent curiosity about pregnancy?

I'm trying hard to make an effort NOT to bring it up myself because I don't want to be one of those women who can only talk about babies when they're pregnant. Of course it is an important part of my life now, but it's not the only part (or is it?) Most days I'd just rather go back to being "one of the guys".

I feel rather out of the loop though, in between PhD and postdoc, without any meetings/conferences coming up (except a talk I'm giving Friday at a local symposium), no manuscript I'm working on, a project I won't be able to see to its finish... I'm reading lots of other blogs out there with people counting down to defense, waiting for reviewer comments, writing grant applications and I just don't fit. I feel like I'm already "out" of science. And I'm sad about that. And I don't see when or how it's going to get better. I think back to the very kind email I got from one PI whose lab I applied to for a postdoc and she wrote that science will always be there for me when/if I want to come back, but I haven't even left yet and I still feel like it's already gone.

Friday, June 5, 2009

A little light reading....

I ordered new books last week and they finally arrived in the mail for me at work today! I'm so darn excited.

At least I have something to browse during all my washes and incubations this afternoon :p I think I have 4 of the 7 constructs and got halfway toward the other 3... I'll test digest and sequence today and I should have them finished up in time to transfect next week.

There is also some progess in getting approved to do some lab work (not that it's really stopped me from doing much so far...). A construction date for installing extra ventillation for the pregnancy lab is set for Tuesday next week, funding from the institute for buying some more equipment for the lab was approved last week and several things ordered, and a meeting with government officials is also set to happen next week. Yeah for progress!