Small Successes

Today, close to a year after the experiments were first done, I managed to replicate my mentor Robin’s experimental results.

How did I feel? Absolutely ecstatic!

What did I do? I basically made bacteria produce light, and have yeast respond to that light by producing an enzyme in response to the light. The experimental protocol was a pain in the butt to carry out, but that’s all good.

Why did I do that? It was my project.

No, really, why did I really do that? IT WAS MY PROJECT.

No no no, what’s the purpose of this? I’m doing synthetic biology, and this was a far-out, crazy, whacky idea that I was working on to see if it worked.

Applications? Probably none.

And so…? Well, if it was a demonstration that communication between cells doesn’t always have to take place chemically, even though that’s what all cells do naturally. Oh, and not to mention, we managed to make communication take place across species, phyla and kingdoms. Talk about being “bad-ass”. (*two thumbs up for you for being a science nerd if you understood that last sentence*)

Who else was involved? Chris, my supervisor, for the project; Robin, my mentor, for digging her heels in the trenches of lab work with me on this project and for her marvellous insight; Jared, from the Lim Lab @ UCSF for providing me with reagents; Brynne, who helped me troubleshoot all of the yeast problems I was having.

So how did I celebrate? I dropped the rest of my experiments for the day, went to play badminton, came back and did 5 rounds of Starcraft 2.

What’s next? I switched all of my construction work next week to replicating the experimental results of today’s experimental run. No cloning/DNA assembly/construction for 1 week. That’ll be a nice change from what June was like…

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