This post initially appeared on Science Blogs

Yesterday was my birthday, and I tend to use this time in April to re-up my commitment to all of those resolutions that I failed at around Jan 5th.

And add a new one: Data is the name of the game.

  • Millions of cells in the incubator? Check!
  • Freshly-made solutions and buffers? Check!
  • 10-15 Western blots/week? Check!
  • Will to live? Fading... but still there!

There's nothing worse than this phase in a scientific process. I know the answer to my question and now I just need to generate a few figures that are presentable for publication. For instance:

That's a loading control for an assay called a western blot - it's a way to look at the protein content of cells. This is looking at a protein that should be present in equal quantities in all my samples. It looks pretty good, except that 5th lane is all askew, and there seems to be a bit less in the 3rd lane. So I gotta scrap the whole experiment and start over.

This is a recipe for frustration, and I've been banging my head against this problem for about 3 months. But I will get it. My new year's resolution at the beginning of my 28th year is to be diligent, be precise, and get some frackin' data.

Send me good thoughts, hopefully I'll be able to resume a regular blogging schedule soon.

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