Monday, June 30, 2008


Our family dog died last week and I just wanted to pay homage to her on my blog because we miss her so much already and everyone is really sad.

She was one of those dogs who always looked perky and inquisitive, because of the way her large years always stood straight up and because of her shining personality. she looked a little like a small german shephard, but she was a mutt, she was all blonde with a black face. She was nothing like anyone else in my family because she seemed permanently happy, eternally faithful and always gave a fine warm hello.

in every picture taken of her there is a blur where her tail is, because it was always wagging. every morning she presented my brother with a sock as a suggestion to play. She never really jumped inappropriately, but you knew she was extatic to see you. She had the bounding energy of a child, up until about a month ago.

if we could all be a little more like Penny the world would be a much better place.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Lab Lessons

Doing experiments in a genetics laboratory really has the ability to teach not only lessons about science, but also lessons about life. I am completly convinced of it. Now, maybe this is just because I choose to see it this way, and maybe I am forcing this, but these ideas speak loudly to me.

Each experiment we do is aimed at providing information about the existing biological state of something. But each little experiment is also a micro scale view of the much larger lessons in trial, error, error and error, in tenacity, in not taking it personally, in thinking critically, in failure and in luke warm achievements.

Right now in our lab we are doing a project that is completely new to all who are involved, even the head scientist. We are getting results, but we dont really know how to interpret them. So, each time we do our experiment we get the result .04, for example, which is a low number. Some people say this is a reflection of some biological condition that we are measuring, while others say that the experiment is messed up somehow.

In the beginning of this project we envisioned it working super well once all the correct factors were in place. We envisioned getting a 100 and not a .04, followed by some kind of dorky but satisfying high-five and maybe a celebratory drink when it all made sense. Now, after doing it time and time and time again, and learning bit by ever-loving bit how to do it correctly, I realized today that there is just not ever going to be a high-five moment. There is not going to be a time when it all makes sense. Things progress too gradually and never really get all that much better. And I hate to take a life lesson from this, but I am afraid I have to, ouch.