As Kate has mentioned, LEE has had some roadblocks since its grand opening. While (fortunately) much of what we do here runs smoothly, we are still encountering some funky results. Thus, we dedicate this post to describing the many ways in which we cope, as research assistants, with these roadblocks. Any research project will have its bumps and moments that make you just stop and wonder how on earth that could have happened. Often it’s just a matter of addressing the basic assumptions about your project or methods. This is what we, Kate’s fabulous research assistants, have been doing for the past few weeks by systematically testing every step within our methods. And while we may not, as noted earlier, get our answers within the time frame of a 60 minute TV show - we look just as good pipetting in our white lab coats as any of those television scientists!
Our testing has resulted in a number of exciting breakthroughs - we are quickly eliminating what may cause some of our problems. But as we narrow down the suspect list, we often find whole new challenges to overcome - such as the fun day when after spending a large amount of time on an assay it turned out that one of the assay components was simply defective. This was a particularly frustrating day, but Kate was able to laugh it off as “lab goblins.”
This got us thinking: We need to guard against lab goblins and their mischief. The answer? A lab gnome, of course! Similar to the garden variety, but instead of protecting your house from mischievous beings it protects your lab from everything from quirky kit components to disappearing stir-bars, pens, and other small objects that kleptomaniac lab goblins find irresistible. We were able to quickly acquire our new lab gnome (everyone should keep a spare around the house), but now it needs a name fitting of its job of lab protector. So now, we, the fabulous research assistants, are asking you, the fabulous blog readers, to suggest a name for our gnome! We will take suggestions in the comments, choose our favorites, and put it to a vote in a follow-up post.