Not gonna lie, my happy-to-sad ratio is a little sad-heavy at the moment. In the past three days, three separate experiments have gone wrong at lab. The procedures involved in these experiments (fluorescent in situ hybridization, cell-seeding, imaging, etc) are well-established, widely-accepted, and straightforward procedures, which makes me all the more upset that my experiments have not been working out.
Generally, when I make mistakes occur at lab, I mourn for about ten minutes, then move on with my life. My grad student’s policy is “you can make every mistake once.” I don’t think I’ve ever pushed the bounds of mistake-making as far as I have this summer, lol.
Except with these three experiments, I’m 100% sure that I did everything correctly. I’ve mentally run through each and every one of my actions over and over and over again. I have no idea why my experimental results emerged as they did. After 3 days – and not my usual ten minutes – of moping, I’ve finally decided to take a different perspective on this problem. I’m going to see this situation as a learning experience, a chance to learn more about the cells I’m working with, and the latest in this hepatocyte-centered scientific field.
This is turn explains why I’ve spent the last two hours of my life scavenging about Google Scholar, downloading 10+ papers, and reading through all of them. I’ve picked up so many random but interesting deets on hepatocyte behavior and challenges other scientists in the field have encountered. A frazzled post-doc in my lab today told me that science is all about failure. Reading these papers has showed me that yeah, science is about failure – but more than that, it’s about seeing failures as interesting avenues to explore, as potential for future experimentation.
That’s how I’m planning on approaching it anyway.
In other news, I’ve fallen in love!
With Boston sunrises :)
Check it out: