Keeping Science Moving Outside Of The Headlines
Most of what you read on sites like ours, are the big headlines. Either someone has ‘found a cure for cancer’, or has ‘ushered in a new dawn’ with a novel use of CRISPR. Yes, these are amazing stories — but it doesn’t always paint the most accurate picture of what science is really like. A lot of time is spent setting up and running experiments, and doing some hard thinking – but part of the time is spent doing more mundane things.
I used to work in a yeast lab — it was great fun. Every now and again, we’d get a request from a fellow researcher who understood, like we did, that so many of life’s mysteries were solvable using yeast. They’d ask us to send over specific lines we’d developed for use in their own experiments. As exciting as it was to receive these requests, it was also a little bit of a hassle. As a lowly PhD student, I was bottom of the hierarchy of personnel which could be trusted to do the job – this meant it was up to me to dig around the freezer, set things up, and post them out.
A recent article in The Atlantic, caught my eye. Suppose you were the only place that people could get stuff that was suddenly super popular? CRISPR, popular even…. The disruption to actual research would be huge. Luckily, there are ways to avoid that from happening. An interesting write up of one of the least talked about parts of life in research.