In which my language becomes everyone’s – for a moment

Following on from my piece in the Guardian this week about the chickenpox vaccine, my friend Buffy clued me in to this clever little number in the Onion that had been published the day before.


It’s too gloriously sunny and warm outside to write a serious post, so I thought I’d just point it out in case you missed it, and mention that it’s really great to see actual, hard-core science in such a popular venue. Does this mean, just possibly, that science is becoming just that bit more acceptable to the world at large? I do hope so.

When interviewed, many mothers described quality time spent gathered around the kitchen table, with the whole family helping to grind recombinant proteins with mortars and pestles while a supervising adult helps purify the mixture through chromatography and ultrafiltration. Others reportedly do prep work ahead of time on Sundays so that during the week they can simply come home from work, stir in any necessary adjuvants or stabilizers, and have an inoculation ready to go.

“Enough people were complimenting my measles vaccine that I now make a couple extra vials on purpose,” said Theresa Berman, a Fresno, CA mother of two, who revealed that her “secret ingredient” is a pinch of ginger. “It may not be as flashy as MMRV ProQuad, but it has the exact same WI-38 human diploid lung fibroblasts and MRC-5 cells as the brand-name variety.”

About Jennifer Rohn

Scientist, novelist, rock chick
This entry was posted in LabLit, Scientific thinking, Silliness. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to In which my language becomes everyone’s – for a moment

  1. cromercrox says:

    But the secret ingredient is … love

    (runs away)

  2. Steve Caplan says:

    Now that’s a mature, responsible way to counter those hateful, dangerous vaccines, rather than simply not inoculating one’s children. We already have the Kitchen Cabinet ( and the Scholarly Kitchen (, so here’s to the Vaccine Kitchen!

  3. I do seem to remember telling one of my colleagues who had reached an advanced state of disillusionment that he should remove his lab one piece at a time (TM the late and sorely missed Johnny Cash) and set it up in his garden shed. The patch-clamp rig would have been fine, apart from the lorries rolling past the house, but we were a bit worried about the cell culture.

Comments are closed.