A Few Maxims For The Instruction Of The Over-Educated

The Western blot – an assay that allows you to separate all the proteins in a sample by size using gel electrophoresis and then detect the presence of a particular protein using an antibody that (hopefully) binds specifically to it – is a staple of molecular biology. I see dozens of Westerns in an average week, and I dread to think how many I’ve seen over my whole career. However, there was a new twist in a lab meeting presentation yesterday – some of the bands (corresponding to antibody-bound proteins) were labelled as “Wilde Type”.

This immediately brought several ideas to mind:

  • “The importance of being transferred”
  • “An ideal plus-band”
  • “The only thing worse than being chemiluminesced is not being chemiluminesced”
  • “One should always be a little improbe-able”
  • “I have nothing to declare except my threonines”
  • “Life is far too important to be taken serine-lessly”
  • “To lose one control sample may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness”.
  • “All postdocs become like their supervisors. That is their tragedy. No student does. That’s his”.

Will you add your own in the comments?

You will, readers, you will…



About Cath@VWXYNot?

"one of the sillier science bloggers [...] I thought I should give a warning to the more staid members of the community." - Bob O'Hara, December 2010
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25 Responses to A Few Maxims For The Instruction Of The Over-Educated

  1. Stephen says:

    “A His-tag!?!”

  2. What about the plagiarism one? Also a follow-up to the last exchange…

    Wilde heard his friend, the painter James McNeill Whistler, say something witty.

    “I wish I had said that” said Wilde.

    “You will, Oscar, you will” Whistler replied.

    Plenty of modern scientific relevance, I’d say.


  3. bean-mom says:

    Aww, I can’t play. Never read any Oscar Wilde (hangs head in shame).

  4. The Autorad of Dorian Gray

  5. Stephen Moss says:

    I love actin. It is so much more real than life.

  6. Elizabeth says:

    Leaves of Filter Paper by Walt Whatman

  7. Elizabeth says:

    don’t worry bean-mom, I haven’t read any oscar wilde either. Though, I guess I haven’t read Leaves of Grass either…

  8. Eva says:

    The world is a lab, but the gel is badly cast.

  9. Eva says:

    If one cannot enjoy reading a paper over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.

  10. Cath@VWXYNot? says:

    These are all great! Keep ’em coming! I particularly love both Stephens’ contributions, and Eva’s first one, but they’re all making me laugh!

  11. Steve Caplan says:

    Too busy “airing my purified proteins in public” to respond to this…

  12. Crystal Voodoo says:

    I’ve got two…

    “A researcher is one who can only find his results by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world.”

    “Grad students begin by loving their PIs; after a time they judge them; rarely, if ever, do they forgive them.”

  13. The Importance of Being Denatured

  14. How about:

    “Deceiving others. That is what the world calls an impact statement.”

  15. chall says:

    “In search of lost bindings” and “The Unbearable Lightness of Being Degraded outside of the gel” ….

    This being in the middle of a break from a multi-day seminar on HPLC and the beauty of buffers, chemistry and bindings… 😉

  16. cromercrox says:

    A scientist’s lab notebook is private and therefore intended for publication.

    A graduate student’s CV is his autobiography – a PI’s, his work of fiction.

    Either that referee’s report goes, or I do.

  17. cromercrox says:

    I never saw a man who looked
    with such a wistful eye
    at that little tent of blue
    that scientists call publication in your favourite weekly professional science magazine beginning with N.

  18. Argh. I read Dorian Gray once am am still feeling the residual effects of being epigrammed-near-to-death.

    I also worked as lighting hand on a stage production of The Importance of Being Denatured Earnest, with much the same result. That was, oh, fifteen years ago or more.

  19. Cath@VWXYNot? says:

    You guys ROCK. I <3 all of you!

  20. Pingback: Bragging Rights Central: New Archive Post | VWXYNot?

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