Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Scientists speak the truth

Twitter is having fun with #OverlyhonestMethods  at the moment. This site collects some of the best ones too.
I think it's a good thing that scientists are being a bit more open about why they do things in experiments the way they do. It makes us seem a bit more human and fallible.

If I were to admit to some they'd be along these lines and I suspect they'd be true for a lot of biologists.

  • Flies are kept at 25 degrees because then I don't need to come in at weekends.
  • Secondary antibodies are left on the sample for 2 hours because sometimes I like a long lunch or a quick drink in the evening.
  • I worked on a project because the wings looked fat (short and round) and not because they looked like Fat (protein knock down). Luckily it actually did interact with Fat. 
  • I do X method because that's how it worked - I have no idea why it worked and honestly don't care that much.
  • I use euparal fixing method because you can order it, rather than make it and it smells nice.
  • When I try to summarise a method with the phrase "basically" you can guarantee there's nothing basic about it.
  • sometimes I find an interesting result by accident and then have to concoct a legend as to why this was what I was expecting to find all along. 
  •  when a method says "72 hours" later I tend to do 10 or 14 as staying at work until 9pm or starting at 7am is too painful.
If I was being overly honest about this blogpost I'd say "I wrote this post because I don't have a twitter account and can't be bothered setting one up right now"

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