Friday, July 30, 2010

Only In Science

You know you are becoming a scientist when certain strange or extraordinary things become routine. For example, I conjure up boatloads of HIV anytime I need some from nothing more than some DNA and cells. I then proceed to work with a lethal virus at all hours of the day and night, even before meals without so much as an afterthought (although I do wash my hands). If you think this is crazy wait until the day you hear what John does in his lab. It scares the shit out of me.

Recently I have been growing a bunch of cell lines for my project. Really all I have been thinking about for the past few days is OMG I have to take care of more of you little needy bastards with all of you different growth rates and different requirements. Before the coffee hit my brain this morning as I checked to make sure I did not screw something up that killed half of my cells overnight I starting thinking of the collection I had going. Growing in my incubator was

53 year old male

14 year old boy

A human embryo with a cold

An African Green monkey (unknown species atm) edit: I think its a vervet

2 humans fused together

Another human of unknown age and sex

2 rhesus macaques

This is starting to be quite the collection. I was thinking of writing something about a family at the Bronx Zoo watching monkeys while pushing their conjoined twins around in a stroller, however that may be a little morbid considering that all of the people and monkeys have died thus allowing me to have these cells. Now I feel like a jerk. Science is truly a strange profession. Any way I am off to tend my growing army of cells while thinking about how utterly strange growing a zoo can be.

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