Thursday, March 09, 2006

Non-Specific Binding

It’s a simply idea really: you throw together some labeled version of whatever it is you want to measure, a couple different antibodies, some substrate (if an enzyme conjugate is the type of labeling you’re using), one or two other reagents and buffers, and of course a sample. A couple hours later all you have to do is read the optical densities of the wells.

It’s ingenious, the idea behind it; one of my favorites. Measuring how much of something which isn’t there to inform on how much of something that you aren’t measuring is there.
Yeah, don’t worry if you don’t get it at first.

I’m sitting at the bench with a laptop, ensconced in print-outs, lay-outs, protocols, and scratch paper. Live 105 streaming on-line in a minimized window on the laptop, the volume low, commercial free, the constant soft murmur of familiar alternative rock songs playing background as I rework the piece of shit Excel workbook distributed by one of the companies I’m auditioning.

The small part of my mind which can never be tied down to the task at hand, no matter how involved I might be, left to its own devices settles into comfortable daydream. Running parallel to the soothing order of numbers and chemistry, one thousand different permutations of bliss. Work is a welcome reprieve from my responsibilities.

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