Run the Experiments (5)
(May 8th, 2017) Here's Lab Times' new serialised crime story. Episode 5: Late Night Labwork.
For half a year, Charlotte completed 15-hour shifts in the lab, concentrating on her cancer project and new data to show her boss – just enough to keep him quiet. The dust had settled; Prof Bernard was satisfied. But the dedication and hard work had taken its toll. She had lost six pounds, was overtired and for some time now, her right eyelid twitched constantly. She had turned down every invitation to go out for a beer with her friends and hadn’t even spoken to her mum in almost two months.
But she had made great advancements with her cancer project, moving on from cell assays to animal experiments – all in secret. She mostly worked on it when all of her colleagues had left for the evening, sneaking into the animal facility late at night, running Western Blots and PCRs when everyone else was fast asleep. Two weeks earlier, she didn't even go home but slept in a corner next to the ultracentrifuge.
How long could she keep up this pace? Charlotte was sure that at this rate she wouldn't last another six months. She had to find a different way, a way out of this lab. And more importantly, she had to find a way to publish her data – without Prof Bernard.
There was only one experiment left to do, an important one that would make or break her hypothesis. Cautiously, she drew blood from the mice, which had received her cancer-silencing construct. Transferring the precious drops into the centrifugation tubes, she almost felt relieved. This would be the final experiment, hopefully. Twenty minutes, 2,500 RPM. Time to go back to the lab to enter a few more results into her digital lab book, password-protected, of course. All of sudden, she was overcome with an uneasy feeling. Did she close the data file before she left for the animal facility?
When Charlotte reached the lab, the door was open. In front of her computer, looking at her secretly collected data, sat Prof Bernard. Her worst nightmare!
To be continued...
Kathleen Gransalke & Alison Blewitt
Read episode 4 here.
Photo: Pixabay/Andy Beales