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Birth of an Idea

Dr. Lowe? I Have Your Hypothesis on Line Two

I spoke a couple of weeks ago about my latest series of experiments at work, and I’ve had several inquiries about how things are going. Well, the whole shebang has been in the freezer, actually. The instrument that we need to analyze things (and the person who runs the instrument!) have both been occupied with an unexpectedly lengthy problem in one of our drug discovery programs. My high-risk side project takes a back seat to that, understandably.

But the thaw is coming. I was told yesterday that my samples have moved back to the top of the list, so it’s possible that I’ll start to get results tomorrow (and if not then, on Monday.) So, here we go. I think that these runs are going to be definitive, one way or another. There’s always the possibility of a “maybe” answer when you do an experiment, but the key to successful design is setting things up so you don’t get many of those. I think these results won’t have too much ambiguity in them – they shouldn’t. If they do come back fuzzy, it means that my mental picture of what’s going on is faulty, even if my broad idea turns out to be right.

My whole idea is on the chopping block, and the knife is poised to fall. I’m going to be able to look back on this evening, this whole period, as either the last time when I still had doubts about this discovery – or as the last time when I still had hopes that it was real. Oh, science is fun – it really is. And it’s certainly damned useful. But it isn’t easy.