December 28 – Achieve. What’s the thing you most want to achieve next year? How do you imagine you’ll feel when you get it? Free? Happy? Complete? Blissful? Write that feeling down. Then, brainstorm 10 things you can do, or 10 new thoughts you can think, in order to experience that feeling today.


What do I want most? Get published three times in scholarly journals! Namely, in order that I envision the papers coming along, Molecular Microbiology, Journal of Biochemistry, and then finally Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

How will I feel? Seriously? Is that a legitimate question here? I am going to feel fucking awesome!!!

Ten things I can do to get there? Oy vey…here comes the trouble.

  1. Figure out what alternative pathway hda seems to be mucking around with, either genetically or biochemically.
  2. Purify a bunch (more) Hda protein and demonstrate that it definitely impairs translesion synthesis DNA polymerases.
  3. Demonstrate that Hda is able to stabilize the replication fork and alter the ability for other accessory proteins to interact with the complex.
  4. Show biochemically that my mutant library is composed of both RIDA-competent and RIDA-incompetent mutants.
  5. Get a crystal structure of Hda, or a co-complex of Hda with the ß-subunit of DNA polymerase III.
  6. Selectively break interactions of Hda with other accessory proteins, and restore those interactions by compensatory mutations on said accessory proteins.
  7. Genetically demonstrate the ability to block and/or promote these interactions with mutants.
  8. Demonstrate the blatant redundancy of the initiation regulation pathways in cellular viability.
  9. Demonstrate that accessory functions of the initiation regulators were the evolutionary pressure for adoption as opposed to control of initiation.
  10. Make the grand corollary of what all this means in the greater scheme of breaking the microbial replication cycle and propose a new, unique pathway of antimicrobial targets.

Nobody said I couldn’t be dreaming when I thought all of this up. But it’s an entirely possible order if the experiments go in my favor…

I’m off and gone in Whistler, BC, Canada, for the rest of this week, and I’ve been here since last Friday. Lots of random things to chatter about, but simply don’t have the time to right now. As it is, I’m still sobering up after night #4 of going out (and it’s night #4 of the conference I’m attending, no less).

Details will likely ensue. Including pictures of zip-lining. Whooo!

“Artificial life” created as scientist makes sythetic chromosome

Personally, I think this is a bit of a joke. The way it’s described, it’s practically nothing more than what I do half the time in the laboratory at work. Like some of the commenters, I’m waiting until this gets published in a legitimate scientific journal before I get too worked up about it.

In a related note, things are changing a little bit at work in the lab. I’ve got an undergraduate student that will be learning to do some lab work, and hopefully migrate into actually doing some experiments. I had a couple choices of projects for her to do, one of which was directly related to the work I’m doing while the other was more of a side project leftover from my lab rotation a year or so ago. Thankfully, she liked the sound of the work regarding my project right now. The only disappointment there is that I kind of have to wait to try out those experiments now, since the intention is to have her do them. My impatience isn’t going to want to work with me on this one. I’ll have to wait and see how competent she is with lab skills as time goes on. That tends to be the indicating factor as to how fast the work can progress.