Lessons of a Lab Worker

Having started my first ever “proper adult job” a week before I graduated, I thought I knew loads about science and working in labs. Whilst I knew certain techniques and broadly understood the literature, the last 9 months have proved there was much still for me to learn (and still is). Below are the key observations I have made during my time as a Research Technician; I hope this insight can aid any confused science graduates-to-be as the end of semester looms. Science is fast and science is slow. I look at the clock now and its 5pm. I still need to wait for my membrane to finish blocking, add the antibody, update my lab book and write a list for tomorrow. This all feels very slow. However, 2 hours earlier I was in tissue culture with a deadline hanging over me. Drugs had to be on cells at set times, otherwise authorities would not be happy. Treatment over and I had to rush to lunch with it being my first chance all day. This? Slow? Not so much. But this fast and slow contradiction isn’t just a day-to-day phenomenon. The entire field falls victim to the speed hold-ups of science. The amount of literature published daily is huge, with novel findings flooding in from all fields of science. Technologies are now available that can sequence your genome using...

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