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You mix everything together that’s necessary for the reaction, and half the time it works, half the time it doesn’t. One day you get great PCR results, you’re on cloud nine, everything worked, and then you go repeat it to verify the result (because n never equals 1 in science), and it doesn’t work. You begin to feel like maybe you just got lucky with the first experiment.
The NIH Research Festival this year was themed “The Era of the Brain,” so Dr. Francis Collins, NIH Director, began the plenary session by highlighting the BRAIN Initiative (Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies). The President’s initiative has been the talk of the town recently and, thanks to some hard work by the leaders at the NIH, has now been transformed into a 12-year scientific vision.
As a postdoc in the Membrane Transport Biophysics Unit at NINDS, I’ve spent the past several years studying lysosomal pH. For me, that means spending a lot of my time in a pitch-black room, a room that I refer to as my cave.