Monday, March 28, 2005

Clone sweet clone 

Cloning doesn't involve sheep. Well, sometimes it does, but for most geneticists, cloning means something very different then ending up with identical wooly friends and a Nobel prize.

How can I describe the headachey nightmare that is cloning to you "normals" out there...?

OK, imagine that you are making a picture of a landscape. Actually, you're designing a puzzle of a landscape. But you're not starting from scratch. You have to find each detail of your landscape from a huge stack of pre-existing puzzles. Want a tree? You have to find a puzzle that has a tree in it, remove it, and put it in your puzzle.

Simple, right?

No, because all the pieces have to match up. If you have an end piece that's got a sqiggly part then a bump, that tree piece you want to put in better have the complementary squiggle and indent.

So you try the tree, and you try it every possible way, and it just won't fit. So you find another puzzle with a tree, and try to make THAT work. Now you finally have your tree, but now you need to add in some shrubbery. And remember, ALL THE PIECES HAVE TO FIT! And you keep going until you have the landscape puzzle you want.

Now, imagine doing that with bits of DNA.

I'm surprized my eyes aren't bleeding. Fortunately, we have a nice bit of software that will do a lot of the work for us, but it's still alot of trial and error. And it all has to be PERFECT in the end, because I'm taking the bits of DNA I end up with, and putting them into my strain (integrating, for the actual geneticists out there - we don't do plasmid assays. everything is integrated, so I have to make sure my homology and my orientations are correct).

Now that I've successfully blown YOUR mind, here are some fun search terms that found my site recently.

women "locker room" modesty (Google) cover that bush, chica!

dangers, milk, throwing up (Google) yep, drink too much milk and throw up, though I dont' think I've ever posted about this...

"period 4 times a year" (Google) yep, posted about this. i highly recommend it

"rollercoaster" too fat "unable to ride" (Yahoo) yes, please remind me of that painful memory

want a sprint phone without renewing contract (Google) good luck. if you figure it out, let me know, OK?

hey abe abe (Google) wtf?

"Be suspicious of people who claim to love Motherhood but who always seem to hate actual mothers." (Google) right on, sista!

"grandpa sex" (Yahoo) ew ew ew fall off a cliff and DIE PERVERT!

love sayings for my profile (Google) awww...are you in love? why don't you come up with something original instead of using something of mine!!!

coughing up traces of blood in phlegm (Google) umm...wow. go see a doctor...RIGHT NOW!