• Question: how many experiments have you done in your career and have they all worked and shown good results???

    Asked by zoya to MattyB on 19 Jun 2019.
    • Photo: Matthew Burgess

      Matthew Burgess answered on 19 Jun 2019:

      They’ve most certainly not all worked and shown good results! Only this week I had a two week experiment where the final step for a key part of it didn’t work very well (ie I was pushing myself too hard and messed it up).
      How many have I done is difficult. In my current job I’d say I’ve done at least 10 discrete experimental questions. Each one of those I repeat three times to convince myself that it wasn’t a one-off result. Then some of those will not have worked at first/or I knew by design would need rounds of optimisation to be able to get a result (when you stain for a protein with an antibody you’ll often need to test the correct solution you put it in to “present” the protein, how much of the antibody to add etc).
      So that all adds up to quite a lot just for these last two years. Was a lot slower in my PhD and others before that as was learning a lot of basic techniques still but must be in the hundreds.