Run the Experiments (3)

(April 18th, 2017) Here's Lab Times' new serialised crime story. Episode 3: A difficult situation.

Talking to Marcus did her a world of good. He affirmed that she was on the right path with her experiments. “Brilliant idea; very elegant setup,” he was most encouraging. He even offered to help out with some assays. Marcus also mentioned this one guy, Rajid, in the neighbouring group, who worked with nanoparticles. A nice way to deliver those silencing constructs, if she ever wanted to make it work in human therapy. But Charlotte preferred to keep her findings to herself, for now. “Ok, then we never had this conversation,” Marcus had said and left the cell culture room with a smile.

Charlotte was now in high spirits and started whistling again. All of her plates showed the same picture; all cells alive in the control plate, 90% dead in the treated batch. Yes, that would be it – her big moment. But should she tell her boss? Almost time for her jour-fixe with him and he would certainly interrogate her about her latest results. Her mood dropped, significantly.

This was a textbook example of a catch-22 situation. If she were to tell him, he would surely take the project away from her and give it to his “lab slaves”. Those brown-nosers, who do whatever he tells them without ever answering back. When the data is published, he would simply claim all credit for himself. Charlotte, as the actual discoverer of the phenomenon, would end up with nothing, not even a mention in the acknowledgments.

If she didn't tell him, she knew, he would yell at her for not producing enough data. He would tear strips off her and threaten to cut her salary, or worse. But, during the seven years in the lab, she had gotten used to his outbursts. So, the latter resort from her dilemma clearly seemed more appealing to her in this moment.

Just ten minutes until she had to knock on his office door. She became optimistic. Perhaps he had changed? And with his support, she could finish her project quicker? Find a collaborating group? Obtain more funding, new equipment? And anyway, she used the machines, pipettes and chemicals, he had bought. Wouldn't he have a right to know “his” results?


To be continued...

Kathleen Gransalke & Alison Blewitt

Read episode 2 here.


Photo: Pixabay/Andy Beales

Last Changes: 05.09.2017