In a tenebrous lab with fluorescing glass slides,
I rest my rough head among cultured cell lines.
I wait and I wait, while the plume-like projection
Gently descends to reach its perfection.

Ten minutes ago, I fitted the mucus-like gel,
I loaded the samples and marker as well.
The marker gave bands of certain molecular weight.
The proteins, well… They decided to wait.

Now, back to the present. The blue lines appeared!
A Coomassie blue splash completed its deed!
I raise my bright head from the ink-stained hands,
I pick up the gel and observe clear bands.

I look at the gel; I scan through the notes;
I check in the textbook; I ask Dr Coates.
And yes, the results were impaired by the heat.
That means only one thing – an extra repeat!

This poem was entered into the Science-Poetry competition at the University of Manchester, UK. You can listen to a recording of the poem on the competition website.

The picture associated with this article is from the SDS-PAGE Wikipedia article and is licensed under Creative Commons. It shows Coomassie-stained 10% Tris/Tricine gel. In the top lane, a molecular weight size marker was used to estimate the size (from right to left: 66, 45, 35, 24, 18 and 9 kDa). In the remaining lanes purified yeast proteins were separated.

About the author

Egor Egorov

Egor Egorov is an Integrated Masters student at the Manchester Cancer Research Centre, UK. At the moment, he is undertaking a research project, centred in a thorough analysis of chemoresistance due to ABCB1 overexpression in high-grade serous ovarian carcinoma (HGSOC). Egor has been a member of EACR since summer, 2018.  Email | Facebook