After a year of working a real job, I'm back. Its my first day back in the "lab," and I’m staring at my data. /home/thelab/golli/Scott_data. I know this directory was the holy grail at one point, but I don't remember why... Its been so long. How did I even get "here?" Like this: Macbook on… Launch Terminal… I enter the world...
I type out into the abyss; firstname.lastname@example.org (for data security I'm not going to say what I actually type to access our lab's server. Instead we'll call it "email@example.com.") No need for a key ring; I've memorized them; that's password in case you didn't get me. Access granted. Welcome to the lab.
- house = the lab (virtual)
- room = directory
- data = anything important in the lab
- junk = useless data
The lab is as tidy as you would expect from a group of developing scientists. I need to mention, the lab feels more like a mansion; everyone has their own master room where they make the "science" happen. Anyways, upon entering the front door, there is two things I rarely do; look around at random stuff (data) laying around or even think about walking around in a labmates room; or directory. I keep my eyes on the prize; straight to my own master room; home/thelab/golli, where its ok to break programs & pipelines or accidentally delete... stuff, all types of stuff: .fasta files, gtf and gff files, genes, genomes, proteins, clustalignments, blast outputs, SRAs, basically any of data.
I close the door behind me and step over old small fragments of useless data lying around as I walk past a row of closed doors leading to other rooms within my own room. The labels on them mean unfinished or archived work lies on the other side; MDHwork, My_DNA, Saicompwork, etc. Finally I've arrived at the room that will house all that important data for the next two years of my life; “LS2work”. Its time to get back to work on LS2.
For my masters in Biology at San Francisco State I will be "tracing the evolution of a tool called a splicing factor in some group of flies called "Drosophila." In other words, trying to figure out how a group of flies made a really useful tool out a pre-existing tool common to all other types flies. My definition of evolution is for a living thing to take a thing, and make it different. This new thing can be really useful in its competition against other animals or just sorta cool, so the animal kept it. Now, animals with the new "thing" (and the old thing) are different from those without the "thing"; evolution.
How I plan to trace evolution in something is a fantastic question. For now, you'll need to download these words to be down with the lingo coming at you:
Next week I'll talk about the biology of my project at State: tracing the evolutionary history of the splicing factor LS2 in a group of flies called Drosophila. Stay tuned and as always,