Wednesday, July 12, 2006

beautiful, cold, clicky genetics

Practically buried in petri plates. Yeast surrounds me. Hunched over the Quebec Colony Counter, frantically CLICK CLICK CLICKING away. Tens of thousands of clicks have passed; tens of thousands more loom ominously. Alternatively scribbling numbers in a frayed notebook, folded over a laptop CLICK CLICK CLICKING them into a spreadsheet. Science is really nothing more than a series of clicks. Dolphins no doubt have a very advanced scientific method. Hence all the swimming.

I stop clicking abruptly. Look up...

"I think my yeast have the pleiotropy."

"Pleiotropy, eh? That's no good", says Emily from across the bench.

"No. No it's not. And they've got it bad. Can't you hear these little buddies coughing?"

"No. I can smell them though."

"Well, I can hear them coughing. I think they have a touch of the epistasis too. Evolved it all by themselves."

"Bummer. Poor little guys."

"I know, I know. But that's the price of science. All the clicks have finally caught up with 'em. The noblest wee beasts sacrifice themselves for the glorious edification of the human species. Heart of a champion and all that. Strange arrangement, eh?"

"Not really. I like the smell of freezers."

"Ummmmm...that's kind of an odd thing to say at a time like this, what with my little buddies comin' down with genetics and all."

Emily, standing up, walks to the fridge, opens the freezer compartment, places her head well inside for a long, awkward minute (at least for me). She withdraws and closes the freezer door gently, even tenderly, removing her hand in a long, soft, slow, graceful caress down the length of the freezer door handle.

"Well, I suppose it's kind of a strange thing to say any time. It's even stranger because it's true. As the sky is blue, as the morning dew, as a similie slew could never capture the veracity of my love for the smell of a brand new freezer! The cool, crisp folds of fluorinated hydrocarbons and fresh-bent plastic wafting me over..."

Her head now tilted back, eyes closed, a look of post-orgasmal satisfaction painted softly on her face. Turning away, with more than a hint of disdain for our poor, innocent lab freezer, she says authoritatively, dismissively, with a severe curtness: "This one here kinda has a funk to it. You gotta get 'em fresh."

“Ah...indeed...that’s a fine point, a very fine point. Let us leave the lab and drink the beer and be the merry whole night long!”

And we did so thusly. And it was good.


T-H-E D-O-U-B-L-E P-O-S-T L-O-O-M-S O-M-I-N-O-U-S-L-Y? So say I doth rightly does.


Anonymous said...

Hello, here is yet another article in the NY Times about beer:
As for the strange trout letter it wasn’t so much a stamp as a scrawl or chicken scratch. It looked quite like a trumpet or a horn. Good luck with the freezer. C.

erika said...

Very pretty writing Matthew, but what I really want to know is how you feel about recent events at Rocketboom. I'm sure you have some feelings about this. Don't be afraid to open up to us.

Matthew D Dunn said...


Honestly, I was starting to tire of Rocketboom anyhow. I'm sure Ms. Congdon's boobs and her cute, nerdy smile will show up somewhere else in the near future so that I can leer at her some more.

When are you back in B-town? I'm looking to go on a bit of a bender in mid August. I hope you can join me.

Brian said...

Science looks cool. Where are all the data?

erika said...

can you stretch out the bender a little bit? I won't be back to Bloom till the 24th -- I have to go home to Seattle for a couple weeks first. I'll try to bring you back some NW beer you haven't tasted before, if such a thing is possible.