Adrenalin

Holding the worst of my pens,
a rush of adrenalin takes me
and the craziest of the experiments is designed.
Steps are simplified,
and pride in the elegance of the solution fills me
and brings a timid smile to my lips,
Has anybody seen me?
They will see the manuscript.

Storm on the ladder

My bench is a cliff
On the conflicting sea of research.
Waves surprise the interns
On their journey to the land of skills.
Cold winds overtake the students
Who battle between confidence and learning.
Monsters spin the scientists around
Who lose their orientation
But keep their feet on the ground
And rebuild their independence and specialty
From the inside.

DNA evolution

Planning of mutations
Brings me back to childhood and playing with Lego.
Will this small brick be able to support the castle?
Will this extra arginine pimp this enzyme?
Mutagenesis plays by the rules of nature
And smiles at evolution,
Embarrassed by its small efforts
Towards lab-scale successes.

Lab gossips

Anger and rage
For wasted hateful words
That refer to a reality that does not exist.
Being polemic is like venting
And possibly relaxes the mouth and the brain
Of the unfaithful
While pushing him away
from the school of the clever fishes.

Evolution in vitro

The DNA is a evanescent drop
Of a water-like liquid
At the top of the eppy.
Stubborn and robust
It can stand there and watch the ages pass.
A minuscule change today
will change its meaning
Will give it a new purpose and a new life.
Possibilities are open once small changes are made.

Tomorrow

Spin spin spin and I lay it down
To rest on the bench
Among the forest of bottles
Filled with exact brilliant liquids.
You will see it tomorrow
To step together forward
A science of surprise and activity.

Tip tapping

Letter by letter
I label the tubes with my precious DNA
And stare and my young fingers
That jump and dance
With click click and uh uh.
Popping eppies brings a laugh
to the girls in the lab
tip tapping by the centrifuge.

Now what

Always in a rush,
I forget the scope of this travel
Is it meeting experts?
Is it showing my results?
Is it getting out of the office?
questions complicated this job
and irrational results fig the
already competitive and illogic way
In which a career in science proceeds.

PhD

Research means being surrounded
by dozens of smart active people
That invade your territory
Behind your bench, your shaker, your drawer.
They constantly also invade your mind
Your assumptions, your projections, your life.
Growing with your experiments
You leave the door open to being changed
and to evolve into an adult
and intro a doctor at the same time.

Choices are tough

You can do it I in a blink,
Well and structured you can perform.
Your body however tells you no.
You mind will like it, it is a certain ego booster
But your inside is tired and wants a deeper reason
A social value and human contact.
What to choose? What is better?
You are not ready to say it out loud,
Waiting for that moment.

Origa-me boss

I fold and bend
Adapting to your wishes
Changing my project to for your strategy
Suggesting your strategy to for my project.
A swan, a rose, a snake
I transform and lose myself
Where did I go? Who am I?
You don’t care and I have to transform for a last time to be myself.

Innovate

Innovation is bitter and painful like acupuncture
But surprises you on your way
Bringing sunlight and excitement.
Imaging the many roads opening at your feet
And your first check
Adds a brilliant nuance to the repetitive
Mindless work in front of you today.
Doubts and dream taste the same today.

Marianne

Behind my screen
A little red-haired girl sits and calculates
The results of a decisive experiment.
Little smiles appear sometimes
together with the fast movements
of her hand.
An hectic Typing tells me she likes the risk
Of a complex high-potential experiment
And already tastes the sweet flavor of discovery.

Nature & Science

Magazines with clothes and fashions
accumulate fast on my table
as the reading is quick and big images fill my eyes.
Their suggestions for my life
do not go very far.
Dense articles with complex images
remain in my mind and raise questions
days after having them in my hands.

I can

The story is finally here,
the results align and indicate the direction,
I will follow it with my research and my life.
Fearless and shy, proud and blushing,
my door is opening.

First apprenticeship day

I curiously stare the shiny bottles and the silver spoons
that on my bench eagerly lie.
Alone in the lab I wonder my future and my decisions,
everybody says I can do it,
I want to believe it for myself,
for my tomorrows,
for a easier life one day.
I thus push myself every single day
say yes when a no is reasonable
and lend a hand when tired I dream of home.

 

Unknown liquid in the lab

It suits in my bench
And makes me shiver
by staring at me
In its transparent glass bottle.
For days, for months, for year
I feared the day of its disposal.
It was bottled in a regular November day
That had left no memory
and added no value in my research,
Yet held on to the shelf
And is now a risky business.
The clear liquid in the bottle
Is unknown, old, and mysterious,
It tickles my curiosity and senses
Of touching or smelling
The forbidden drops.
Probably water, ignorance gives it the value of gold
And takes it finally away from me.

Publishing fear

Days and days
Have been spent chasing an idea
And it’s perfect representation
To compile the perfect manuscript
and make your voice heard
In the desert of specialized niche science.
Your peers will judge it
And read between the lines.
They will be poking you
And your readiness
Putting wood on the fire of self-doubt
And criticism
You feed inside yourself.
Deserving your position and your reputation
Is what you strive for everyday
In a never-ending race with your inner reviewer.
This useless criticism
Will take you far
But will not keep you warm or at ease in your chair.
Until the day you silence this voice,
An invisible leash will keep you
running in circles
Yearning for a knife.

Success and me

Flipping in the chilly wind,
the leaf of success waves at me
and lays a shadow on my face.
Money, recognition, fame and awards
give a successful accent to life
and make you feel unique.
You are not, of course.
This success fades with the time
and the loss of memory in minds and electronics.
To have it always woth you,
success must be satisfaction, motivation and generosity.
Success is seeded in small acts, smiles and contacts
that need long winters to germinate and bloom.
The spring of success comes unannounced,
with the energy of a the sunshine and the green of clovers
moving a smile of epic dimensions.

SDS PAGE

Today I will tell the story
Of the protein lost in a gel.
Although very light-hearted,
She was forced to migrate
down down down.
When at rest,
She started to feel blue
And felt her run was over.

The single woman in the corridor

1. Keep Admiration inside–> avoid talking people how good they are, you are probably better
2. Face reality–> don’t avoid problems, recognize them and, if you cannot solve them, just wait
3. Keep moving even in hard times–> seed today and harvest(celebrate) tomorrow (new motto)
4. Be confident–> never say negative things about yourself, why would you anyway?
5. Keep silent but keep your hands and mind moving –> dropping little breadcrumbs towards your future.

The steps to write the perfect paper

1. Brew hotels a huge cup of Black tea
2. Sit at the desk and assume a thoughtful look
3. Check Facebook for the last time
4. Enter the zone and make a list of contents
5. Full the text with boring expected content
6. Go for a coffee
7. Read your writing and make it pretty
8. Go home, the working day is finished
9. Restart by getting a crunchy croissant
10. Re-read your text and shorten it to make it juicy.

Decalogue of the good scientist

1. Always question your conclusions
2. Always introduce yourself even if people might know you already
3. Don’t be afraid of showing many results, you worked for them.
4. Don’t be arrogant and avoid expressions like ‘as expected’, ‘clearly’, ‘ it is evident’, ‘successfully’ and so on.
5. Don’t be afraid of asking questions in public, you want to learn after all.
6. Remember and Acknowledge people’s support, in the acknowledgments.
7. Don’t forget to take a day to read literature from time to time.
8. Have the music in the lab and be helpful.
9. Ask your colleagues what they are doing and learn from them.
10. Keep silent as much as possible and let your brilliant ideas ripen.

Bad and good

Torn between hating the actions
And appreciating the person
I wonder why what makes a good person
Is so hard to identify.
I see a powerful beautiful woman
In charge of risky businesses
and with heavy on her shoulder
And yet her humanity clashes with her actions.
Work makes us bad people
As it hides our inner flame
Fearing humanity at the workplace?

Future plans

You run, you calculate,
You change your protocol
To add elegance to your experiment
And yet your voice is not heard.
Glittery shoes and colourful shirts
Cheer up your day
Give you a reason to smile
And fuel your inner motor
And Yet your effort is not valued.
What makes you comfortable
Is rare at work
And your vivid energy within faints
Day by day.
You cry and strive to imagine a future somewhere else
But is it really necessary to abandon your dream?

Testosterone-rich meeting

Why do I feel alone
When sitting in meetings
Had long been a mystery.
Curly and pretty,
Charming and over-achieving,
Meticulous and high-performing
No other woman is at the table
To share a smile
Giggle at huge error bars
Join efforts toward waved of testosterone.
This quiet my voice
Makes my feet shake
And frees my mind
To imagine other worlds
where I would feel comfortable
Raising my hands
Expressing my opinion
Asking for what I deserve.

Bus ride

I sit in the bus
Twenty minutes
Everyday dreaming of arriving to the lab
At the light’s speed.
Butterflies in my stomach
Reminds me of the experiment
that went on over night
And is waiting for me
Bubbling
Stirred
Blushing
Hot.
These are the Signs of a happy enzyme
in an active mood
I can’t wait to see.

PCRing

You say it is running
While you restlessly stand by the machine
that cycles and repeats elementary steps
That revolutionized biology few years ago.
As Stuck in a spinning wheel,
Hot and cold flashes alternate themselves
To make different enzymes at ease
And multiply little molecules with a precious message.

Coffee boosts discoveries

Millions of shiny balls
Bounce within my head
Drawing never-seen-before trajectories
Connecting points of questions
with faraway points of solutions.
Another sip sharpens the edges of the picture
And Injects energy into an excited system
In which the unsolved issued of today
Are paired with visionary reasonable answers.
A third sip raises the enthalpy
Enough to direct my hand on the paper
Drive the pen to visualize the solutions on the white background
And communicate the discovery
To enrich of a tiny bit the community.

Old samples shine new light

In the Chaos of My bench
I find an old sample
With its dated label and preserved content
Shines light on my old dreams
And unsolved mysteries
Of biology.
In May
few years ago
This was the key
The culprit of my living project
Deeming my success or failure.
It was hidden
Got dust and paler
Lost its value
But not to me.
It taught me a lesson
Opened a new direction
To my career and I opened the door to the unpredictable
And still live in its radiating shadow.

Conference energy

A conference room
brings your wildest scientific dreams in focus
While recharging your batteries.
That faint question mark in the back of your mind
Comes forward and expands
Into detailed defined questions
You will pursue
Tiptoeing
Step by step
once back at your desk.

Conference life

Sitting in the chilly room
Packed with senior profs and grey heads
I question my way and my judgment of s success.
Confident within a suit
They paint their vision and provide solutions
To nobody’s questions
In the narrowest of the scientific alleys.

Traveling

Kinetics and calculations make me tired
PCR and agarose gels make me appreciate life
Buffer and substrate dissolution remind me of holidays.
Every day in the lab head potential of taking you away.

hungry

Stay hungry
And dream your results at night
Draw the perfect fit in your vision
Where points align and
Point to logical and error-free behaviours
In your samples.
They will come to you
in an ordered procession
And indicate the answer to the question that followed you through the years.

Happiness

Happiness it’s you
the light I see behind the glass
Staring and waiting for my smile to rise
And conquer my fearful core in the lab.
Happiness it’s you
The pink halo of my sky today
Pushing slowly the important news
I long for, alone in the lab.
Happiness it’s you
The number that matches my prediction
Putting order on the unpredictable chaos of nature.

Sparks

Stirring with impatience in front of me
I my stress lowers as the outcome
Of this out of the blue experiment Approaches.
Impulsive decisions lit small sparks
in this boring life made of protocols and reports.

Risotto protocol

Mixing and measuring feeding my imagination
To engage my stomach.
Oil and onion, rice and red wine
In precise controlled amounts
Jump on the scale.
Unexpected and imaginary Ingredients
join together into a delicate fairy flavour
That diffuses from a steaming Calderon
In my kitchen on Sunday.

By the lake

Searching for peace away from the lab
I scan through beaches and lakes
Enjoying a chilly beer and a warm cake.
Will I bring this calmness to my bench on Monday?

Sleep

Sleep is missing
Today
From my toolkit.
I will battle and review
from a superficial balcony
Today.
Few tiny hairy roots
Will hold me down
Today.

Escape

A punch in the stomach and the will to run away,
Is one of those sunny wavy beaches a good enough registration
To survive this discussion?
Squeezing my forehead,
Sweating and breathing
Forcibly naturally,
I let imagination take me away
But not each time a remote beach is enough.

Lonely

The dark and silent corridor tells me I should not be here,

the lab is no place for night-owls and lays traps on your way.

My samples are ready and biology does not wait

for a sunny day or a cheerful colleagues to be present.

I take my numbers, throw my work once it’s done,

and head to the starry outside where lonely I head home

full of energy and grateful.

Time to go back

I sense the energy of the past shining behind my shoulders,
How it faded away is still a mystery
But I see fake smiles and manipulations
Putting sand on the flame.
Can I revive it? How to empower it to take over my life?
Slowly and steadily, on a steep solitary road
It will find its voice, my voice
And it will shout fearless and clear
As on a wooden stage.

Enzymes matter

It is just a beautiful day
To connect formulas and overlap graphs.
A freezer with dormant enzymes wait for me
To make the magic begin
And portray them in action
Whole binding molecules, while extracting electrons
While releasing the novelty they produce
In the world.

Relentless hunt

I’ll carry my grey face to bench
Also today
And perform the magic of mixing and tapping
That took me so many years to learn.
With careless attention I’ll draw schemes and note digits down
Waiting to connect the dots
and disclose the hidden figure.

Nerves

Droplets of water take me and my nerves to work
On a day full of expectations.
What I think and what will be asked fuse
In a tiny dense Black cloud
I cannot easily blow away.
The whole day will be needed.

Freedom

Becoming familiar with the traps of science
Held hands with selective listening
and fantasizing during meetings.
What a freedom the mind gives you
And how many results hide behind the corner of each experiment you have no time to make happen.

Waiting

The waiting enters my mood and takes my patience down the road,
Still and covered of leaves they will find me waiting,
Surrounded by the colours of the fall they will hardly see me
And everybody will have forgotten my purpose in the lab.

Kiss and tell

I fail and tell
Because no mistake deserves shame and silence.
As kisses, they teach you to take risks
And let you explore new territories.
Why not to tell?
I want everybody to know
The tricks and traps of science,
And the fun they hide
Behind the frustration.

Laccase

Transparent liquids turn vivid
And solid materials dissolve
Under the touch of a tiny enzyme
Armed with its powerful yet lonely ions.

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