Few days are left
To tell the story of the little protein
That from an egg ended up in the pharmacy
And into my throat.
Small miracle of evolution, I admire you
And love you
For your stubbornness and generosity.
Noise and broken sentences
Crawl in my mind
Worrying why the job I used to enjoy
Is now a reason off dark dreams and tears.
Have I seen a part of it that disgusts me?
Is it just this broken environment I am in?
Is it inside me? Is it the situation?
I reject the whole package
And my life gets impossible,
and gets on.
Make me a protein today
To express myself in all settings.
I wish for time to make me more resistant.
I demand the stability
In a simple watery situation.
I yearn to be hard-working
And fast reaching
While selecting my companions
For a perfect fit.
In the dark of the lab
My results come to life,
Fluorescent lines under the lamp.
Loneliness and suspense
Are my companions
Until the story can be told.
Sitting in the train
My body moves fast and crosses landscapes of unique beauty
Yet my thoughts are childish.
Proteins dance in my mind
In choreographies resulting in creative applications.
In a line they are a sensor,
Holding hands they foam in a cappuccino
in a circle they are in a brilliant paint
But always making our life more beautiful.
The beauty of proteins cannot be stopped.
A mute film goes on in my mind
Where the next experiment is enacted
And proteins jump and roll
Under the perfect light
On the thinnest of the cellulose fibres.
The behaviour is unpredictable,
A moody twist of the binding
Produces a loss and a dramatic inactivity.
The tiny acrobat has fallen
But not without living an imaginary event
Of high potential for science
And of fascinating cartoonish drama for me.
The laughter is missing
When the hands move quick in the lab
Guided by the uncertainty
Of your recurring dilemma.
Sitting in the back of the mind
That rare possibility is talking to you
As a fresh breeze luring you away
From the routine.
Is a bad behaving protein
hiding a treasure?
A thousand experiments
Are started but might still not convince you.
The illusion of organization
Is fooling us
On our benches, in our offices,
In our freezer.
The uncontrollable magic happens
When the light is switched off and the drawer closed.
Our proteins in their tubes
Initiate the revolution
Out of our sight, behind our back
And subvert the order we imposed
To samples supposed to respond to our command
And follow our hypotheses.
The geometric rationally organized drawer
Is each night the land of anarchy
And the cause of headaches and endless hunts
In the morning.
You cannot predict or imagine
The science that takes life
Outside the lab.
When the background changes
Innovation is born
And the colours of bravery and craziness
Become feasibility and will to risk.
Each risk is a step you take
And a chance to yourself
You cannot miss.
Proteins come in families
And ask you to choose your favorite,
As families do.
You value efficiency, you appreciate stability,
But colour and shape can dictate their popularity
Like little heroes in a fantasy novel
That becomes reality.
Science and life in the lab
Proceed by steps and jumps
Hunting and chasing
Unnoticed Connections and timid molecules.
Each day writes a paragraph
And each manuscript a chapter
To your autobiography of science.
Each phase of your life is reflected
In a discovery and a struggle
You soon forget even if it steers your life and career.
You will write it
Your personal biography in science
Of when an uncontrolled temperature
Took you a new protein
And when that old enzyme
Played a new trick.
Powder sugar on the cake,
The last working day has arrived.
Fireworks in the lab
Are mysterious proteins and high yields.
They enlighten the way
And reveal the happy corners
in the winding sunny path that next year will be.
What looks abundant
Is sometimes useless
In a way you cannot perceive.
Proteins are there
But they do not behave
According to your plans
Like stubborn donkeys.
You make them, you treat them,
You feed them
Yet they rebel.
Small molecules can tame them
But the discovery is not immediate.
The time spent planning and polishing details
is nothing against the odds of scientific research.
The controllable is mysterious
and your plan is just a forecast
of your protein’s behavior.
Predicted and overanalysed
still surprises you in the lab
when the unexpected happens and adrenalin is needed
to find the solution
to a confusing situation.