James and the Giant Corn Genetics: Studying the Source Code of Nature

November 26, 2008

If you can do PCR, you can bake…

Filed under: food — James @ 8:00 pm

I’ve heard the reverse statement plenty of times in labs I’ve worked it. “If you can bake (/cook) you can do PCR.” I even used it once myself when I was training a girl at the Danforth Center. And it’s true. Today I performed rtPCR which required mixing a lot of different chemicals in little tubes, heating them to very specific temperatures for very specific lengths of time, and siting around bored while biology happened.

Today I also made the dough for my father’s thanksgiving rolls. I was fortunate in that he had the recipe written up in terms designed to make sense to molecular biologists (“reoil lightly, cover with plastic wrap and store in the 4°” <– what lab rat’s call a refrigerator). Once more, the process consisted of mixing ingredients in bowls*, storing at approximate temperatures, and feeling bored while yeast biology happened.

It looks like I might actually manage to pull these rolls off and they, along with Senator Russell Sweet Potatoes are my personal vital thanksgiving foods.

 Thanksgiving Roll Dough

*A cooking pot can stand in for a mixing bowl when all of my (1) bowls are already in use, as can the removable bowl of a rice cooker. My next fallback was going to be the crock pot, and I still may need to call it into service if the dough rises as much as the recipe suggests it will.

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