MidReal Story

Gene Editing Chronicles: Breakthroughs and Setbacks

Scenario: l'm a third-year PhD candidate in biology, coming from China, specializing in gene editing science. My daily experiment is PCR and cell culture.
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l'm a third-year PhD candidate in biology, coming from China, specializing in gene editing science. My daily experiment is PCR and cell culture.
I wasn’t given much time by the reviewers.
Their criticisms were as sharp as a knife, but I had a defense for every point they made.
Today was the last day of my graduate study, and I’d been working on this research for the last three years.
I knew I could make it work.
I looked at the time and saw that it was 7:30 p.
I had to hurry if I wanted to finish all the experiments today.
I did my best to control my right hand from shaking too much, as I picked up the tiny pipette tip with the speed of a bullet.
Then I started to add the PCR product into the 1.
5 ml EP tube one by one.
On my left was a 96-well plate.
The first column was positive control, the second was negative control, and the rest of the columns were sample wells.
I added all of the samples in order, then covered the plate with a plastic film and put it into the thermocycler.
It would take about 50 minutes for the thermocycler to finish running all the samples.
I had some time for cell culture.
I took out the cell culture medium from the 37℃ incubator, then sat down in front of a microscope and adjusted its height until my eyes were level with its lens.
I picked up a tiny flask with my left hand, then opened its cap with my right hand, and placed it under the sterile bench.
After that, I took off my gloves, disinfected my hands, put on new gloves, and took out an 8-well plate from the incubator.
The cells had grown well in this plate already so now I just needed to change the medium.
This would help me observe their growth behavior during the next few days.
I moved some cells from one well to another with a pipette, then threw away the old medium and added fresh one to each well.
This process had become a habit after so many repetitions.
I didn’t need to think about it at all.
After finishing this step, I checked if there were any bubbles in the medium and made sure that no medium spilled over onto the edges of wells or flasks.
Then I took out another 96-well plate from the incubator and moved next to the microscope again to wait until my timer went off.
In a few seconds, there would be a loud alarm sound from my phone, reminding me that all of my PCR products were ready and waiting for me to run them with gel electrophoresis.
While waiting, I reviewed my plan in my mind.
After running electrophoresis, I would check each sample under UV light and pick out positive clones if they existed.
I would digest them with a restriction enzyme, then run them with gel electrophoresis again to confirm whether they were correct or not.
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Finally, if everything went well, I would send the positive clones for sequencing.
This was an important step, and the key for me was PCR.
I liked PCR so much.
I could even do it with my eyes shut.
After powering on my computer, I opened the software and created a new plan.
I named the plan “gene name” plus “PCR.” Then I designed the primers, and set up the reaction system.
I chose high-fidelity DNA polymerase for the first round of PCR, because I wanted my gene sequence to be as accurate as possible.
After that, it was time for my final experiment of this project.
I’d been working on this project for two years, and today was the day that everything would be finished.
I looked at the protocol in my hands and started to add each component one by one.
I put the tubes into a block and then put the block into the PCR machine.
I closed the door of the machine and heard the noise of the fan blowing.
I glanced at the screen, waiting for it to warm up.
This was my last experiment, and after this, all my labwork would be finished.
The PCR machine hummed lightly, then they began to increase in volume and fluctuate between different levels.
It was doing denaturation now.
When it was done, the temperature dropped and stayed at 55℃.
It was annealing.
I sat down in front of my computer and started to analyze my data from yesterday’s run.
The data made me happy because I had several positive clones, and that meant I could finish everything today.
It was exciting just to think about it!
I took out my gel from the refrigerator and put it in a mold, then moved everything into a container that was filled with 1X TAE buffer.
I put a comb on top of my gel and waited for another 40 minutes.
After that, I carefully removed the comb and put my gel into an electrophoresis tank, then added enough 1X TAE buffer to cover the gel.
When I saw that there were no bubbles, I connected the power supply, set the voltage, and ran my gel.
The temperature started to rise, and when it reached the target temperature, I loaded my samples into each well with a pipette.
Then I began to wait again, but I didn’t get bored at all, because I liked looking at the DNA bands appearing on the screen little by little.
After 40 minutes, my gel was done, so I took out my gel, put it on top of a UV light box and took a picture of it using my phone’s camera.
I zoomed in on the corners of the picture and found that there were some bands in my target size range!
This meant that I had successfully cloned my gene!
I was so excited that I almost screamed, and I felt like laughing, too!
My cell phone was vibrating on the table, but I didn’t hear it because I was so absorbed in my work.
The screen kept flashing, and after five minutes, I finally noticed that someone was calling me, so I picked up my phone and answered the call.
“Hello, this is Mei Chen.”
“It’s already 12 o’clock.What are you doing?”
“Hi Alex.I just found some positive clones from yesterday’s PCR result.”
“Wow, congratulations!”
Alex said in surprise, “What’s your plan next?”
“I’ll digest them with restriction enzyme first, then run them on gel.If they are right, I’ll send them for sequencing.”
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“Are you going to do everything by yourself?”
“Yeah.” I smiled shyly.
“It’s fine,” Alex said confidently.
“I will finish the new primers for the next step of our project today.
Let’s get together later and discuss it.”
“Okay!But first let me finish this step.”
“Sure!Just send me a message when you’re done,” Alex said.
I hung up the phone and continued to analyze the data excitedly.
The rhythm of the experiment made me feel so secure.
It was like this every time I cloned some genes: first designing the primers, then setting up the PCR reaction, running the gel electrophoresis…
It was so routine that I could even do it before I went to sleep.
However, there was one thing that required a lot of attention during the process: cell culture.
Cell culture is a routine experiment in biology labs.
People have been using this technology for decades now as a cornerstone of modern biological research.
It not only provided us with a way to observe cells but also allowed us to grow cells on a Petri dish so that we could manipulate them easily.
I took out the serum from the freezer and moved it to a refrigerator the night before.
This was because we have to keep serum at 4 degrees Celsius when it’s thawed.
When I got into the lab this morning, I took out the serum and left it at room temperature because I was going to use it today.
Then I took out media powder from the refrigerator.
This was DMEM/F12 media.
I poured four bags into a sterile 500 ml bottle.
I also had a bottle of penicillin-streptomycin solution.
I added 5 ml of this solution to the media bottle.
I shook it several times to mix them evenly.
When everything was ready, I moved them into an autoclave container so that they could be sterilized under high pressure and temperature.
After that, I started working on cell culture.
The key point of cell culture was that I had to keep everything sterile.
If there were some bacteria on my tools or raw materials, they might contaminate my cells.
I checked everything in the autoclave container several times before taking them out.
After that, I moved them into a tissue culture hood so that everything would stay sterile there.
I also turned on the ultraviolet lamp of the hood for 30 minutes so that any bacteria would be killed by the UV light.
When everything was ready, I continued working on my cells.
The first step was cell passaging.
To do this step, I had to digest my old cells first.
I aspirated the old medium in each Petri dish with a pipette gun.
After that, I added 2 ml PBS into each dish and gently rinsed every dish three times so that all cells were covered by PBS.
When everything was ready, I removed PBS from each dish and then added 1 ml trypsin-EDTA into each dish.
After that, I left them in the incubator for two minutes so that trypsin could work on my cells and digest them into single cells.
When two minutes were up, I checked each dish under a microscope.
If most of the cells were detached from the bottom of the dish and became rounded up, then it meant trypsin worked well.
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I carefully observed my cells under the microscope and made sure that almost all the cells were detached from the bottom of the dish before moving on to the next step.
After that, I added 4 ml of the old medium into the dish and pipetted up and down several times with a 10 ml pipette.
In this way, all cells were detached from the bottom of the dish and became a single cell suspension in the medium.
When everything was ready, I moved my cell suspension into a 15 ml centrifuge tube and centrifuged it at 1000 rpm for 5 minutes so that all cells could be separated as a pellet at the bottom of the tube.
When the centrifugation was over, I carefully removed the supernatant and added 2 ml fresh medium into the tube so that all cells could be suspended in the medium.
I pipetted up and down several times with a 10 ml pipette again and then removed 4 ml of cell suspension from the tube and added it into a new Petri dish and finally added 4 ml medium on top of it.
When everything was ready, I kept the dishes in the incubator for continuous culture of cells.
I went back to check them every now and then to make sure that they were attached and growing well in their new environment.
When they reached 80% confluency after several days of growth, I would start doing experiments on them.
I threw away all cell waste carefully and washed all my tools and containers with sodium hypochlorite solution so that I could use them again for another round of experiments
While waiting for cell culture, I went back to check the real-time PCR data excitedly again.
It was really hard for me to believe that there was amplification in my sample tubes just now because it was almost impossible for me to get something like this after so many failures before.
I doubted whether what I saw just now was a real signal or it was just background noise from the machine itself?
However, I couldn’t believe that the machine would give me background noise like this!
I rechecked my experiment notes carefully and made sure that I didn’t make any mistakes during the experiment process.
I was really nervous until I started sweating on my forehead and back.
After checking everything, I turned my attention to the PCR machine itself and opened the software on the computer screen, staring at the run data carefully
All curves were smooth and showed me almost nothing except for one tube – that was my sample tube!
There was a line that was not so clear and even invisible, but it was still there!
It was just rising from the baseline and then falling back down, meaning that there was some amplification in this tube!
I was totally shocked and couldn’t believe what I saw.
It had been months since I got such signals from my tubes!
I thought I had gotten everything right during the experiment and I might get some real results tonight!
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I was so excited that I even started shaking a little bit when I saw this faint signal from my sample tube!
Then I calmed myself down immediately and rechecked everything again just in case I missed something important!
Suddenly, someone patted me on the shoulder from behind and I got scared at once, turning around to see who that was
“Li Wei, you almost scared me to death!”
I shouted at him, feeling that my heart was still beating really fast after this sudden scare!
“Hey, take it easy, Mei Chen!Did you get something going on there?”
Li Wei asked me while looking at the real-time PCR data on the computer screen where he was standing behind me
“Yeah, look at this!”
I said while pointing at the screen excitedly
“Is this a signal or just background noise?”
Li Wei stared at the screen for a while and then turned around to look at me with a strange expression
“What do you think?Do you get any positive control result?”
He said.
“Yeah, we get a clear signal from that tube.”
I said while pointing at that tube on the screen.
Then he said suddenly.
“Then it’s a signal!Congratulations, Mei Chen!”
I was so surprised that he would say something like this because he was always so careful and meticulous about all his experiments and he almost never said anything in advance in case that was not true.
He did not even use words like “it seems” or “maybe” when he did not find any solid evidence.
Well, it seemed that he believed more than me that this was a real signal!
This made me so happy because Li Wei was my best friend in our lab and we were doing experiments together very often.
We had gone through thick and thin together and had helped each other a lot in many different matters.
We had also published a paper together which was about a technique that we had developed in our lab for gene sequencing more accurately and rapidly.
I still remembered the day when we got the first results from that technique.
We were so excited that we almost cried because we had spent a lot of time and effort in that project and we had made it finally!
Now he shared my happiness again, which made our victory even sweeter!
“Thank you, Li Wei!”
I said while looking at the screen again
“Now we have to sequence the fragments that we amplified in this tube and see how good they are!”
“Well, don’t forget that you have to clean up your samples before putting them into the sequencers!”
He reminded me of another crucial step in this process again.
“Yeah, I know!Don’t worry about it!”
I nodded my head.
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“Oh, I can help you clean up your samples if you want!You can start doing something else while I’m doing that!”
I was so grateful for his help because the cleaning-up step was always so boring and time-consuming and it would be very nice if I could have someone help me with it!
“You are so nice!Thank you so much!”
I said while smiling at him.
“You’re welcome!Now let’s do it!”
After saying that, I went back to my bench and started to clean up my samples which were DNA fragments amplified by PCR while Li Wei was doing something else at his bench.
Half an hour later, I finished my work and handed my samples to him.
“Here you go!Thank you so much for your help!”
“You’re welcome!So what’s next?”
“Next we are going to sequence the fragments that we amplified in this tube and see how reliable they are.”
“Oh, I see!How long does it take?”
“Well, not too long.I think we can get the results back before noon tomorrow.”
“That’s great!I will come over to check the results tomorrow then!”
“No problem!It sounds good!”
While I was talking to Li Wei, Alex Johnson came over and asked what happened.
Alex was our lab director and he was doing research on gene editing technology and its applications for treating genetic diseases.
It was said that he was very famous and ambitious in his field and he had published dozens of papers in high-impact journals.
But he was not as serious or proud as the other faculty members that we knew and he was always so nice and approachable.
For example, he would come over and chat with us about our projects and the results of our experiments from time to time.
And he would sometimes give us some valuable advice on how to design experiments more logically and how to analyze data more accurately.
So we liked him very much and we got along well with him in our lab.
Well, most of the other faculty members would never do something like that and they would just stay in their offices all day long.
Maybe that was one of the reasons why he was so popular among the students in our department.
I went over and explained everything about my experiment in detail.
“Congratulations, Mei Chen!This is a great result!”
He said while smiling at me and looking at the screen at the same time.
“Thank you so much!But we will have to sequence these fragments and see how good they are first!”
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I was so thrilled to have this conversation with him because it felt so good to share this great moment with him.
I had read many of his papers and they were very inspiring and they had made me feel so excited about biology and gene editing technology.
I was really grateful to be working in his lab and have the opportunity to learn from him every day.
“Yeah, that’s right!You should also do some tests with the cells to make sure that the genes you want to edit are edited correctly!”
He said so patiently and gently.
“Yes, sure!We will do all of these and let you know if we need any help!”
I said so happily.
As soon as he left, Li Wei came back from his seat with a big smile on his face.
I stood up and went over to him and we gave each other a big hug.
Li Wei was a very ambitious and innovative student in our department and he used to work in the same research group as I did before he started his own project two years ago.
He was always so confident in his work and he wanted to do something big and important to the field of biology since he was a freshman.
He believed that our research could revolutionize gene editing technology in the future if we worked hard enough.
And if it really happened, it would be so amazing because it meant so much to human health.
Just imagine that one day we could treat those genetic diseases like cystic fibrosis using CRISPR/Cas9, which was so simple to use compared to all of the other technologies before it, then we would have saved millions of lives!
We used to have a lot of fun talking about these things on our way back to the dormitory when we were still undergraduates.
And that’s why we were so fascinated by this technology and we were so determined to work on it.
“Mei Chen, I believe that what we are doing is really important!”
Li Wei said as he looked at me with a big smile on his face.
“I know what you mean, Li Wei!I am so happy to have made some progress today!”
I said with a big smile too, “And if we can develop some new therapies for genetic diseases in the future, it is going to be such a great thing for human beings!”
“Yes, definitely!
And I think that we can be the first research group in our department to do that!”
Li Wei said so confidently and proudly, “Alex has joined us and he is such an excellent scientist in this field and I am sure that he will help us a lot!”
“Yeah, I agree with you too!”
I said with a big smile and I was so proud of myself too because we were lucky to have Alex in our lab.
It was said that many other students from other labs had tried so hard to persuade him to join their groups when they knew that he was looking for someone to work with him on gene editing technology.
And we were so honored to have him in our lab finally and we were so looking forward to working with him on some exciting projects in his field in the near future.
It was really not that easy for us to be where we were today.
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“What’s your opinion on gene editing technology and its applications?”
Li Wei suddenly asked me after a moment of silence.
“I think it is still a kind of technology and it should be applied properly in order to serve people in the right way,”
I said while thinking about this question seriously, “But there have been so many arguments over whether it is ethical to use it on human beings nowadays because it might cause some unexpected results sometimes.”
“But do you think it is possible for people to give up their chance to use this technology just because they think it is unethical?”
Li Wei asked again, “You know, people would always like to use those things that could make their lives easier and better sometimes even if they are not sure if it is right or wrong, and I believe gene editing is one of those things.”
“I think that’s true,”
I said with a smile, “And I think we should always be optimistic about things like this because there are still so many people who need them desperately nowadays and all we have to do now is to make sure that it is safe enough when we use it on those people.”
“Yeah, I think so too!”
“And you can see that all of the people nowadays are so excited about the first clinical trial of gene editing technology using CRISPR/Cas9 on human beings recently,”
he added, “And it is really a big thing because it may help so many people who are suffering from genetic diseases now!”
“Yes, you are right!”
I said with a big smile because it was really such an amazing thing!
And I could still remember clearly when I first heard of this news while I was listening to the radio in my dormitory, and I was so excited about it that I just couldn’t wait to share it with Li Wei!
“Do you still remember what Alex said about Jennifer Doudna and Emmanuelle Charpentier when he gave us the first lecture of our lab meeting?”
Li Wei suddenly asked me another question, “They published their paper on CRISPR/Cas9 in 2012, but they haven’t even thought of those ethical problems at that time, because they knew how important their research was, so they just went ahead and did that!”
“Yes, I remember what he said,”
I said with a smile, “And I think it was true because sometimes it is really hard for people to tell whether something is right or wrong before they have tried it out on their own.”
“And I believe people will eventually understand the benefits of using gene editing technology in treating those genetic diseases, even though we might need some more time to explain it to them!”
he said confidently again as he looked at me with a big smile on his face, “And if we can make some great achievements in this field in the future, then I am sure that we will be so proud of ourselves too!”
I was so happy when I heard what Li Wei said, because I knew that he was not only an excellent scientist but also an excellent person too!
In fact, all of the people around me had always been so nice to me, even when we first met each other for the first time, like Alex Johnson, our American postdoctoral researcher supervisor from the same lab.
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[1] Alex was actually an American by descent although his last name was Johnson, but he was not only an excellent scientist and an excellent supervisor but also an excellent person too!
And one day after Alex went back home for his vacation, me and Li Wei were working together in our lab as usual when we suddenly saw some of our CRISPR/Cas9-edited cells under the microscope!
And I was so surprised when I saw how fast the cells had grown in these few days since I last checked on them!
“The cells are really growing so fast now!”
I said excitingly as I looked at Li Wei beside me.
“Yes, and they look so healthy too!”
Li Wei added as he looked at the screen again while adjusting the microscope for another group of cells.
“I guess it must be because of the cell culture medium,”I said as I looked at the bottles of media on the bench beside me, “Alex told us to try out this new medium formulation last time during our lab meeting because he said it might work better than the old one.”
“Yes, and it really does!”
Li Wei nodded as he continued adjusting the focus on the image of the cells on the screen carefully like he always did with everything else.
“I see you’ve changed your medium bottle!”
he added as he looked at me with a big smile, “And I bet you must have prepared all of the media so carefully as well, right?”
“Yea, you know me too well, Li Wei!”
I said with a big smile, “I always make sure everything is clean and ready before I start any experiment, because I think it will be better if we can do it that way, even though sometimes it might take us more time!”
“That’s true!”
Li Wei nodded again in agreement as he continued looking at the screen.
“Hey, I remember that the next step should be for us to introduce the edited DNA fragments into the cells, right?”
I asked curiously, “But Alex said that it would need some really precise techniques to do that, right?”
“Yea, you are right,”Li Wei said with a big smile as he looked at me again, “But don’t worry about that part, Mei Chen, because I will help you with that!”
“Really?”
I asked him with a big smile as I looked at him in surprise, “But you know that I am not really good at doing those really delicate stuff, right?”
“I know, but you are really good at doing your PCR experiments,”
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“So if you can keep doing your PCR experiments for me like this, then I will try my best to introduce the DNA fragments into all of the cell lines for you!”
“Of course!”
I said with a big smile before I turned back to the gel electrophoresis analysis.
In the focused silence of the lab, I was sitting in front of my computer analyzing my PCR experiment.
The amplification signals in every single lane were clear and strong.
There were bright bands in every one of the lanes that were supposed to be there.
This was exactly what we hoped to see after performing the PCR experiment!
My new PCR technique was finally working after all of my hard work trying to optimize it!
PCR was an important technique that we used to amplify DNA fragments before introducing them into cells.
The efficiency of this process was crucial for success in our gene editing projects.
And today, I had finally made some progress in optimizing this technique!
Just as I was about to finish up my analysis and prepare for cell culture, I heard the door open.
My colleague Li Wei entered the lab and looked at me as if sensing something.
“Hey, Mei Chen, you look so happy!”
Li Wei said as he looked at me with a big smile, “Did your new PCR technique finally work?”
“Oh hey, Li Wei!”
I said as I turned around in my chair to look at him with a big smile, “Yes, you are right!”
“I just got my new PCR results and they look really good!”
“Really?”
Li Wei asked as he walked up to my desk and looked at my computer, “Well, then let me take a look at those results to make sure if everything is good!”
“Sure.”I said with a big smile as I moved away from my computer to give him some space to look at my screen.
The gel electrophoresis results were still up on my screen, with bright bands in every single lane that they were supposed to be in.
Li Wei scrolled through all of them before his eyes finally landed on my first lane.
He nodded with satisfaction when he saw those bright bands on the gel.
“Very nice job Mei Chen!”
“Thank you so much, Li Wei!”
I said with a big smile before I took a closer look at those bands on the gel, “So this should be our first step to introduce these DNA fragments into all of our cell lines, right?”
“Yes, that’s true.”Li Wei nodded again in agreement as he looked at me with a big smile before he continued, “But today Alex and I were talking about how we could collaborate with each other to make our research more efficient and more precise.”
“Oh really?”
I asked him curiously, “So what is your idea?”
“Well, you know that Alex is an expert in cell culture,”
“So what if we combine our gene editing project with his expertise in cell culture?”
Li Wei suggested with a big smile, “We might be able to generate many more edited cell lines at the same time if we could work together!”
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“Wow, that sounds like a great idea!”
“But how exactly are we going to do that?”
I asked him curiously before I continued, “Like what are you planning on doing and what am I supposed to do?”
“Well, I was thinking about a project that can combine your gene editing expertise with my knowledge.”Li Wei said as he looked at me with a big smile and continued, “I think we might be able to generate more gene-edited cell lines if we can increase the delivery efficiency of our gene editing components into the cells.”
“Because right now it seems like the delivery efficiency is really low and it takes us a while to get those cell lines that have been edited.”Li Wei continued as he sighed and said, “And sometimes our delivery methods may hurt the cells and cause them to die off.”
“That’s true.”I said in agreement as I thought about all of those dead cells that we had to throw away after our last electroporation experiment, “So do you have any idea on how to improve the delivery efficiency of our gene editing components?”
“Well, let me think about it.”Li Wei said as he leaned back in his chair and thought about a plan to improve the efficiency of our gene editing technology.
After taking a few minutes to think about his plan carefully, he finally looked at me and said, “So what if we develop a new system that can deliver the gene editing components into the cells much more accurately?”
“Also this system should not be very toxic to the cells so that they won’t die off after they have been treated.”Li Wei continued as he said excitedly, “This way I think we might be able to generate many more gene-edited cell lines at the same time!”
“Wow, that sounds like a great idea!”
I said in agreement as I thought about the potential impact of his project on our gene editing research, “So how exactly are you going to develop this system?”
“Well, I think we can use these nanoparticles that have been developed by some material scientists these days to help us deliver those gene editing components into the cells.”
“Because they have been proven to be really efficient in delivering other types of DNA fragments in previous studies.”Li Wei continued as he explained his plan further, “If we can somehow use these nanoparticles to deliver the gene editing components into our cells then I think our delivery efficiency will be increased by at least 5 times.”
“Also the good thing about these nanoparticles is that they can be really easily integrated with the CRISPR/Cas9 system,”
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“If our system works well then I think it can really help us with our project on the long term.”I said as I thought about the potential application of his system in our project.
“Exactly!”
Li Wei said as he nodded his head in agreement.
“But it’s still only an idea at the moment so I think I should test it out first before I decide to start this project or not.”Li Wei finally said after a few seconds of silence.
“Sure,”I nodded my head in agreement and smiled at him.
“Because I think if this system works out then it will really help us with our project in the future!”
He said excitedly as he looked at me and I could see the determination in his eyes.
“Yeah I think so too,”I nodded my head in agreement.
“Because our current method of delivering the gene editing components into the cells has been really inefficient.”I continued as I explained the challenges that we currently faced in our project.
“Although liposomes can help the gene editing components enter the cell but it’s efficiency has been really low.”I said in frustration after I thought about all the time that I had wasted on trying to develop this system in the past few months.
“Yeah I know right!”
Li Wei said as he also shared his own opinion on this matter.
“And also the liposomes are really toxic to the cells as well.”I continued as I mentioned another challenge that we faced.
“Many of our cells have died off after being treated with these liposomes and that’s why I’m not sure if our current system can work out or not”I said with a slight hint of frustration in my voice.
“Yeah that’s true.”Li Wei said as he also shared the same frustration as me.
“But that’s exactly why I want to develop a new system that can deliver the gene editing components into the cells without being very toxic.”
“I see,”I nodded my head in agreement and said after listening to Li Wei’s explanation, “But how are you going to do that?”
“Well I think we can use this new cell-penetrating peptide that has been developed by some researchers recently to help us with our delivery system.”Li Wei said excitedly as he thought about his own idea and continued, “If you haven’t heard of them before then let me explain them to you.”
“So these cell-penetrating peptides are basically a type of peptide that can be used to increase the permeability of the cell membranes.”He said as he explained this concept further, “This way they can help the gene editing components enter the cell much more easily and that would significantly enhance the efficiency of our technology.”
“Wow, that sounds like a great idea!”
I said in amazement after listening to Li Wei’s explanation and thought about the potential impact of his system on our project.
“But I haven’t heard of these peptides before,”
“How did you come up with this idea?”
“Well I have read a paper on this topic recently and that’s how I got inspired by this idea.”Li Wei said with a slight hint of pride in his voice.
“If our system works out then I think our efficiency will be increased by a lot and our cells won’t die off as easily too!”
He said excitedly and I could see the determination in his eyes.
“I see, that sounds really awesome!”
I said in excitement and thought about all the time that I had wasted on trying to develop this system in the past few months.
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I was also very impressed by Li Wei’s creativity and ability to come up with his own ideas instead of just following other people’s instructions like what I usually did.
But at the same time, I could also see that Li Wei was having a very hard time trying to solve all these problems and there were still a lot of things that he hadn’t figured out yet.
In fact, it was even possible that his system wouldn’t work out in the end!
And if that were really to happen then it would be a complete waste of time for him and our project would be delayed again…
I said to myself when I thought about all these possibilities and suddenly became very hesitant about this collaboration.
“Don’t worry about it,”
Li Wei said after he noticed my sudden change in my expression and seemed to have guessed what I was thinking.
“I know that there are still a lot of things that I need to figure out and there’s no guarantee that my system will work out in the end,”
He said with a smile on his face and a slight shrug of his shoulders, “But that’s exactly why I want to team up with Alex on this project.”
“And you know what,”
Li Wei said excitedly after he thought of something and leaned forward towards me, “If our system really works out then I think it can completely revolutionize how gene editing technology is being done right now.”
“And maybe even in a few years from now, scientists will be able to directly edit the genes of an organism without even needing to take out its cells!”
He said in amazement and his eyes lit up with excitement after he thought about all these possibilities.
“Wow, that sounds really cool!”
I said with a slight shiver down my spine when I thought about what Li Wei had just said.
The idea of being able to directly edit the genes of an organism itself was already so mind-boggling to me, and if we were really able to do something like that in just a few years from now, then maybe the things that I had learned in my textbooks would no longer be true anymore…
But before I could say anything more, Li Wei suddenly interrupted my thoughts and continued, “But anyway, let’s focus on our project first.”
“And I think Alex will also be very excited when he hears about our new ideas!”
He said excitedly and then paused for a moment before he asked, “And by the way, how is our experiment going?”
“Well we are currently waiting for our next PCR to start so I think it will take at least another half an hour before we can get any results.”I said with a sigh after I looked at our PCR machine and saw that it still had some time left before it could finish its cycle.
“I see,”
Li Wei nodded his head and seemed to have forgotten about all the other things as he only had one thing in his mind right now at this moment.
“And by the way,
“I think Alex should be coming in soon since his meeting has just ended.”
“Oh, okay.”I said as soon as I heard Li Wei’s words and quickly packed up my stuff after I heard what he said.
I knew that Alex was our postdoctoral researcher supervisor who had just joined us from America last month.
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And I also knew that he was a very busy person who always had a lot of things to do, so he would only come here a few times every day to check on us and our experiments since he knew what kind of things we were working on most of the time anyway, so he would only come if he had nothing else to do at the moment or after he had finished all of his other works first.
And as soon as I heard what he said, I quickly packed up my stuff and went to our coffee corner to get some hot water so I could make a cup of tea while waiting for him to come in.
After only a few minutes, Alex finally came into the room and saw us there, so he quickly walked over and asked, “So how is our experiment going right now?”
“Well the experiment is going quite well so far,” Li Wei answered first as soon as he heard Alex’s question.
“And I think you will be very interested in the results of our latest PCR experiment!”
He said excitedly as he looked at me with a big smile on his face, so I quickly turned on my computer and opened our data files to show him the results of our PCR experiment as soon as I heard what he said.
“Okay, so this is the experiment that I did earlier today,”
I said as soon as I opened the data file on my computer and showed it to both of them while pointing at the screen with my finger.
“This is a PCR screening experiment which was designed to screen for the most efficient primers for our gene editing project,”
I explained while pointing at all the DNA bands on the gel electrophoresis image on the screen.
“And as you can see here, we have already found the most efficient primers for our project, so I think we should be able to move on to the next step soon!”
“That’s great!”
Alex said happily after he looked at all the DNA bands on the screen for a while.That looks really good!”
He said excitedly and then turned around to look at Li Wei before asking, “So what are you planning to do next?”
“Well since we have already found the most efficient primers for our project,”
Li Wei answered with a big smile on his face as he nodded in agreement with Alex,”So now I think we can start working on creating our final constructs to test our ideas!”
“That sounds good!”
Alex nodded his head and agreed with Li Wei after he heard what he said.
“But maybe we should also wait for Mei to finish her experiment first before we move on so we could make the constructs for all the genes at the same time.”
“Oh, okay then,”
Li Wei nodded his head again after he heard Alex’s words, so they both finished their discussion and then went back to their computers to start working on their own things.
As for me, I was still waiting for my PCR experiment to finish, so I decided to go back to my own desk to do some reading first while waiting.
And as soon as I opened the document on my computer, I suddenly felt a shiver down my spine when I thought about all the new ideas that we were going to try soon.
When I first started working on this gene editing project, I never thought that it would take us almost three years to get to where we are right now, but even though it had been really difficult sometimes, I was still very happy and satisfied with all the progress we had made so far.
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Although I have to admit that our group had become a lot more active and efficient after Alex joined us three years ago.
When I first arrived at this lab, I was the only one who was studying gene editing technology, and we were all still in our first year of grad school.
I didn’t know any of these two guys at that time, but Alex, who grew up in America, was very outgoing and sociable, so he made friends with me and many other classmates very quickly.
He was very smart and hardworking, just like us Chinese students, but his way of thinking was very different from us.
While we were always focused on staying inside the lab to do experiments and write papers, he was always talking about how to make money with our research and turn our ideas into products.
He had a lot of innovative ideas and creative solutions to many problems that we had never thought about before, and he even found ways to cut down the time and costs of some of our experiments.
And although some of his previous ideas didn’t work out as well as he had expected, he was still always willing to try out new things and take risks whenever he had new ideas.
So I have to admit that after working with him for three years, I have also learned a lot from him, and even changed some of my ways of thinking and doing things.
As a Chinese student who was raised in a very disciplined environment, I had always been very meticulous about every detail of my work, and I was used to spending a lot of time reading and writing about my work before I started doing experiments.
And even though I knew this might have been the reason why I had been a little slower than other students sometimes, I still didn’t want to change my way of working because I believed that being more careful would help me find out more things in the experiments.
But after talking to Alex about my thoughts sometimes, he would also point out that being too careful might sometimes make me lose sight of the big picture or waste my time on the wrong things.
So after hearing him say these things many times, I finally decided to try to be more efficient with my work like him sometimes without worrying too much about the details.
And as a result, I have also found out that being more efficient has helped me get better results in my experiments sometimes because it gave me more chances to do more experiments or try new ideas.
So even though Alex’s way of thinking was very different from us sometimes, I think it was still good that he joined us because it had given us new ideas, helped us find new ways to do things, and made our group become more active and efficient than ever.
And as I was thinking about all these things while reading the document on my computer, I suddenly heard Alex calling me from behind.
“Mei!”
He said as he came over to where I was sitting,”Are you almost done with your PCR experiment?”
“Oh yes!”
I said as I turned around to look at him,”I think it should be done by now!”
“Good!”
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He said as he looked at the door.”Because I think Li Wei would like to use the PCR machine right now.”
“Already?”
I said as I looked at him in surprise,”But I didn’t think he would give his own machine to someone else so easily.”
“Yes!”
He said as he laughed,”I didn’t think so too.But I think it must be because he really wants to do his own experiment right now.”
“But if you don’t plan to use it right now, can I use it later?”
I said as I asked him hopefully,”I think I will also need to do some more experiments like Li Wei’s soon.”
“Oh no!”
He said as he shook his head,”I think you should ask Li Wei about that because I think he is planning to keep the machine for himself for now.”
“Oh really?”
I said as I looked at him in surprise,”Then why did he come to ask you for it?”
“I don’t know!”
He said as he looked away,”But if you want to ask him for it too later, maybe you can tell him that if you can use the machine first, you would also like to help him do some PCR later.”
“So you mean you are willing to let me use the machine first like that?”
“Oh no!”
He said as he shook his head,”I think you should ask Li Wei first because I think he is planning to give me some of the samples he wants me to do the PCR for him later.”
“Oh really?”
I said again as I looked at him in surprise.
“Yes!”
He said as he nodded,”So I think if you can help him do the PCR first, he would also have more time to prepare the samples for me later.”
“Oh I see!”
I said as I continued looking at him,”But did he also tell you what kind of experiment he wants to do for himself today?”
“Oh no!”
He said as he shook his head again,”But I think it must be something important because he didn’t tell me what kind of samples he wants me to do the PCR for him either.”
“Oh I see!”
I said as I nodded my head,”Then maybe I should go ask him about it right now too then.”
“Yes!”
As soon as I finished talking to Alex, I immediately got up from my seat and went back to where we were doing the experiment before.
And when I arrived at the place, I saw that Li Wei and Alex were already standing around the PCR machine and looking at something on the computer screen together while talking to each other.
“Li Wei!”
I called out to him as I walked over.
“What’s up?”
He asked without looking back.
“I just finished reading the document.”I said as I walked over to them.
“And Alex just told me that you wanted to use your PCR machine too.”Li Wei said.
“But did he also tell you what kind of experiment he wanted to do with it today?”
“I’m not sure.”Li Wei said as he turned around to look at me,”But even if he didn’t want to tell me, I could still guess what it was going to be because he has been talking about getting a new PCR machine for himself almost every day since we started working here.”
“So then what are you going to do with it then?”
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“I think he is planning on finishing the PCR that he was doing yesterday.”Li Wei answered,”Because I think he only has one or two samples left to finish.”
“Is that so?”
I asked in surprise,”Then I guess you are not planning on doing the PCR with me today then.”
“Nope.”Li Wei shook his head,”But I think you shouldn’t be too worried about that either because I think you will still have enough time to finish the PCR by yourself afterward.”
“Alright then.”I said,”But are you sure that you don’t want to give me the samples to test together with you?”
“Of course.”Li Wei nodded his head,”Because I think I’m going to need to prepare the samples by myself this time.”
“But why?”
I asked in surprise.
“Is there something wrong with the samples that I tested?”
“No.”He shook his head,”I think there is nothing wrong with them at all.”
“Then why did you say that?”
I asked in confusion.
“I’m not sure either.”He answered,”But I think you will know when you see the samples that I’m going to use.”
“What do you mean?”
I asked again.
“You’ll find out later.”He answered without giving me an exact answer.
“Alright then.”I said again,”But promise me that you will tell me everything afterward.”
“Of course.”Li Wei nodded his head again.
Afterward, he turned back to look at the PCR machine again and continued preparing the necessary materials for himself.
And when me and Alex saw that he had already started doing that, we both immediately stepped aside and went back to our own seats.
After we got back to our seats, I immediately turned back and looked at Alex,”So what kind of PCR do you plan to use with your PCR machine later?”
“I’m not sure yet.”He answered,”But Li Wei told me that I can take a look at the samples that he gave you first before deciding on anything.”
“That’s great.”I nodded my head in agreement,”Actually, I have already prepared everything for you here too.”
“Really?”
Alex immediately turned to look at me in surprise,”That’s great!Thank you so much!”
“It’s nothing.”I shook my head again,”But are you sure you don’t want to tell me what kind of experiment you are planning on doing with my PCR machine later?”
“I’m sorry.”Alex shook his head again,”But I think it’s better if I don’t tell you right now because I’m still not sure if it will work or not.”
“But why not?”
“Because I think my experiment is still far from being finished right now.”He answered,”So I think it’s better if you don’t know anything about it yet too.”
“Alright then.”I said,”But promise me that you will tell me everything later when you are finished with everything.”
“Of course.”Alex nodded his head again,”But I think I should also take a look at the sample that Li Wei gave you earlier now.”
“Alright then.”I nodded my head in agreement as he immediately got up from his seat and walked over to where Li Wei was sitting before.
Afterward, He immediately opened up the DNA samples that Li Wei prepared for him and started looking at them one by one.
And while he was doing that, me and Li Wei were also preparing all of our samples for ourselves too.
After we were finished preparing everything, Li Wei immediately took all of the samples and went over to take a look at our PCR machine.
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Seeing that he was already doing that, I immediately went to sit on my own seat and opened up my own laptop before starting to look at Alex’s new PCR machine in front of me.
As soon as I opened up my laptop, a lot of questions suddenly popped up in my mind again and started to bother me about Alex’s new project again.
But since I don’t want to disturb Alex right now since he was also busy working on his own things too, I decided to hold off on my questions for now and focus on something else first before asking him all about it later when he is finished with his things.
So after thinking for a little bit more about it, I immediately decided to go online and see if there was any information about Alex’s new PCR machine that he was using right now for his experiment at all.
As soon as I opened up my laptop, a lot of information suddenly popped up in front of me and asked me if I want to know more about it or not.
And after doing that, I immediately replied yes and all of the information regarding Alex’s new PCR machine immediately appeared in front of me and told me that it was called an Ion Gene Studio S5 System.
And after looking at all of the information that was available to me, I immediately realized that this PCR machine was actually one of the most advanced PCR machines for gene editing research that was available on the market right now.
And not only that, but there were also a lot of other features in this PCR machine that were also very useful for gene editing research too.
After I finished looking at all of the information that were available to me on this PCR machine, I immediately turned off my laptop and went back to look at Alex again.
And when I turned back and looked at him again, I saw that he was already finished preparing all of the necessary things that he needed for himself and was currently talking with Li Wei again.
Seeing that, I immediately got up from my own seat and walked over to where they were sitting and asked,”Are you two done preparing everything?”
“I am almost finished over here.”Alex nodded his head,”I have also put all of the necessary samples that I need inside the PCR machine already.”
“Alright then.”I nodded my head in agreement,”Are we going to start working on our experiment now?”
“Of course.”Alex nodded his head,”But I was also wondering if you can also tell me more about your gene editing vectors that you made earlier again?”
“Sure thing.”I nodded my head in agreement,”And I will also send you my protocol for making it later after we are finished with everything too.”
“That would be great.”Alex nodded his head,”And I will also send you my protocol for cell culture later after this too.”
“Alright then.”I nodded my head in agreement before turning around and walking back to where I was sitting before.
After I finished doing all of that, Alex immediately went back to where he was sitting before and started working on his own experiment too.
And while he was doing that, I quickly took out all of my notes and brought them over to him so that he can read them and prepare himself more before starting working on it with us.
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After waiting for a few minutes, Alex finally finished looking at my notes too and we quickly started working on our experiment right away.
After a few hours, we finally finished working on our experiment for the day.
But even though we were finished working on our experiment, but we were still waiting for the PCR machine to finish running all of the samples for us.
So while we were waiting for the PCR machine, we quickly cleaned up our work station first before going back to sit down and rest for a little bit.
After we sat down, Alex quickly looked at both of us again before taking a deep breath and said,”By the way, I have something important to tell you guys.”
“What is it?”
“Did you remember that I told you guys about the new cell culture method that I was working on earlier?”
“Oh yes.”I nodded my head,”I remember you telling us about it earlier too.”
“That’s great.”Alex smiled as he continued,”Because after testing it out today, I finally found out that it actually worked too.
So basically, my new system actually works by coating the bottom of the cell culture plates with something that is going to help the cells grow faster than usual.
And after trying it out today, I found out that this method actually managed to double the growth rate of the cells inside of the cell culture plates too.
“And what is even more interesting about this method is that it only took four days for my cells to grow into the density that I need for my experiment too.
And normally, it would take six days for my cells to reach that density, but with this new method, my cells are ready in just four days now.”
“And what does that mean?”
That means that I can do my gene editing experiments at twice the speed that I am doing right now too.”
“And that is just amazing too.”I said in amazement after I heard what Alex said,”So when are you planning on testing this method out?”
“I will test it out on a few more cell lines first next week.”Alex replied,”And if it manages to work well on them too, then I am planning on writing a paper about this method and submitting it to a few scientific journals too.”
After hearing what Alex said, I was immediately excited about it too because not only will this method be very useful for us, but it will also be very useful for a lot of other people too.
And not only that, but this method will also be able to help us save a lot of time on doing cell culture too which was always a good thing for us as well.
After talking about that, we quickly looked at each other and smiled before quickly going back to work on our own things again.
And after waiting for a few more minutes, we finally finished working on our experiment for the day and went back to pack up all of our things and prepared to go home.
But just as we were about to leave, the PCR machine suddenly started making a weird sound and all of us immediately turned around and looked at it.
But when we saw that, we quickly ran over to look at the results and realized that all of the samples that we ran earlier were all ruined and we were not able to get any results from them.
Seeing that, all of us were really disappointed and frustrated because not only did we waste a lot of time waiting for the results, but we also wasted a lot of reagents too.
And not only that, but we were also not able to know if our experiments were successful or not either.
But even though all of us were really frustrated and disappointed right now, but we knew that there was nothing that we could do right now.
We quickly packed up all of our things and prepared to go home.
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“Wait up for me guys.”Alex said before quickly packing up his things and catching up with us too.
After that, all three of us quickly got to the elevator and quickly went down to the parking garage before quickly getting into our cars and preparing to go home.
But just as I was about to start my car and leave the parking garage, Alex suddenly walked over to me and said,”Hey Mei, Li Wei, how about you guys come over to my place and test out that method that I was talking about earlier.
I am sure that you guys will be able to finish it in no time too.”
Hearing what Alex said, both me and Li Wei were both really excited about it too and quickly looked at each other before quickly getting out of the car and going over to Alex’s car.
Once we got there, Alex quickly started driving back to his place and even though it took us quite some time to get there too because Alex lived quite far away from our place, but none of us really cared about that either because we were all really excited to try out the new cell culture method that Alex was talking about earlier too.
After that, Alex quickly drove back to his place before quickly going up to his apartment and opening the door for us too.
After that, Li Wei quickly went over to the lab and started setting up the experiment while Alex and I went over to help him out too.
And after spending some time setting up the experiment, Li Wei quickly put all of the cell culture plates into the incubator and started waiting for the cells to grow now as well.
And after doing that, Li Wei quickly turned around and looked at me and Alex before asking,”So how long do you guys think that it will take for my cells to grow into the density that I need for my experiment?”
“It should take about six days for your cells to grow into the density that you need for your experiment.”Alex replied,”But with this new method that I am trying out right now, you should be able to get your cells ready in just four days now too.”
“Wow, four days,”Li Wei said in amazement,”That is just so amazing.”
“I know right,”Alex smiled,”And I have already tested this method out on a few cell lines too, and I have managed to get really good results on them too.”
“Wow, that is great.”Li Wei said with a big smile on his face.
After hearing what Li Wei said, Alex smiled at him before turning around and looking at me too.
Seeing that, I quickly nodded my head at him before saying,”And I am also very excited about this new method too, so I would love to help you test this one out as well.”
After hearing what I said, both Li Wei and Alex were both really happy about it too and quickly turned around before giving me a big smile.
And after seeing them do that, I smiled back at them before quickly turning around and went over to the sofa and sat down on it as well.
After that, Li Wei quickly went back over to the lab and continued working on his experiment as well.
And after waiting for a while, he finally finished working on his experiment for the day and went back over to the living room before sitting down on the sofa with us as well.
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After doing that, he turned around and looked at me before saying,”So Mei Chen, are you excited for our experiment as well?”
“Yes, of course I am very excited for our experiment as well.”I replied with a nod of my head.
“I mean do you know how long I have been waiting for this moment?”
“I know right,”Li Wei smiled before saying,”And now that the moment is finally here, I just cannot believe it.”
After hearing what Li Wei said, I quickly turned around before looking at him as well.
Seeing that, Li Wei smiled at me before saying,”And don’t worry Mei Chen, because once the cells are ready tomorrow, we will be able to perform our experiment right away after that.”
“Ok, then I am going to go home now since it is getting really late.”I replied with a smile on my face.
“Ok then Mei Chen, then you can leave whenever you are ready since everything is all set up now.”Li Wei replied with a smile on his face.
“Ok then, thank you so much for today guys.”I replied with a smile on my face before turning around and packing all of my stuff up first.
And after doing that, I turned around and looked at them again before saying,”Ok then, I am going home now.
“Ok then Mei Chen, I will see you tomorrow.”Alex and Li Wei both replied at the same time.
After seeing them do that, I quickly gave them a big smile before turning around and leaving the lab after that.
And after leaving the lab, I walked out to the hallway before quickly taking the elevator down and went over to the main entrance before quickly walking out to go home.
After that, I walked back to my apartment and quickly went inside before taking a quick shower and went to bed.
And the next day, I went back over to the lab to help Li Wei set up the experiment like we had planned earlier too.
And after everyone was done setting up the experiment, Alex quickly went through his method one more time before leaving the lab afterwards as well.
But before he left, he turned around and said to us,”If you guys need any help, just call me and I will come back to help you guys out too.”
I quickly nodded my head at him after hearing what he said before he left afterwards too.
And after Alex left, Li Wei quickly turned around and looked at me before saying,”So are you ready Mei Chen?”
“Yes, I am very ready.”I replied with a smile on my face.
“Then let’s get this started.”
After that, Li Wei quickly turned around and went over to set up the experiment like we always do.
And after spending some time setting up the experiment, Li Wei quickly put all of the cell culture plates into the incubator and started waiting for it to grow as well now too.
And after doing that, he turned around and looked at me before saying,”So Mei Chen, how long do you think it will take for our cells to grow into the density that we need for our experiment today?”
“It should take about six days for our cells to grow into the density that we need for our experiment today.”I replied with a smile on my face,”But let’s hope that it will grow faster than that since we are using this new method that Alex taught us today too.”
“Yes, I really hope so too.”Li Wei replied with a smile,”So let’s just wait and see what happens next.”
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“Ok, but before we do that, let me go check on the cells to see if they are doing good or not.”I said to him before getting up from my seat and walked over to the incubator.
And after walking over to the incubator, I opened the door to see how the cells were doing after we had put it inside more than an hour ago.
And after seeing the cells inside the incubator, I quickly turned around before going back outside to talk to Li Wei again.
And after talking to him, I quickly turned around and started to work on my computer while we waited for the cells to finish growing enough for our experiment today.
And after working on my computer for a few minutes, Alex Johnson suddenly walked back into the lab as well.
“Oh, did you forget something Alex?”
I asked him while looking up from my computer.
“Oh, so you guys are not done yet?”
Alex asked as he walked over to where Li Wei was sitting at.
“No, we are not done yet.”Li Wei replied as he looked up from his computer,”But why did you come back again?”
“Oh no reason.”Alex replied with a smile,”I just came back to see if you guys needed some help or not since it’s already very late right now as well.”
“Oh, thank you very much Alex.”Li Wei replied with a smile as well before continuing,”But there is nothing else left for you to help us since we have already finished doing everything that has to be done already.”
“Oh, ok.”Alex replied with a smile,”But if you need any help then just call me and I will come back here to help you guys out too.”
“Ok then, thank you very much Alex.”I said to him as well,”You are truly a very good friend of ours indeed.”
“Oh, thank you very much.”Alex replied as he blushed a little bit as well,”But it’s not like we are not friends or anything like that since we are all friends here in this lab together after all.”
“Yes, that is very true.”Li Wei replied with a smile,”And that is also why we are able to work so well together in this lab too.”
“Yes, that is also true too.”I replied with a smile as well.
After that, Alex quickly waved goodbye and left the lab afterwards too.
And after he left, Li Wei quickly went over to take out the plates from the incubator after seeing that it has already grown enough already.
And after taking out all of the plates from the incubator, Li Wei quickly went over to put it down onto the table so that it could cool down a little bit first.
And while waiting for the plates to cool down a little bit first, Li Wei quickly went to get all of the other materials that we need to coat the plates with the special substance that Alex told us about earlier today too.
And after getting all of the materials that we need to coat the plates with later on, Li Wei quickly went over to open up the bottle to see how the substance looks like first too.
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And after opening up the bottle to take a look at how the substance looks like inside of it, Li Wei frowned before saying,”It would be best if we could do this whole process somewhere else since Alex told me that it could easily evaporate if we did this whole thing in an open area like this.”
“I see, so where should we do this whole thing then?”I asked him as well.
“We should coat the plates inside of the fume hood.”Li Wei replied with a smile,”That way it would be able to help us prevent it from evaporating while we also do this whole process as well.”
“I see, then let us bring all of our things inside of the fume hood and start coating the plates together then.”I replied to him with a smile as well.
“Yes, let us do that then.”I replied with a smile as well.
Then Li Wei went to take all of our things together before taking it over to the fume hood to start coating all of our plates together later on.
And after taking all of our things together into the fume hood, Li Wei quickly went over to wear our gloves together before starting to coat all of our plates with the special substance together later on.
Li Wei then took one of our plates together before taking the substance together too.
He then took a little bit of the substance into one of our material tube before covering up the bottle again as well.
He then took the tube that has the substance inside of it and quickly pour some of the substances onto the plate.
Then he quickly started to coat the plate with the substance together by tilting the plate a little bit while also turning it in a circular motion at the same time as well.
“Why are you coating the plate like that?”I asked him as well since I do not know why he is doing it like that too.
“I am doing this so that we could easily coat the whole plate evenly without wasting any single drop of the substance too.”Li Wei replied to me with a smile,”It would also be best if you could coat it quickly as well since the substance could also easily solidify if you take to long to coat it too.”
“Oh I see, then let me do that too.”I replied to him with a smile as well,”But how much do you need to coat on each plate though?”
“You need to coat right amount of the substances onto each plate first.”Li Wei replied to me with a smile,”And since this is your first time doing this whole process as well you would also need to watch me before starting to do it yourself too.”
“Oh I see.”I replied to him as well,”Then let me watch you for now then.”
After that I quickly went over to stand beside him and watch Li Wei coats all of the plates with the special substances.
As I watched Li Wei coats all of our plates with the special substances, I quickly remember all of the steps that he took very carefully so that I would not forget any single step afterwards too.
After watching Li Wei coats all of our plates very carefully, Li Wei then took another one of our plates and gave it over to me together.
“You can start coating it now.”Li Wei replied with a smile,”But you would need to be fast though since it would easily solidify if you take to long to coat it as well.”
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After hearing his reply, I quickly took the plate from his hands and then started to coat it with very carefully just like how Li Wei coats it too.
After that, I then quickly put it down on the table and then took another plate from Li Wei and then coat that one with the substances too.
Then I repeat the process again and again until I finally finish coating all 30 plates with substances just like that.
“Thanks for helping me out with this Mei Chen and Alex.”Li Wei replied to both Alex and me with a smile,”If you two did not come over to help me then I would probably not be able to finish it by myself too.”
“It’s okay, it’s also our experiments too.”I replied to him with a smile.
“Yeah, we are also in this together too.”Alex replied to him with a smile too,”And don’t worry about it, even if we are done with coating those plates, we would still be here to help you out as well.”
“Thank you so much.”Li Wei replied to both Alex and me again with a smile,”You two are really good friends too.”
“Don’t worry about it.Were here to help you out too.”Alex replied to him with a smile.
“So how are you going to do next?”I asked Li Wei after that.
“I am going to come very early in the morning tomorrow together so that I could start this experiment as quickly as possible too.”Li Wei replied to me with a smile,”And since I coated those plates just now, I would also probably be able to see some cells growth within those plates as well.”
Then after he said that, he then quickly took his backpack and then took his laptop and notebook inside of his backpack too.
“Okay then let us leave first now then.”Li Wei replied after that as he looked towards both Alex and me with a smile,”You two should also get some sleep too since having a good sleep could also help you get some new ideas as well.”
After that, Li Wei then started to walk away from us and then left the lab as well.
Then after he left, Alex quickly turned towards me and give me a smile.
“Thank you so much for helping us out earlier Mei Chen.”Alex replied to me with a smile,”I would not be able to do all those things by myself.”
“It’s alright, we are all in this together, we should also help each other too.”I replied to Alex with a smile too.
Then after that, Alex then pack up all of his things inside of his backpack too.
“You should also get some sleep too.”I replied to him,”Having a good sleep could also helps you get some new ideas too.”
“Okay then, I would also go back now then.”Alex replied to me as he smiled towards me again.
After that, we both then leave the lab together too.
I came to Shanghai in the hope of having an opportunity to work in one of the best biology laboratories in the world, but I was initially skeptical about joining this team.
But now, I have changed my mind.
Li Wei is truly an excellent scientist.
He has developed an innovative way to accelerate cell growth without using expensive reagents.
His ingenuity is truly unparalleled!
In addition, Mei Chen is also an excellent scientist.
She is very hardworking and meticulous, checking every detail of her work over and over again.
Although she lacks creativity, she is very dedicated to what she does.
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After discussing with Alex, Li Wei decided to start the experiment immediately.
He believes that if his new method works, we will be able to observe cell growth within 24 hours.
Therefore, he urged me and Alex to continue with PCR and cell culture respectively, while he setup the plates.
Li Wei's excitement is palpable!
He is eager to see if his new method works.
He doesn't want to wait until tomorrow to start the experiment.
After all, this new method could potentially revolutionize the way we do experiments in the lab.
If that is the case, we will be able to perform gene editing experiments at a much faster rate than before.
In that case, our research progress will be greatly accelerated, and we may even be able to make breakthroughs in treating genetic diseases.
“You two should go back first.”Li Wei said to us after that,”And please come by at 9:00 tomorrow morning to check on how the plates are doing.”
“If it works, we should be able to see some cell growth on the plates by tomorrow morning.”
“And even if it doesn’t work, I would still come by to tell you as soon as possible.”Li Wei replied with a smile,”I would never let my members work in vain.”
After that, Li Wei then quickly walked towards one of the benches in our laboratory and then started to pick up a few plates to put them inside of the incubator.
At this moment, I could also see that he was moving very fast, as if he wanted to finish all of those things as quickly as possible.
This also made both Alex and me also wanted to work harder too since we did not want to make him work alone too.
Therefore, after that, both Alex and me then quickly went back to our bench and then started to do our own work too.
Then after around 10 minutes, Li Wei then passed by us and then walked towards the incubator too.
“See you tomorrow.”Li Wei replied to both Alex and me with a smile as he passed by us,”And please don’t worry about it too, everything would be alright.”
After that, both Alex and I then went back to finish our own work again.
I am very excited about what is going to happen next since if Li Wei’s new method works, then this would truly be a very important scientific breakthrough in the field of gene editing science.
Although my role in this research is mainly focused on analyzing data and optimizing experimental conditions, I still hope to be able to contribute to this research in a more direct way as well.
If Li Wei's new method for accelerating cell growth works, then my experiment will be able to progress faster and I will be able to get more data to analyze as well.
In that case, I will be able to find out more new knowledge related to this field of study too, which is truly something that excites me very much.
I know that Li Wei is a very innovative scientist and he is always looking for new ways to improve his experiments.
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But at the same time, he is also a perfectionist and he always wants to make sure that his experiment is done in the best way possible.
This is also the reason why he always spends so much time in front of the incubator to look at the cells.
I still remember that one time when he was waiting for his cells to grow, he came to the lab every hour to check on them.
He did not want to miss the moment when the cells reached their logarithmic growth phase, so he wanted to make sure that he was there when it happened.
After that, he was able to get a very good result for that experiment and then he published it in Nature Communications too, which made all of us very proud of him.
Therefore, I could also understand why he is so excited about today's experiment and I hope that everything will go well for him as well.
The next morning, I came to the lab earlier than usual since I am also excited to find out about the result of our experiment yesterday.
When I arrived at the lab, I could already see that Li Wei was already there and he was standing in front of the incubator, while his eyes were fixed on it as well.
“Good morning.”Li Wei replied to me as soon as he saw me,”I have been waiting for you.”
“Good morning.”I replied to him as well,”So, have you checked on the plates yet?”
“Not yet.”Li Wei replied with a smile,”But we can do it now.”
After that, both of us then opened the door of the incubator and then carefully took out one of the plates from it.
Even though Li Wei has done many cell culture experiments before, he still felt nervous about it since he knew that the result of this experiment could be very important for us as well.
We then quickly walked towards the microscope while holding the plate carefully in our hands.
We adjusted the focus of the microscope carefully until we were able to see the cells clearly under it.
At first, I could not see any significant differences between today's result and our previous results from other experiments too.
The cells were growing normally and they all looked healthy as well.
“Let's move to another area.”Li Wei suggested as soon as we finished checking one area on the plate.
After that, both of us then moved to another area on the plate.
But then, as soon as I saw the cells under the microscope again, I could see that there was something different about these cells too.
Normally, when cells are cultured in a plate, they usually grow randomly and there is no specific pattern to it.
But this time, I could see that many of these cells are actually arranged very close to each other and they look very organized too.
I then turned towards Li Wei to tell him about it too.
“Mei Chen, can you take a look at this reference image here?”
Li Wei asked as soon as he heard what I said.
After that, I then looked at what he was referring to as well.
I could see that there was an image of cells on a plate there and they looked very nice as well.
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