You will remember that the LTEE moved to Jeff Barrick’s lab at UT-Austin this past June. My understanding was that things were going pretty well down there, and that the generations were clicking along nicely.
Well, guess what just came in the mail today? Boxes upon boxes of frozen samples, and 12 tiny flasks sealed with parafilm and packed in bubble wrap. And a hand-written note from Jeff, with a picture enclosed. The note reads:
This LTEE of yours is just too much work. Day in and day out for almost a year, we’ve transferred the 12 lines to fresh medium, just like you said we should. But when we look at the cells under the microscope, they’re still just little bacteria – not even a decent yeast cell among them, much less a worm or something more interesting.
And all I have to show for it is a broken arm from doing all that pipetting, after everyone else quit. So, I’m sending back all those boxes and boxes of frozen samples that you
foisted onsent us last year, along with the 12 lines as of when I last transferred them, maybe a week or two ago. I’m not sure of the exact number of generations, because we lost count a while back. But I’m pretty sure it started with a 7.
Good luck continuing
this fool’s errandthe LTEE back in your lab. Maybe you’ll eventually see something interesting, but I doubt it.
So, there you have it. The LTEE has returned to MSU. I hope Devin is ready to do the next few hundred daily transfers!
[Jeff, with cast, and Emmanuel celebrate sending the LTEE back to MSU]