Tuesday, May 12, 2009

What's new pussycat?

Unfortunately, not too much, but for some reason that song is stuck in my head like crazy. Even an hour of Radiohead couldn't get rid of it.

I finally finished reviewing that paper. (Thanks to everyone for suggestions.) We are recommending that the journal reject it. As it turns out the authors make a lot of statements about a particular protein (I'll call it protein 1) mediating a certain function, but showed no direct evidence for this. In fact, all the conclusions were drawn by comparing strain 1, which contains the gene encoding protein 1, with strain 2, a strain that does not contain protein 1. Unfortunately, the strains were not parent and isogenic mutant, they were just two unsequenced isolates. Aside from the presence or absence of this particular gene, there is no telling what other factors contributed to the differences in these strains abilities to function in this way. (One strain was awesome at it, the other was just OK.) Also, the authors made no attempt to show that protein 1 was even expressed in the conditions they were using, nor did they assess the ability of protein 1 to perform this function in vitro.
The worst part is that protein 1 is well-studied, there are parent and isogenic mutant strains lacking this gene, recombinant protein and monoclonal antibodies readily available. None of these tools were employed by the authors and as a result all that they demonstrated was that two different bacterial strains perform a particular function differently. Woohoo.

As far as the war with my cat goes, I think the balance is finally starting to tip in my favor.
First of all Sifo Dias, while still desperately trying to get into my closet at the ass-crack of dawn, has ceased trying to break the bedroom door down after being locked out. Now, all I have to do is get out of bed and shut the door, since he runs out of the room as soon as I sit up. As long as he doesn't start hiding in the room, I think I will make it.
Unfortunately my oldest cat, Shibba Dibba, has hyperthyroidism, so I need to take her to the cat radiologist where she gets injected with radio-labelled iodine. The worst part is that she must stay there until the level of radioactivity she is emitting fall below a specific level, which could take anywhere from 2-7 days. I hope it's only two days. I keep picturing her stuck in some lead cage all alone and it makes me sad. :(


Cath@VWXYNot? said...

Aww, poor kitty. I hope she gets to come back home soon.

Sounds like a good call on the paper ;)

AA's BH said...

Sorry to hear about Shibba Dibba. Hope she's better very soon.

Sounds like we are very much in the same boat. I reviewed my first paper (actually a review), so of course my boss has given me another. This one is in pretty tenuous English so I may or may not persevere. I've got half a page of language corrections and I'm only on the second page of the intro.

We're also hoping that we're entering the end game with our two little visitors from another world. Their cat flap was finally fitted this last weekend so they should have daily access to the outdoors and thus not have any reason to do stuff in the house reserved for outdoors (long, sad story). The reason all of this took so long was that we had to fit a new door, which turns out to be a lot more complicated than I'm sure it really needs to be. Well, it's done now. Just need to give it a lick of paint.

Hermitage said...

Aww, poor cat. I'm sure Shibba Dibba will be fine, and will relish the excuse the be extra cranky when arriving home :P

ScientistMother said...

My colleague's cat is also getting the radio-active iodine treatment, she does not seem to worried about it. Is that supposed to make you feel better? I don't know, but sometimes it makes me feel more at ease if something is a "routine" procedure.

Mad Hatter said...

Sorry to hear about your cat. I hope you get her back soon.

Sounds like that paper was a stinker! Oh, and now you've got that damn song stuck in my head too. Thanks a lot!

microbiologist xx said...

Cath- Yeah, the paper was pretty disappointing. It seemed more like preliminary data than a manuscript.

AA's BH - I agree, we are totally in the same boat. Ugh...half a page of language corrections. That sucks ass.
I hope everything with your cats works out. If you haven't already, you might want to take them to the vet. A friend of mine had a cat that started peeing all over the house and it turned out it had a raging bladder infection. Not pleasant, but at least it's an easy fix.
Initially I thought Dibba was diabetic b/c of all the water she was drinking (and peeing), but it turned out to be the thyroid. At this point, I'm just glad it is fixable.

Hermitage - Oh she is so going to be pissed when she gets home. Whenever we go out of town for more than a couple of days she ignores me when we get home. She cute though, so its OK.

SM - Actually, that does make me feel better. :) It sounds like the procedure isn't too terrible. I just feel bad that she is going to be at the facility, by herself for so long.

MH - LOL! Sorry about transferring the song to you. That think was stuck in my head for days.