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Archive for February, 2009

Academic injury

I pulled an all-nighter last Thursday night to try to get my thesis finished by my 29th birthday (Friday). I haven’t done that since high school. Needless to say, it wasn’t the best birthday, but hey, I eventually got what I wanted – A FINISHED PRODUCT! It may have only been only 25% the thickness of Carl’s, but my heart went into every single one of those 196 pages.

The sick thing is that through the whole month of writing I didn’t miss a day of running. Even on the Friday after my all-nighter, I went out for a run in the rain around 11AM. I saw John B. on the path on my way out. We said “hello” to each other. On the way back I saw him again. He said “I thought you were gonna catch me.” My reply, “Not today.”

So maybe my fitness has suffered somewhat. But now it’s done — or at least handed off to my committee. But in reality I know that the work never stops. Immediately after handing in my thesis I was back at my lab bench, pipette in hand. Perhaps that’s the great thing about science — there is always more to do.  Depressing?  Maybe.  Exciting?  Definitely.  Perhaps I am insane for being so upbeat right after obsessing for weeks over that stupid document that no one will ever read.  But I guess I can say that my graduate experience has been a COMPLETE success, because I’ve acquired the wisdom that I really know nothing at all.

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Chapter 6:  Overview

Regulation of ADAR1 is a complex process involving multiple promoters [115, 120, 121], alternative splicing [115, 117], SUMOylation [131], and presumably proteolytic degradation [123]. During our study of ADAR1 biology, we learned much more about how ADAR1 is regulated and processed. This chapter describes a diverse range of experiments that although seemingly unrelated, were all motivated by one simple question: “Where are all the bands on the gel coming from?” Needless to say, I spent a great deal of time trying unsuccessfully to answer that question and in the process created more bands on the gel and even more questions. The projects described here are by no means finished, and I don’t wish it upon anyone to ever try to complete them. However, I hope the results summarized in this chapter serve as a reminder to the chosen few people who ever try to comprehend these pages that, with ADAR1, as in life, anything is possible.

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