Wednesday, April 22, 2015
Pressure Limits for Assignment Completion in SJ Cells
The recently discovered SJ (stressed Juan) cells found in MIT environments play a vital role in the completion of assignments in academic ecosystems, but the circumstances under which the cells will occasionally cease normal function are not well understood. While SJ cells are adapted to high-pressure environments, their assignment completion capacity becomes inconsistent and error-prone when submitted to unusually high pressures for extended periods of time. In order to better understand the pressures at which SJ cells will experience significant productivity loss, SJ cells were transfected with Mod2-Assignment (the longest known protein) coding plasmid and examined for Mod2 expression under various high-pressure environments for a one-week time period. Our findings showed SJ cell assignment-completion capacity to be compromised after only five days at stress levels as low as 10 gigaRedBulls based on the production of Mod2 protein with a misfolded and truncated "Bibliography" C terminus and several errors in translation throughout the polypeptide chain. We suspect that producing altered versions of Mod2 is an SJ cell defense mechanism, as Mod2 protein is known to degrade and become increasingly toxic if kept within the cell membrane for long without being "turned in" to its environment. This data is extremely useful for future applications of knowing how much pressure to apply to SJ cells used the assignment-production industry, and can allow us to place cells in an environment with enough pressure to maintain productivity while allowing them to retain their function.
Intricate metaphors aside, I can confidently say that during my 30-hour adventure with the Mod2 research article, I learned several useful lessons. I learned how fulfilling it can be to do an experiment from start to finish, gather a large pool of data, and pick from it something that can answer the questions that we asked ourselves at the beginning of the experiment. I also learned that it is easy to become lost in the pursuit of a beautiful, elegant analysis of your data and wander a dark, spooky forest of science for days crossing roads that you had already crossed, getting nowhere, and finally settling for your initial analysis after all. It was truly humbling to experience how much work has to go into writing a journal article, and although I finally submitted the paper in a crazed panic at 4:59 PM a day after the due date knowing there were errors in my paper, I feel enriched by the solidarity I found with my classmates, the lab experience I got out of this project, and the quality practice I received in interpreting data. I am excited to apply this experience to Module 3 and redeem myself.