site:-lab

6

18/4/14

My art assignment #4 - Never seen, Never will. [The assignment]

For almost two years now, I have been working in a biochemistry lab at the Hebrew university in Jerusalem.
I research a protein called p38. It’s a protein that is present in practically every cell in my body and regulates the cell’s stress response. I work with this protein every day. I know the genes that encode it. I know the sequence of amino acids that it contains. there are even some speculations to what it looks like in certain cases and situations. But I have never actually seen it.
I use different methods purify this protein and experiment with it - I stain it with colors I can see, I mark it with radioactive isotopes, I use different chemicals to bind it and expose it to film, that is blackened in response. But all those methods are just pointing to the obvious fact - In order to do the research, I have to ‘see the invisible’.  Which can be both frustrating and magical at the same time.