What inevitably follows receiving a big data set? Reading…lots of reading. This is especially true right now, since my most recent data set has led me into a whole new world of research that I’m not at all familiar with. And frankly, I’m feeling quite overwhelmed. The pile file system around my desk has been growing out of control, and my brain was swimming last night with new (to me) gene names and metabolic pathways. Most important, however, is the rapid evolution of experimental design taking place right now.
The scary part is I’m not even sure if I’m moving in the right direction. This new pursuit may be a short-lived adventure, after which I’ll clear the currently-expanding area of my brain for other scientific endeavors. Or it could be the launching pad for a future research program. There’s just no way to know right now. And it’s all pretty exciting.
After all, this is what I love about science. This next little path I’m about to wander is a a bit of a gamble. Some people like Vegas, skydiving, horror movies. I like pushing things at the bench for my adrenaline rush – this is my “fix”. And right now I can afford it. I’m still in my postdoc, and my research time isn’t nearly as precious as it will be once I start my own lab. This is my time – to play, to push, to pursue an exciting new path.
It’s why I love this job!