Excerpt from "Short Protocols in Molecular Biology: Mad Scientist Edition."

Since we were discussing lab work the other day, let's look at it from another angle. How cool would it be to be able to get a "mad scientist" version of a journal or a protocol book? It might go something like this:

* * *

1. Vortex each overnight bacterial culture thoroughly, and transfer 1ml into a clean microcentrifuge tube. HA HA HA! SOON, MY DARLING BACTERIA SOON!!

2. Spin the cells down for 30 seconds at maximum speed in the microcentrifuge. Remove all of the supernatent by pipeting out the last bit of media left. YES... YES... YES!!

3. Add 200ul of STET buffer to your cells and resuspend by vortexing briefly. Then add 20ul of 20mg/ml lysozyme solution in 25mM Tris-HCl, pH8. THEY MAY HAVE MOCKED ME, BUT NOW THEY WILL BE SORRY, SO VERY VERY SORRY!! HA HA HA!!

4. Vortex briefly again, and place tubes in a boiling waterbath for 60 seconds. SOON THE POWER WILL BE MINE!! ALL MINE!!

5. Immediately spin for 5 minutes at maximum rpms in the microcentrifuge. HA HA HA!! THEY WILL PAY!! THEY WILL PAY!!

6. Remove the pellets (predominantly chromosomal DNA) with the flat end of a sterile toothpick. You will find that the pellet will stick nicely to the toothpick without mixing in with the supernatent. Discard the pellet. THE FOOLS! THE FOOLS!!

7. Add an equal volume of ice-cold isopropanol to the supernatent. Mix. Chill for 10 minutes at -20oC. THE IDIOTS SAID IT COULDN'T BE DONE, BUT NOW WE'LL SHOW THEM!! HA HA HA!!!

8. Spin down DNA precipitates for 5 minutes at maximum speed in the microcentrifuge. Wash pellet with 250ul of 70% ethanol. Spin down for 1 minute. Remove the supernatent. THEY'LL BE SORRY THEY EVER DOUBTED ME!!

9. Air-dry the pellets or dry in SpeedVac for 10 minutes. Dissolve the pellet in distilled water or a Tris EDTA buffer. This is your plasmid DNA preparation. HA HA HA!! NOTHING CAN STOP ME NOW. NOTHING, NOTHING I SAY! I... HAVE... BECOME... INVINCIBLE!!

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Don't mock the mad scientists -- they're extremely knowledgeable.

Recently I went on a video binge and watched a lot of old Superman movies, cartoons and TV shows.

I learned that the average mad scientist knows everything there is to know about chemistry, biology, medicine, genetics (especially cloning), geology, metallurgy, archaeology, astronomy, cosmology, nuclear physics, computers, electrical engineering, and -- well, more subjects than I can count. Not only do mad scientists understand all these fields, but they can build devices to make practical use of all this knowledge. The one area where the mad scientist's knowledge frequently seems weak is Newtonian physics, but I guess nobody's perfect.

Any scientist -- not just the mad ones -- can read almost any form of ancient writing, but they often struggle with one particular passage, usually something about a curse. (Psychological block?)

Most importantly, mad scientists hold grudges. If one of them gets mad at you, maybe you'd better brush up on your Newtonian physics. It's their kryptonite.