Microbiology Poetry - Cooking up a PCR

June 14, 20090 comments

On a cruise into the moonlit night
Kary Mullis had a flash of insight
‘Eureka!’ he cried in supreme delight
a Nobel prize almost gleamed in sight
Coz the wonderful idea of PCR was conceived in his mind!

PCR was my guide’s inspiration
Coz it could fulfill her aspiration
Of diagnosing the ever elusive bugs of neuroinfection
I accepted her idea for my thesis sans any hesitation
Though she did not notice my beads of perspiration!

I set out to work almost overnight
Bubbling with energy to get the PCR recipe right
T’was not just to please my guide
But to triumph over the wily microbes’ might
And flush them out of their hiding site

The target DNA of the disease causing bug was identified
Primers n free nucleotides tossed in, a dash of salts (MgCl2, KCl) stirred in
And was seasoned with Taq polymerase derived from exotic hot springs
I watched with bated breath as the recipe smouldered and simmered
Voila! The DNA got amplified and the culprit was in my grip

PCR was ‘magic’ as long as everything was done with utmost care,
I sniffed the air and was miffed if amplicons were in the air
And let me confess, I had to tear my hair in despair
When I had to clean up all the cooking ware
That was the time I felt life was oh so unfair!

I may win no medals for this 5 year long activity
But the encouraging pat from my seniors ‘n constant support of peers
The pleasure of diagnosing an elusive bug in time to start therapy
And the joy of giving a lease of new life to a child in agony
No statuette can ever sum up this ecstasy!

- Dr. Reeta Mani

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