Donut Day in the Cohen Lab

Mary Poppins sang that a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down. This morning, we sang that a dozen John’s donuts helps the Washington University in St. Louis Institutional Biological & Chemical Safety Committee Protocol go down, and an additional spoonful of sugar helps that lengthy name go down.

Around the rooster’s crow, Barak, Max, Clarice, and Jeff gathered round a table piled high with past protocols, laptops, safety certificates, and a hearty collective knowledge ranging from the origins of reporter genes to the dangers of graphite in space. And then there were the donuts. Our lab has a storied tradition of sweetening unpleasant days with samplings of St. Louis’ fabulous donut scene. For RNA extractions, we grab a dozen from World’s Fair. For library preparation, we grab a dozen from Vincent Van Doughnut. For Clarice’s seven-hour-long marathon of a practice talk, we grab a dozen from Strange. And for the latest effort in maintaining a safe and accountable lab, we grab a dozen from John’s.

Perched next to our venerable coffee source, the four toiled as the sun progressed across the sky. Time’s passing was marked only by the regular flow of fellow scientists, coming to refill their receptacles with the dark brown life fuel that surely represents far too high of a proportion within our electrolyte-deficient bloodstream. Some offered sympathies, while others jealously eyed the donuts. The latter group hoped to only experience the sweet without the accompanying sour.

As the crescent moon rose on the horizon, the protocol neared complete. The four, splitting the final donut into quarters, each raised a piece in cheers to renewed safety and accountability. And quickly retired from lab to find some vegetables.