Concorde Fallacy

It is remarkable how many times the Concorde fallacy is invoked in this job. A lot of work sometimes goes toward projects that you suddenly recognize need to have the plug pulled. Today was the second time in the last year I’ve gotten within two weeks of a proposal deadline and my collaborators and I realized we just didn’t have it all together. Still, some good ideas for collaborative papers emerged from the ashes so it isn’t really “sunk costs”!

The lab is slowly pulling itself back together after our major summer cleaning. It appears that our PCR contamination problem may be associated with the live cultures of crustaceans in the room; at least, whatever it is appears to be airborne contaminant, because we can set up reactions across the hall with the same reagents and pipettors and the reactions are clean. Very strange.

One of many reasons the lab seems so quiet this week is that our summer SUNFIG student, Jesyka Meléndez, has headed home. Despite all the turmoil of the summer, she managed to take a project from basically ground zero all the way up to finding some interesting results about genetic diversity in small populations of the snail Melampus bidentatus on the Georgia coast. When one can go from no research experience to a significant p-value and showing that a species behaves as a metapopulation in less than six weeks, I’d say that person has great potential as a researcher - thanks for your hard work, Jesyka!