During this hectic time, it's nice to have a labmate who is willing to inject some whimsy into the most tedious experiments. We're currently immortalizing mouse embryonic fibroblast cells. These are skin cells taken from mouse embryos that we use for a lot of different cell culture based experiments in our lab. The problem is, primary cells (i.e., cells harvested from a donor animal) don't keep growing forever, so eventually you have to go back and collect more from new mice. In "immortalizing" the cells, we're selecting for cancer-like cells that will keep on dividing and dividing and dividing indefinitely, making our lives easier and requiring the use of fewer mouse embryos in the future.
So, naturally, my labmate and I gave this experiment a Mortal Kombat theme, and named each dish of cells after a different character from the video game. Which line of cells will be the champion?!
I'm personally rooting for Goro. Look at that dude! Talk about an interesting model system.