My boss once told me that research biology is basically long stretches of depression broken up by short-lived feelings of minor relief. I'm in one of the former. I am imaging a cell line that supposedly has defects in mitosis. It seems to be the case because I can see a lot of multinucleate cells on the slide, which is an indication that something's going hooey (which is what we want to see), but every cell I have sat and watched go through mitosis (a process that takes about an hour) has gone through a division so normal that it could be put in a textbook. Pretty, but useless.
To try and refine the search for the messed up cells, we co-transfected with a reporter construct that glows red and therefore, allows us to find them pretty easily. Unfortunately, the reporter didn't take so well and there are about five red cells on the entire slide; none of which have ventured out of interphase.
On a brighter note, because imaging requires a computer, my minesweeping skills are razor-sharp at this point.