, 11 tweets, 4 min read Read on Twitter
Excited to hear the story of GFP by Nobel laureate Martin Chalfie! #livetweet
Chalfie: 3 myths of scientists:
1. Scientists are geniuses
2. Scientists’ experiments work all the time (because they’re geniuses)
3. Scientists always make a hypothesis, test it, and verify it
4. Scientists work alone
5. Scientists are all white men
Dr Chalfie is a huge supporter of preprints @biorxivpreprint ! 🤩 He advocates using journal clubs to discuss preprints, then assemble comments to send back to the authors. The advantages of doing that:
Dr Chalfie humbly describes all the gene expression visualization techniques that existed before his invention of GFP gene reporters!
Osamu Shimomura tried everything to extract luminescent Aequorea victoria compounds. Everything failed! But one day he accidentally threw everything in the sink and it glowed! Turns out it was calcium from seawater. Here he accidentally made the first calcium signalling reporter
Chalfie: “turns out that throwing things in the sink, on the floor - wherever - are tried-and-true scientific methods” 😂😂😂
Douglas Prasher had cloned the cDNA of GFP a few years ago. Ghia Euskirchen’s lab notebook a month after she had started grad school: she put the DNA into bacteria and showed they glowed!

Chalfie: “a really rare example of an experiment that worked the first time”
Chalfie: “there were at least 3 other labs that were trying the same thing at the same time, but it didn’t work for them. I think it was because the other labs were being rigorous and we were sloppy”
The first submission was rejected without review from @sciencemagazine because the editor “didn’t like the title”. So Chalfie changed the title to the long one. Then it was accepted. Then the copy editor asked him to shorten. It’s now published as that final version 🤪
Chalfie debunks the myths of science using the GFP story as an example:
Dr Chalfie shares his lessons learned in his journey:
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