Sandrine is going to scream.
She's going to come in to work tomorrow all happy and eager to look at her fabulous data from her first really successful run on the machine we call Felix. She's going to move the mouse to wake up the screen.
And it's going to tell her: "Disconnected. Please log in."
And then we'll hear it.
This thing is supposed to work. It's supposed to be robust enough that even if you get a third of the data possible that's still way more than you need.
Uh-huh. We've been dealing with it for a year. We've had this problem and that problem, problems at the beginning, problems at the end, problems of human error, problems of bad reagents, and, mostly, problems nobody ever figured out. But for the most part, as we've gained experience and the gestures have become familiar, the experiments have been getting better, and this time we were there. Everything was coming together.
It takes two weeks of bench work to put together one run for Felix, and about $10,000 in reagents alone. The run takes about 7 hours, and after the first half hour there was enough data to confirm that, yes, we had more data than ever before. Good, shining, clean data. The techs went home happy, dreaming of publishing at last.
After 90 minutes I moved the mouse to wake up the screen and look at the beautiful data streaming by, twinkling in millions of microscopic points of light. A flash of the datascreen, and then "System disconnected. Please log in."
Munich, we have a problem.
The machine is still turning, going through the motions. It's just not collecting the data as it goes by. All our beautiful sequence data, read aloud into the night with nobody to listen.