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  • samrodriques

Protocols are long (and full of horrors)

I think the reason automating science is hard is that protocols often have 20+ steps; but each individual step will fail or require modification in 5% or 10% of cases. So the probability you get all the way through without having to modify in some way is basically 0.

E.g. in cloning, everyone has a design workflow they prefer, but any individual plasmid will usually require some modification in the design process. E.g. maybe the sequence isn’t available on Addgene, maybe the restriction site you want to use is methylated, maybe there are repeats, etc. You can write a script to automate design of any individual plasmid (or maybe any individual backbone), but the same script only rarely works across many plasmids. Everything is an edge case.

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