Wednesday 3 April 2019 9:15pm
Dr Dawn Coates has won the Faculty of Dentistry a new microscope - with a limerick called ‘Microscopic Blues’.
It’s not just the fact Dr Dawn Coates has won the Faculty of Dentistry a new microscope, it’s the way she won which has faculty staff buzzing.
The Associate Professor in the Faculty of Dentistry won an Australasian-wide writing competition with a limerick titled ‘Microscopic Blues’.
“I was so surprised,” Associate Professor Coates explains when hearing about her win. “But I’m also delighted as it is technology that will really benefit the students within Dentistry.
“Currently, we have a very old microscope in our lab that’s been there forever and a day, it’s going to be great to try something new.”
Associate Professor Coates undertakes research into the cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in tissue growth and remodelling in relation to dental health and disease. The research is varied from using tooth-pulp stem cells to investigating the development of 3D bio-printing for tissue engineering.
"I’d never written a poem before and I thought it was a really good learning experience for both her and I to see that even at my age, I could do something I hadn’t done before."
She decided to put pen to paper after hearing biotechnology company Thermo Fisher Scientific was giving away a new digital microscope to the winner of their competition. To be eligible to win, customers had to submit an image of their current microscope and share a story of their worst microscopy experience.
She discussed the competition at home with her youngest child Kate (12) where the idea of a poem arose.
“I’d never written a poem before and I thought it was a really good learning experience for both her and I to see that even at my age, I could do something I hadn’t done before.”
A spokeswoman for Thermo Fisher Scientific says Associate Professor Coates’ entry was a clear-cut winner and the only poetry.
“It was obvious she had put a lot of thought into her entry.”
The new microscope is an Invitrogen™ EVOS™ M5000 Cell Imaging System. It includes a monochrome digital camera for high resolution fluorescence imaging, a unique and proprietary colour brightfield illumination mode, precision optics, a full suite of fluorescent filters and intuitive software.
A Thermo Fisher Scientific representative is visiting the University today to provide training for the new microscope.
Associate Professor Coates is now penning an addition to her limerick – a “thank you”.
I started my exciting research job
On the bench was a grey coloured blob
It wasn’t big
More like a twig
A microscope with barely one knob
Its cell culture research we do
Not working in a zoo
Research in the zone
Stem cells and bone
No wonder I felt so very very blue
To adjust the inverted light
Move it to the left and the right
Up and down
Even aligned it wasn’t very bright
There was no bracket to engage
Or position a plate on the stage
To make it pan
I move my hand
It’s no wonder it could end in a rage
Cells do look beautiful in my mixture
Do so want to take a lovely picture
Some are round
So much to expound
Alas, there is no camera fixture
Oh to be able to zoom in and out
This could enhance our findings without doubt
Objectives to use
We can’t choose
For now we have to go without
Light adjustments we have none
Makes cell culture no fun
At this rate we will never be done
Please Invitrogen it’s not a toy
But would bring us great joy
And the old one we could DESTROY
No, a museum piece it would make
Please please give us a break
For a new microscope we really do ache
The students would all come
They would no longer be glum
Happy at last
Research would then really hum