Discovery in the Lab

Updated on July 9, 2018
LiveFitForLife profile image

Brandon Riederer is an Adjunct Instructor of English at Bryant & Stratton College. He has a M.A. in English from National University.

An aspiring microbiologist—a brilliant graduate student by the name of Stella Cortese—

was on the verge of a groundbreaking scientific discovery. However, what this discovery was exactly

remains completely mysterious to her and the international community.

She simply cannot rationalize the existence of her findings, nor the strange occurrences in her life recently.

She thinks she may be losing it—going mad, obsessing over it—and things have not been the same since.

Even the small things in life—the for sure, always there things—have seemed to have vanished into thin air.

This was odd considering Stella’s hard-lined approach to the scientific method and keen eye for detail

inside the trenches of her university’s lab also applied to life beyond the white coats and microscopes.

At home, Stella was regimented and clean: shoes off before entering, spotless countertops, streakless mirrors and

windows, not a single dirty dish in the sink, not a single magazine, book, candle, coin, crumb, or

miscellaneous tidbit lying astray on her tables. Bed was made, blankets folded, and everything was just so.

Stella also abided by a strict daily itinerary: alarm went off at 5 a.m., morning run from 5:15 a.m. to 6 a.m.,

She would eat breakfast, shower, and give last night’s dinner leftovers to the friendly neighborhood dog—

Some think he is stray but in reality he belongs to all of us.

7 a.m. coffee run to Starbucks. Spare 20 minutes to speak with Patrick—a retired biology professor whose

morning ritual also involves black coffee, a newspaper, and juicy scoops of university gossip.

8 a.m. classes start and occur periodically until 3:30 p.m. consisting of physiology and biochemistry,

ecology and evolution, host-microbe interactions, and genetics and development.

After classes, Stella catches lunch and sits outside the university commons.

She enjoys the company of the birds and she even speaks with them on occasion.

One particular finch is fond of her—meeting her daily to protect her from angry bees and hungry bugs.

Then from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. every weekday night, Stella works on her thesis in the lab with her undergraduate

assistant, Joey: an intelligent and well-intended boy but as geeky and socially awkward as they come;

And as flattering as Stella finds his interest in her, they were never going to be more than friends.

In and out of the lab, this was Stella’s life before her groundbreaking discovery. On the surface, nothing seemed

to change at all. However, the little things—the for sure, always there things seemed to be driving her mad.

The friendly dog ran away, Patrick has been absent from her morning Starbucks routine, Joey has abandoned

his position as her assistant, and even her finch has left her to eat lunch outside the commons alone.

When she reflects on the day everything happened, she cannot seem to figure out where everything went wrong.

She was in the lab studying a peculiar strand of DNA—unlike anything she had ever seen or heard about


This strand of DNA had a genetic similarity index of 98% with almost every known mammal, several hundred

variations of birds, fish, reptiles, and insects. Astonishingly, this strand of DNA was also 96% human.

Upon closer inspection, the chromosomes had the ability to morph to emphasize certain genetic traits.

Stella could not believe what she was had discovered—she thought she made some sort of mistake.

She asked Joey to double check her work; he peered under the microscope, and raised his head in disbelief.

Joey’s face turned scarlet—he looked frightened—“There must be some sort of… contamination.”

Stella refuted and attempted to rationalize with him; she looked back down at the specimen through the lens.

“This hair was plucked from the head of God himself. I can’t believe I am seeing this. Joey, this is real.”


Stella lifted her head and found herself standing alone in her university’s laboratory. Her only companion was a

small spider that scurried towards the small crack at the bottom of the door.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • LiveFitForLife profile imageAUTHOR

      Instructor Riederer 

      2 years ago from Destin, FL

      Excellent! I'm glad you enjoyed it!

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 

      2 years ago from Daytona Beach, Florida

      Most interesting and creative story.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)