Lament for a Luminometer

All across the plate they lay in various states of woe
And I wept there in the darkness as I watched the awful show
Apoptosis or Necrosis–’twas impossible to know
If I had a luminometer I could have made them glow.

Was it death by design or were they just not growing?
Senescence or something else? There simply seemed no knowing
In little balls they curled upon the plastic plate
Without a luminometer, I could not know their fate.

If I had a luminometer I could maybe multiplex
A caspase assay that would glow and a reporter I could transfect
To find out what is happening and understand the whole
Oh the lack of such an instrument is wrenching to my soul.

And so I sit, tears streaming, as I gaze upon the plate
And many of my future plans will simply have to wait
It doesn’t really matter if my cells are live or “late”
Without a luminometer, I cannot graduate.

If you are interested in exploring the luminometers we have so honored you can visit this page on the web site.

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Isobel Maciver

Isobel Maciver

Isobel was a graduate of the University of Edinburgh and of Aston University in Birmingham, U.K. She was a technical writer and editor, and manager of the Scientific Communications group at Promega and later went on to manage web page content and publishing. Isobel's ever helpful and serving spirit, her dry Scottish humor and her kind heart will be forever missed by her Promega Connections colleagues.


  1. That is brilliant. I am pretty sure that a literary tribute such as this has ne’er been bestowed upon a luminometer before!

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