Framing the Picture

The team at GE Life Sciences was about to shake up the highly manual Western blotting process. But they knew that they faced a formidable competitor: 40 years of habit. While many scientists lamented the laborious and error-prone process, they also secretly prided themselves on the artisanship of mastering this technique. In other words, what some saw as voodoo, they saw as art. Our challenge was to ease an unspoken fear that automating Western blotting would remove the artistry forever.

 
 

The New Art of Western Blotting

Western blotting is akin to an apprentice art form. It requires mastery beyond merely following protocol, perfected only through time and experience. But this process comes at a great cost. It keeps scientists’ energy on the manual process and on the mundane. By routinizing the manual steps, scientists earn a freedom to continue focusing on their own mastery and on real scientific inquiry, giving them even more control over their experiments. This is where art truly meets science.

 
 

Worth a Thousand Words

One of GE’s own prominent scientists, Dr. Nick Thomas, took audiences into his experience as a dedicated nature photographer. His story and empathy for scientists performing traditional blots helped the audience see the benefits in a more automated western workflow. In a beautifully-produced film, Dr. Thomas captures the Catalytic Experience for this campaign.

 
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Any technique that takes a lot of time because it’s got a lot of manual processing, the chances of making a mistake are even higher.
— Dr. Nick Thomas