"I am pleased to inform you that your paper entitled 'Efficient gene targeting of the ROSA26 locus in mouse zygotes using TALE nucleases' has been accepted for publication."
Ever since I ditched graphic design for a crazy dream about molecular biology, I've been asking myself the same question again and again: "Am I a scientist yet?" I got accepted at the university, but I still had to prove myself by passing exams. I passed exams, but I was still only a student. I joined a research lab, but I was just learning basic methods. "No, not yet" was the answer I would give myself every time.
Now that a paper I'm co-authoring is actually getting published, does that mean I made it? Come to think of it, I never felt like an artist either, so maybe I'll never feel like a scientist. And maybe it doesn't need to matter, I enjoy doing what I do - I'm not excelling at it, I'm not impressing anyone, but I enjoy it. And I think it's kind of a wonderful coincidence that my first paper is on targeted transgenesis - induction of novel traits via genetic modification. It's the fascination with genetic engineering that got me where I am now, after all. Wherever that is.