I do understand how you feel. I used to be in almost same situation like you (oh...again...LOL).
My lab used to purchase a bacteria strain around 10 years ago (I call it bacteria b.c). It had been distributed for so many generations of postgraduate (for so many different labs as well) before it comes to my hand. I use this bacteria as my reference controlled strains for my pcr, and I had designed few pairs of primers based on the deposited genomic of "bacteria b.c" but none of it seems to work even after numerous troubleshooting. Initially I thought was my design error, and of course I wasn't satisfied. I do feel that this is not "bacteria b.c" and I had told my boss about it. Without thinking, my boss directly saying I'm wasting time and being not productive, and was saying all the labs around using this strain and couldn't be wrong, and if anything wrong then should be either my design or my technique. My boss was then get all the strains back from the labs she used to give to and asked me to work with those. My boss even claimed that I actually had contaminated my stock due to my poor techniques. My primers also doesn't even worked on those strains either. I almost gave up, and I told myself to do my last try by using nearly 20 of the archive clinical strains of "bacteria b.c". Amazingly, my primers work in 18 out of 20 of the archive strains! (and I even found that the morphology of the so-called-reference-strain was different with all the archive slinical strains)
In order to further convince my boss, I do 16sRNA sequencing for bacteria identity confirmation of all the not working "bacteria B.c". apparently, all the "not working" ones are actually not "bacteria b.c" and was something else. I tell my boss with evidence that this is not "bacteria b.c" and is something else, and the senior postgraduate approximate 10 years ago had made a mistake by subculture it wrongly and distribute the strains to others. For all these years no work was done by anyone to re-confirm the strains identity. Everybody was assuming it was the correct "bacteria b.c" and use it in their research, until I found out it wasn't "bacteria b.c" they use all these while. Now, is up to my boss to inform everyone, but I don't seems that this had been done.
As you already known, a whistle-blower will rarely have a good ending. Is true that I was graduated from a university which had less accreditation from the present one. I was questioned for my credibility to run project by saying "you are not credible enough to do things on our own yet" without take count of my exposure of working in 3 labs prior joining this. people had advice me to leave after heard my situation. Is always my dream to get a postgraduate degree, even just a master in science, although I got no scholarship due to low CGPA, and this is the only boss who willing to stipend me (although lower amount than scholarships). and that's the reason I stay.
As lab rat said: Do what works best for you. I strongly agree with that.
I wish all the best to you. You are not alone, we all hear you, and we do support you. you can always share anything with us (in bioforum).
Edited by adrian kohsf, 16 September 2010 - 07:15 PM.