Jason Erk's Profile

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How to be an Excellent Scientific Leader

It’s often said that great leaders have a knack for bringing out the best in those that follow. In turn, followers enjoy the work they do and will take the initiative to soar far above and beyond what is asked of them. A less effective scientific leader may unknowingly squander potential that might have flourished […]

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In Dealing with Fellow Scientists 21st of September, 2016
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Strengths and limitations of your Nanodrop

Quantifying a DNA, RNA or protein sample concentration is now as easy as a click of the pipette, a push of a button and a dab of tissue to clean up. Here’s what you need to know about a few of the strengths and limitations of your Nanodrop – before you set up. Take a […]

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5 Funny Things I Have Seen in the Lab

Given enough time, even the worst rookie research disasters seem amusing. It’s a comedy of errors that test our wit and our patience, but ultimately leave a lifelong impression on how to try experimentation a little bit differently the second time around. With that said, here are 5 brief stories of amusing things I’ve witnessed […]

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In Lab Safety 12th of October, 2015
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12 Top Tips for Working in Your Cell Culture Hood

Whether you’re about to become keeper of the cells, or are just passing through to run a pilot study, knowing how to use the biosafety cabinet is just as essential as knowing how to use the fume hood when working with non-crawling, chemical reagents. We’ve seen a brief protocol for how to use the biosafety […]

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In Cells and Model Organisms, Lab Safety 11th of March, 2015
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10 Top Tips When Working With Your Fume Hood

Little chemical, BIG SMELL: Leave it to a pinch of beta-mercaptoethanol to overpower the lab. While not every chemical has such a pungent reminder about where it should be handled (hint: not at the bench), a good rule of thumb is to make use of your chemical fume hood whenever possible! We looked recently at […]

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In Lab Safety 25th of February, 2015
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Beginners Guide to Fume Hoods and Safety Cabinets

As with any experiment, choosing the right personal protective equipment is essential. In this series we’ll take a look at what different types of hoods add to your arsenal of PPE, what they do and how you can benefit by using them. First, why do I even need a hood? It’s common to run a […]

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In Lab Safety 28th of January, 2015
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Deciphering your Materials Safety Data Sheet

For all the chemical reagents that we may use on a daily basis, there are many for which we still need to learn how they work and what they can do. Thankfully, for a good majority of chemicals (especially the ones in our lab!) there IS a lot that we can understand because of the […]

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In Lab Safety 12th of November, 2014
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The Dos and Don’ts of Weighing Dangerous Chemicals

A lot of chemical reagents are relatively nonhazardous. But there are just as many that are extremely hazardous, which means you’ll want to take precautions to reduce any risk of exposure, repeated exposure and of course, accidental contamination of anything – or anyone – that walks out of the lab at the end of the […]

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In Basic Lab Skills & Know-how 12th of November, 2014
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Safe and sound: Gloves, goggles, gowns (and more lab safety basics)

The longer you work in research, the greater chance you have of witnessing – or experiencing first hand – a hazardous situation that can lead to an accident. These are the moments that are passed down to future scientists as scary, funny, or “I can’t believe how bad that situation could have been!” stories with […]

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In Lab Safety 5th of November, 2014
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Starters and Finishers: Who are the Most Valuable in the Lab?

Life seems to smile often on the work of the Starters. They pitch one idea after another and get to claim all the credit, whilst depending on others – namely the Finishers – to complete the job. Starters: Of course you’re ready. Let’s go! A Starter is the kind of person who jumps at the […]

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In Fun Stuff 3rd of September, 2014