Dr Nick Oswald

Bitesize Bio
After obtaining his PhD from the Dundee University School of Life Sciences, Nick Oswald moved into to industry, first working in a small team that designed Sophion Bioscience’s prototype Q-Patch system and then developing industrial bioprocesses with Ingenza Ltd. His time at the bench gave him the feeling that a) he would like to move into writing and publishing and b) he had something to offer in helping researchers to share their professional know-how to make science more efficient, more successful, and more enjoyable to be a part of. So while still working in the lab in 2007 he started BitesizeBio.com and began writing about what he knew himself. His first article was titled “5 DNA Ligation Tips” and was quickly followed by further articles about laboratory techniques soft skills and life skills gleaned from his experience in the lab. As researchers found his articles on Google, some came forward to contribute their expertise in articles and so began the growth of Bitesize Bio into the huge and vibrant knowledge-sharing community it is today. Bitesize Bio became Nick’s full-time job in 2010 but prior to that, while growing Bitesize Bio, he cut his teeth in publishing and marketing with stints of work with Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press and the journal, Neuroendocrinology. These days Nick is focused on the further growth and improvement of Bitesize Bio as a knowledge-sharing hub, other projects within his company Science Squared Ltd, and assisting biotech companies to market their products and services with genuinely useful educational material via Bitesize Bio and the Life Science Marketing Society.

Articles by Dr Nick Oswald

Spare a Thought for the Old Scientists

Spare a Thought for the Old Scientists

You youngsters don’t know how easy you’ve got it. Kits, outsourcing and improved practices are making research easier and easier. At least in theory (who are we kidding?). In the old days things were much tougher, and many wiley old scientists bear the scars, mental and physical, of carrying out techniques that were mind numbing,…

Open Access Publishing Is Not Perfect, Yet

No-one would disagree with the goals of open access publishing: free access to scientific literature for all. If you work in an institution or small company that can’t afford to pay journal subscription fees you’ll know the problems that lack of access can cause. But publishing costs money, and someone has to pay those costs….

Tech Clinic #4: Can a single E.coli take up 2 plasmids?

Tech Clinic #4: Can a single E.coli take up 2 plasmids?

The following question was emailed to Bitesize Bio by Beheroze Sattha and I gladly took up the challenge, and I immediately knew the answer. Or so I thought. After delving extensively into Pubmed, Genes V (I know, I need a new version) and Molecular Cloning I have come up with an answer, but it is…

A Quik Way Around Partial Restriction Digests

A Quik Way Around Partial Restriction Digests

No matter how many times you look at it, it’s not going to change. You are planning your next cloning experiment, but there’s a problem. The only restriction enzyme that cuts in a suitable position on your plasmid vector also, as luck would have it, cuts in another position elsewhere in the vector so you…

The Best Way to Desalt DNA for Electroporation

After ligation, the method you use for desalting your sample prior to electroporation is critical, especially if your ligation is inefficient, according to a study by Schlaak et al [1]. Under standard electroporation conditions, the electric field of 12-18 kV/cm generated in a 0.1mm-gap electroporation cuvette means that the conductivity of the sample must be…

Why You Should Never Trust a Patent

If you search the literature using a comprehensive search engine like Google Scholar, you will get several types of articles listed. Most of them are peer reviewed journal articles and many are patents. But beware of an important distinction between the two: Although patents can contain useful information, they are not authoritative because they are not…

How To Get Great DNA Sequencing Results

There is nothing more frustrating than getting back rubbish data from a DNA sequencing run, especially when you are waiting for an important result. For example, confirmation of that clone you have been trying to get for the past three months! A lot of the time, the quality of sequencing data is within your control….

Why You Shouldn’t Worry about Getting Results

Why You Shouldn’t Worry about Getting Results

Everyone is worried about getting results, aren’t they? Results are what you need for success in science – they are essential for bringing the funding in. But focusing on results per se is not a good way to work because, as a scientist, you can’t “get” results. You can’t “make” them happen. Essentially in every…

Climb The Career Ladder Faster With These Cover Letter Tips

Cover letters are possibly the most important documents you will write in your career because they can open or close the door to your dream job. But, surprisingly, people often under-estimate their importance and assume that they are just the lesser companion to the CV/resume. Of course, that’s not the case. Your cover letter should…

5 More Tips for DNA Gel Extraction

Problems with DNA gel extraction can be a real show-stopper since this is such a routinely used procedure. But, even if you are having no particular problems, it’s always nice to try and pick up some information that might improve your technique just that little bit. Probably for these very reasons, Suzanne’s article 10 Tips…