Make Your Excel Worksheets Database Ready

Make Your Excel Worksheets Database Ready

In a previous article (Tips for Constructing Lab Databases in Excel by Emily Crow), BitesizeBio readers began a brief, but spirited commentary on the application of using true databases (MySQL, Access, etc.) versus Excel “databases”. While Excel can be quite useful to organize information (for example, an inventory of reagents, plasmids, laboratory items – even…

What’s Your Idea of Project Management?

What’s Your Idea of Project Management?

Many PhD students conducting their research are not aware of the fact that conducting autonomous research is project management. This assumption is realized by most students only after graduation or in the last year of their studies (a webinar discussing project management will be held this coming May). Because being a technician and a project…

How to manage scientific data: Electronic lab notebooks compared with Google Docs and wikis

How to manage scientific data: Electronic lab notebooks compared with Google Docs and wikis

I write regularly about topics related to electronic lab notebooks over on The electronic lab notebook blog. Nick thought it might be interesting for me to do an occasional post on electronic lab notebooks for Bitesize Bio, so here goes! I thought I’d start with a comparison of electronic lab notebooks with wikis and Google…

Your No.1 Time Management Lesson: Just Say No

Your No.1 Time Management Lesson: Just Say No

Research is a challenging field that demands a tremendous amount of skill and dedication.  We are required to be creative but logical, independent but team players, innovative but grounded, proliferative but focused.  This balancing act requires not only a very broad set of skills and talents, but also the ability to manage it all with…

Will the iPad Replace Your Lab Notebook?

Will the iPad Replace Your Lab Notebook?

The release of the iPad this week may bring the long-expected replacement of the paper-bound lab notebook by electronic notebooks one step closer. But are scientists, particularly PIs, comfortable with electronic lab notebooks? The rise of the tablets The concept of an electronic lab notebook isn’t anything new, and even the idea of implementing it…

How To Prevent Other People’s Mistakes from Affecting Your Work

How To Prevent Other People’s Mistakes from Affecting Your Work

Chances are, in the course of your scientific career, you will encounter a common problem in research: losing time due to someone else’s mistake. Whether the problem is an incorrect strain or plasmid given to you by another lab, incorrectly made buffers or media from within your own lab, or, in the most extreme case,…

10 Things You Must Do Before Starting a New Project

10 Things You Must Do Before Starting a New Project

Rushing and overloading yourself in science is common, even normal. Surprisingly it is considered as an admirable aspect of “scientific flair” in some quarters. And the sad fact is that it is an ingrained part of the scientific landscape. But is this the best way to do things? Should you allow yourself to succumb and…

Help! Excel Transmogrified My Gene Names!

Help! Excel Transmogrified My Gene Names!

I love that word. Transmogrified. It sounds like something Rob Grant and Doug Naylor, the writers of the sci-fi comedy series, Red Dwarf, would make up. As in, “Kryten and I were transmogrified into another time dimension”. Anyway, enough of 80’s cult TV shows. If you are still with me after the last two articles…

How to: Keep your data organized

How to: Keep your data organized

Talented, enthusiastic scientist required. Must have good organizational skills.Do you fit the bill? With the pace of molecular biology and biochemical research quickening year on year, the importance of good organization and planning skills for researchers is becoming increasingly important. Here are 5 ways to ensure that your data is organized and easily analyzed, samples…