Quantcast

Bioscience Mastery

Experimental Reproducibility: How to Get the Most “Bang” for Your Buck

As scientists, we are trained to design an experiment with the bigger picture in mind; the ultimate goals being to publish quality data and demonstrate scientific rigor. However, sometimes you need to focus on the little things, such as perfecting control and experimental samples, incubation times, and ordering reagents to truly ensure that you obtain…

Read More

Ten Tips for Pipetting the 384-Well Plate

I was so excited to start using 384-well plates for my assays. With so many wells, these plates are useful for testing many conditions in parallel, as required in ELISAs, siRNA library screens, and drug treatment dilutions. However, I quickly learned that pipetting in these plates is more complicated than I thought. This article contains…

Read More

Ways to Pursue Science Careers in Business After a PhD

Obtaining your doctorate is one of the toughest academic and professional tasks that you can take on. The stats on future employment in academic science careers are horrifying at worst or misleading at best. At the same time, many argue that we need more scientists with a PhD.1,2  With these statistics, it might be time to…

Read More

Simple Tips for a Clean(-ish) Lab Drawer

Picture it: 6:00 pm on a Friday night. You have one or more experiments running. Maybe you’re doing a western blot, or following a staining protocol for an immunohistochemistry experiment, or just labeling tubes. But rather than working on active experiments, you’re helplessly searching through the lab drawer for that one pair of forceps, that…

Read More

Top 5 Errors in Pipetting

Pipettes are not just fancy handlebars for your tips, they are essential for precisely measuring and dispensing liquids. These standard ‘tools of your trade’ enable you to accurately repeat experiments, validate results, make important comparisons between projects and eventually publish that outstanding paper. But there are a few pipette pitfalls. And they don’t just trap…

Read More

What the Heck Is “Training Potential,” Anyway?

As a newly-minted PhD, I began my postdoc with wild fellowship dreams. I set a schedule, applying to 1-2 fellowships a month. Research experience and broader impacts were a breeze. Research strategy and specific aims, with help from my new PI, solidified quickly. For weeks, however, my “training potential” document remained empty. At first, I…

Read More

Labs and Casinos: Sisters from Another Mister

Casinos and labs have absolutely nothing in common… or do they? While scientists often dedicate their life’s work to a specific mechanism/protein/etc., those that frequent casinos are also fueled by a desire to get that perfect hand dealt/Keno score/etc. Curiously, several aspects of the laboratory and casino environments are eerily similar. I know, I was…

Read More

How to Become a Bioinformatician

If you want to start a journey towards being a bioinformatician, you must first know the meaning of the term bioinformatics. You will also need to know what bioinformaticians do, and what you need to know to land your first entry level job as a bioinformatician. Most bioinformaticians work within different medical science and health…

Read More

What to Do If You Want to Become a Freelance Writer

A lot of people today are drawn to freelancing and want to become a freelance writer. There are great benefits when you work from home (like doing work in your pajamas) or wherever you feel most comfortable. The appeal is even greater when you count in that you make your own hours and you are…

Read More

How to Get Over Impostor Syndrome as a New Graduate Student

You made it. You got into the grad school of your dreams! You worked hard, you spent hours working on your application, bravely navigated your way through the interview and you now are here. So, why do you feel like maybe you shouldn’t be? Why You Might Suffer From Impostor Syndrome The dreaded impostor syndrome:…

Read More

What Is Reproducible Research?

Once upon a time, I thought reproducible research meant if someone else showed X in a paper, then I should be able to get X in my experiment. However, this actually refers to replication, an important but separate concept. Reproducible research is data analysis that starts with the raw data and arrives at the same…

Read More

How to Foster Lab Cooperation

Research isn’t easy. Not only do you deal with experimental failures and demanding supervisors, you also work with other lab members — people who are under the same pressures and stresses as you. Staff, postdocs, PhD students, and undergrads are often given bench space and a desk and encouraged to sort out the personal side…

Read More

What to Do During That Awkward One-Minute Spin

We’ve all been there. Twiddling our thumbs. Staring off into space. Pacing back and forth. This is the dreaded one-minute spin. If you’ve dabbled in molecular biology, you’ve likely encountered this awkward time. Not exactly enough time to actually do anything else, but when you’ve got nothing to do but wait, one minute seems like…

Read More

5 Digital Tools to Increase Your Productivity in Research

Scientific research is a constant battle against time. Whether it is your Masters, PhD or Postdoc, you always feel the pressure to generate data for external validation. For that, you need to spend your time on the bench and not at the desk, but that can be hard. Unfortunately, non-laboratory tasks occupy a large segment…

Read More

20 Telling Signs You’re a Scientist

According to Bill Nye, “Science rules!” – and I think most of us would agree. We are learning more and more about the world around us each day, as well as about ourselves. But is there a difference between a Science Fan, and a Scientist? Everyone has their own parameters, but below are some that…

Read More

Flashing Red Signs During a Job Interview

In all the stress of having a job interview, it’s easy to forget that it takes more than one to tango. In fact, a job interview is like a new flat mate interview. While your prospective boss and colleagues are interviewing you and assessing your fit for the lab, you should also keep your eyes…

Read More