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10 Ways to Use Your “Dr” Title for Good and Evil

So you might be wondering why you bothered with all those years of failed experiments, committees, over-bearing supervisors, thesis writing, and thesis defending. Well, no matter where life takes you, you can now call yourself “Dr” whenever you want. And that can be more useful than you might think…

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How a Career in Science Prepares you for Parenthood

Science is a career unlike any other. At times it can seem like the tools we gain can’t be used in any other profession. But that is where you are wrong! Unlike other occupations, going to graduate school and/or devoting your life to science actually prepares you for parenthood – in case you were worried…

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Our 12 Favorite Science Podcasts

Whether you’re doing a quick Miniprep or labeling hundreds of PCR tubes, listening to science podcasts can help keep you sane, entertained, and informed! With so many podcasts out there, we’ve pulled together this list of twelve great options: 1. 60-Second Science (1 – 2 minutes, updated weekdays) This Scientific American podcast offers quick news about…

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Lifecycle of a Scientific Technique

Research laboratory techniques come and go now faster than ever. What is very cool today will not fly even in a thesis tomorrow. This article provides an overview of the method lifecycle.

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8 Essential Books Every Young Biologist Should Read

It is incredibly important for aspiring young scientists to keep up to date with the scientific literature. We all know that some journal articles are a slog, and critiquing other’s research is often an onerous task. Sometimes it’s good to have a break. What follows is a list of popular science books I have found…

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Christmas gifts for the scientist in your life

Christmas is fast approaching but if you haven’t yet found the perfect gift never fear, there is still time! We’ve put together some of the most fabulous gifts for those of the science persuasion. For the trendy scientist  Have a lady scientist to buy for? Why not splash out and get a gorgeous silk scarf?…

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Top Ten Science Site for Tea-Break Reading

  We all know the feeling, you have a short incubation or time point where there won’t be enough time to start something new or get anything massively productive done, but you can’t just do nothing for 15 min! This tends to be when time-suck websites like Facebook or Twitter take over. Instead, how about…

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Sleigh or Wormhole: Has Santa’s Delivery Method Evolved?

We all know the traditional Christmas Eve scene of Santa flying in his sleigh through the crisp night air, pulled by his troop of reindeers. Over the years, debate has raged in the scientific community as to just how he could be pulling off this feat. We still don’t know how he does it. But…

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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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Don’t Be Arrested for B.I.T.E. (Bunsen Ill-Treatment and Endangerment)!

B.I.T.E., or Bunsen Ill-Treatment and Endangerment, happens every day. In the time since you started reading this article, somewhere out there, a Bunsen burner has been mishandled. This is a dark subject and while some flinch at the thought of discussing it (some stories may be too dark for the public to handle) this writer…

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Six Benefits to Working in the Lab on the Weekend

I used to love working in the lab on Saturdays.  No, I didn’t spend every Saturday in the lab and yes, I did have a life outside of the lab (that’s one reason Saturday work was so great).  But there are some great benefits to working in the lab on the weekend: Beat the commute…

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Seven Frivolous Reasons Not to Attend a Conference

Scientific conferences are a peculiar throwback to XIX century, when bearded white men in wool suits were meeting in ale houses to discuss the latest experiment they did at home – once. In our time of instant communication and telepresence, conferences are obsolete and I’ll tell you why. 1. The main reason not to go…

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The Bio Laboratory Olympics

What better way to commemorate an Olympic year than to have your very own Lab Olympics? Lab Olympics can boost lab morale when it is low or inject some fun into your daily routine*. If you work in a large lab it is even better; you can pit guys against girls, postdocs against PhD students…

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My Fifteen Favorite Things To Do In The Lab

What is my most favorite task to do in the lab? Good question; it’s difficult to pick just one, so here are (quite) a few of my favorite things: 1. Working in a team This is what makes research great: in teams, numerous projects can be completed more quickly than what a single person may…

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Back to the 80s: The Top Ten 80s Songs for Your Lab Playlist

It’s like, no duh…the decade of the Rubik’s cube, E.T., big hair and shoulder pads, is making a comeback. Like Rocky rising against Clubber Lang (“You ain’t so bad!”), the buoyant 80s is fighting its way back into modern pop culture. With 80s-themed shows like “The Goldbergs” and the welcomed return of Michael J. Fox…

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When Dr Harry met Dr Sally

Logically and statistically, a lab romance (= a romantic relationship between members of one lab) should not work. Most relationships fail sooner, rather than later and working in the same lab will be extremely awkward after the split, which is rarely amicable. And even when the lab romance does work becoming a long term relationship,…

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Looking Forward to a New Year in the Lab

A new year has arrived! After the ordeal of Christmas lunches and pretending that you liked that photo frame made from seashells, it is time to return to the lab and get ready for another series of ordeals in the coming months. Here are a few things that are on my mind at the beginning…

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We Learn a Wee Bit More about Proteins—from Wii

About thirteen years ago, a group of science journalists gathered in a darkened lab at Rice University in Houston, Texas. The lights went off, and the participants took turns donning a clunky helmet with darkened visor. By moving the right thumb, each helmet-wearing reporter suddenly was whisked down the middle of protein ribbon, twisted through…

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Feed Your Head: Books for Scientists and Their Loved Ones

Over the past year, we’ve published several book reviews on BitesizeBio. With the holidays approaching, we thought this would be a good time to highlight some of our favorite science reads. Why not add a few to your shopping list – a gift for a friend, or maybe yourself? Read on for our recommendations!  …

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Competition!! Join us for the Bitesize Bio Blowout

I’ve always liked December, mainly because Christmas and my birthday fall in that month. But this December we are also celebrating moving into the Rolls-Royce of office spaces, at Nine, The BioQuarter in Edinburgh (photo above). This puts us right in the heart of the bioscience community in Edinburgh and turns the Scottish Centre for Regenerative…

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Book Review: the PhD Comics Strip Collection series

Everyone who’s doing a PhD knows the emotional turmoil you go through. Who among us hasn’t felt the following?: a)     Anxiety? b)     Depression? c)     An inability to relax? d)     Frustration at your equipment/experiments/supervisor/idiot student you’re mentoring who used up all the expensive antibody? e)     All of the above… f)      …and more? Well I certainly felt…

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Molecular Cooking: How to Apply Science in the Kitchen

Rumour has it that many people who work in a lab enjoy cooking. And, when asked by a non-biologist family member how they spend their days in the laboratory, molecular biologists might answer that doing experiments is similar to cooking. Apart from the organisational parallels that can be drawn between following a protocol and a…

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Science Really Can Be All Fun And Games!

If there’s something I love more than science, it’s the internet.  The way it brings information and people together is astounding! There is also huge potential for the internet to be used for good.   One application that I find fascinating is crowd sourcing to engage people in research – using vast numbers of people from…

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Tango Therapy

“While I dance I can not judge, I can not hate, I can not separate myself from life. I can only be joyful and whole. This is why I dance.” – Hans Bos While in graduate school, I tried really hard to find an activity that would allow me to disassociate my body from my…

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Top 10: Worst Lab Smells

Time for a bit of fun. Here are my top 10 worst lab smells, in reverse order. Please share your worst smells in the discussion! 10. I’ll start off gently with Latex Gloves. Not truly a offensive smell, just a little off-putting 9. Ever stewed a turnip for far too long? No. If you did,…

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BioPop Rap Battle: Who Got Your Vote?

Back in November 2010 we had a competition between Tom McFadden and Science Rapper and we asked you to vote for your favourite red-hot rapper. They were both absolutely brilliant, and certainly caused a stir amongst the social media channels. And the winner is… drum roll please… Your votes decided that the winner is Tom…

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When Science Meets Music – it takes two to tango…

There are differently colored knots woven into our social fabric where music and science are interweaved. In this article I’ll touch on some intriguing and/or amusing examples that recently caught my attention. Music and pathology (‘musical healing’) Music has the ability to pleasure us in the most pervasive ways. Simply put, it makes us feel…

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BioPop Rap Battle: Tom McFadden vs Science Rapper. Who Gets Your Vote?

Get ready for a battle between two red-hot rappers who have smashed onto the BioPop scene in the last year. Introducing the Contestants Tom McFadden Tom McFadden, a former Stanford biology course instructor-turned scientific communicator  emerged from the California BioPop scene (BioRap branch) with his hit single Regulatin’ Genes, which saw him featured in national newspapers like The…

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Tiny, Tragic Lab Pleasures

John’s comment on Jode’s recent article here on Bitesize Bio: “Good idea on marking the rotor for 3 tubes Jode. One of those tiny (perhaps tragic) pleasures is when you drop the 3 tubes in quickly and get in spaced perfectly first time. Because usually its drop them in and then move one tube 1…

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Kids Read Science Summer Reading Contest 2010

Joanne Manaster is a woman on a mission. She loves science and she wants to introduce kids to everything there is to love about science. So this summer, her mission is to stimulate the minds of children and teens everywhere by challenging them to read non-fiction science books. In collaboration with Jeff Shaumeyer, program director of  www.scienticity.net, she has organized a…

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Murphy’s Law in Science

Murphy’s law states that anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.  Nowhere is this law more abundantly evident than in the life of a scientist.  Here are just a few of the examples that I’ve witnessed: if you drop one tube from the whole rack, it will be the one that contained your most…

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A Story of the Naturally Obsessed

Some time back, Suzanne wrote a really funny article full of ideas for reality TV shows for scientists, and one idea a reality show showing everday life in the lab. About a few days back one a friend of mine twittered me a link to a documentary film shot by Richard & Carole Rifkind. Richard…

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Yonder Biology: Bringing Science to “Mom and Dad”

Who is Andy Bass? Answer: A surfing scientist turned businessman from Alabama with a passion for educating the world about molecular biology. Andy is the CEO and founder of Yonder Biology, a brand new biotech company located in northern San Diego county here in California. I had a chance to speak with Andy about his new venture…

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I’m Not That Kind of Doctor: A Guide for Enjoying the Holidays

As a graduate student or a card-carrying PhD, you may have discovered that you unwittingly (and probably inappropriately) have become the authority in your family on all things scientific and health related. For this reason, the upcoming holiday season might harbor some additional family-related stress for you. Before you shout “I’m not that kind of…

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Gift Ideas For The Scientist In Your Life This Christmas

It’s that time of year again. The time when you have to fit in buying holiday gifts among the hundred other things you need to do at work and at home. Coming up with cool ideas or the “perfect gift” is a challenge for busy people with too much on their plate already. To help…

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The Microbiology of Food

The fourth Thursday of November marks the annual tradition in the U.S. called Thanksgiving. Originally, Thanksgiving was a religious holiday that has sinced turned secular and became a national holiday in 1941. Now, for families celebrating Thanskgiving, it is a time to cook a whole lot of food and eat way too much pumpkin pie.…

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Reality TV for Scientists

It seems there is a reality TV show for virtually every type of person or profession. From Alaska king crab fishermen to surviving the outdoors to living the life of a privileged housewife, you name it and there is a show about it. So why not a show on the challenges and antics of people…

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A Grad Student, a Postdoc, and a Professor are Walking…

A grad student, a post-doc, and a professor are walking through a city park and they find an antique oil lamp. They rub it and a Genie comes out in a puff of smoke. The Genie says, “I usually only grant three wishes, so I’ll give each of you just one.” “Me first! Me first!”…

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Dance, Scientists, Dance!

Are you the sort of scientist who taps her toes while working in the laboratory? Didn’t I see you pirouette on your way to the fume hood? In fact, doesn’t your entire scientific career feel like one big dance?

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