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Cristy Gelling

Cristy has a PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics from the University of New South Wales, and a Master of Arts in Professional Writing from Carnegie Mellon University.

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Articles by Cristy Gelling

Three shot glasses and a clear glass bottle containing clear alcoholic liquid to represent the ethanol grades that can be used in the lab

Which Type of Ethanol Should I Use?

By Cristy Gelling | April 22, 2021

Want to know more about ethanol grades commonly used in the lab? We help you make sense of your flammables cabinet with our rundown of the ethanol grades typically used in molecular biology, as well as some important rules for how to use them correctly.

Join the club: Ten benefits of joining a professional scientific society

Join the club: Ten benefits of joining a professional scientific society

By Cristy Gelling | April 10, 2013

If you already spend all day hanging out with other scientists, the last thing you might feel like doing is joining a professional scientific society. With today’s shrinking budgets, you might also start to question whether this line on your CV is worth the membership dues. However, joining societies has many career benefits in addition…

10 Uses for a PhD Thesis

10 Uses for a PhD Thesis

By Cristy Gelling | October 22, 2012

Earning a PhD is something to be proud of. It represents years of hard work and an original contribution to science. And yet, the main product of this labor is a very large, rather dull book that gathers dust on a bookshelf. You will never read it again, nor will your labmates or even your…

An image of monster eyes to depicts how to clean a water bath.

How to Clean a Water Bath (When You Can’t Avoid it Any Longer)

By Cristy Gelling | April 20, 2012

Here’s a quick guide to cleaning and maintenance, to help you overcome your fears of the monsters lurking in your water bath.

Make Better Figures Faster Using Illustrator

Make Better Figures Faster Using Illustrator

By Cristy Gelling | February 6, 2012

Against the advice of journals and printers, many scientists use Microsoft Powerpoint to assemble posters and figures. You should consider upgrading to Adobe Illustrator! For generating scientific figures, Illustrator is more powerful and flexible than Powerpoint and is designed to produce print documents at high quality resolution. This means that journals will stop sending your…

How To Make Figures Right The First Time

How To Make Figures Right The First Time

By Cristy Gelling | January 30, 2012

Collecting the data took several years, writing the paper took several months, assembling the figures took several weeks, and converting those figures to PDFs took a frustratingly long day. You waited a month for the paper to come back from review, then two months re-doing experiments to satisfy a sadistic reviewer. Finally, your paper is…

Danger: You Might be Pipetting Yourself Out of a Job

Danger: You Might be Pipetting Yourself Out of a Job

By Cristy Gelling | November 23, 2011

You might be proud of your pipetting skills (if not, check this article on how to stop pipetting errors from ruining your experiments) and be churning out data faster than a liquid handling robot, but beware… you might also be pipetting yourself out of a job. I almost did. Pain due to pipetting is common.…

How to transfer one SDS-PAGE gel onto two membranes

How to transfer one SDS-PAGE gel onto two membranes

By Cristy Gelling | October 24, 2011

Have you ever wished you could transfer the same SDS-PAGE gel twice? Sometimes, when you are blotting for many different proteins of similar size, stripping and reprobing multiple times can become impractical.  Here’s a simple diffusion transfer method that can be used to generate duplicate membranes from a single gel: Take a glass plate, or…

Train Yourself to Measure OD600 by Eye: An Improved Approach

Train Yourself to Measure OD600 by Eye: An Improved Approach

By Cristy Gelling | October 10, 2011

Back in August I shared my training regimen for guesstimating the OD­600 readings of microbial cultures with superhuman accuracy. Although my method is effective, I will admit that it has two shortcomings: you need to make a separate standard curve for each container type, and guesstimation is not an officially sanctioned scientific method. But now,…

Why You Should waste time chatting at work

Why You Should waste time chatting at work

By Cristy Gelling | September 26, 2011

Sometimes, you just need to put your head down and get some work done.  But if you spend 100% of your work time in that intensely focused state that most people only find when under the threat of a deadline, you could be shooting yourself in the foot. That’s because although everyone needs to be…

Six Fixes For Antibody Co-Elution In Immunoprecipitations

Six Fixes For Antibody Co-Elution In Immunoprecipitations

By Cristy Gelling | August 31, 2011

Do you want to immunoprecipitate (IP) a protein with a molecular weight that is anywhere near 55 kDa or 25 kDa? Then you have an irritating problem to deal with: antibody co-elution. But don’t panic, we have six strategies for dealing with your new problem. The Problem: Typically, the IP antibody is bound to Protein…

How To Train Yourself to Measure OD600 by Eye

How To Train Yourself to Measure OD600 by Eye

By Cristy Gelling | August 1, 2011

I once knew a postdoc who was absurdly accurate at guessing the optical density of microbial cultures. I was jealous – imagine how much time I would save if I could spec my cultures just by looking at them! Since I lacked the innate optical talents required to compete with my friend, I developed a…

Clean-up or Fraud? How to Avoid Photoshopping Your Way Into Disgrace

By Cristy Gelling | July 11, 2011

Thanks to the power of digital imaging software, faking data is a lot easier than doing real science. Clearly the honest majority of us would never deliberately distort the scientific record, but is it possible to stumble into trouble through sheer ignorance? Quite possibly. The line between innocent enhancement and deliberate fraud can be blurry…

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