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Kristin Harper

Kristin Harper is the founder of Harper Health & Science Communications, a company that provides writing and editing solutions for the biomedical and public health communities. Her passion is helping researchers transfer ideas from their heads onto paper. She has a PhD in Population Biology, Ecology, and Evolution and an MPH in Global Epidemiology from Emory University.

Articles by Kristin Harper:

Free Resources for Teaching Yourself to Analyze Next Gen Sequencing Data

If you’re new to next gen sequencing, figuring out what to do with your results can be a daunting process. Luckily, you’re not alone—plenty of people have been in your shoes, and there is tons of information about data analysis out there. Here are some free resources you can use to get up to speed…

03 Jul 2015 Genomics and Epigenetics

Pathway Analysis for Next Gen Data

Squinting at a long list of significant genes from your latest RNA-seq experiment? Having trouble making sense of the results? You’re not alone. Pathway analysis is becoming increasingly popular because it helps researchers make sense of complex data sets, including those obtained using next gen sequencing techniques. By systematically culling information about biological pathways and…

18 Jun 2015 Genomics and Epigenetics

How to Make Sure Your NGS Results are Robust

Next gen sequencing is a powerful technique, one that now lies at the heart of many scientific projects. This power comes with some special challenges, however, and by recognizing them you can ensure that your NGS results are robust. No one wants to publish findings that other scientists fail to replicate, but unfortunately it happens…

06 Jun 2015 Genomics and Epigenetics

Getting to Know Your h-index

You’re applying for your first tenure-track position, and you’ve heard that your dream department uses something called the h-index to decide who will get interviews. It’s an increasingly common scenario: institutions are now regularly using the h-index to help make hiring and promotion decisions, especially when they have to screen many applicants. For that reason,…

03 Jun 2015 Career Development & Networking

Five Simple Tips to Break Your Dissertation up into Manageable Parts

You’ve got an advisor, you’re done with classes, you’ve finally passed your qualifying exams and your dissertation project is underway. Life is looking good, but it’s not too early to start thinking about how to tackle your dissertation. Chances are this is the biggest writing project you have ever undertaken, so breaking it up into…

15 Apr 2015 Writing, Publishing and Presenting

Five Easy Ways to Reduce Word Count

The NIH grant that you are working on only gives you five pages to describe your research strategy. You’re wrestling with a research report for Science that has a maximum word limit of 2500. And the abstract for the conference you’d like to speak at this spring only allows you 300 words to summarize the…

23 Mar 2015 Writing, Publishing and Presenting

Top Resources for Learning a NGS Programming Language

In my previous article ‘Choosing a scripting language for next gen sequencing: Python, Perl, and more’ I discussed several of the more common programming languages used for next generation sequencing and things to consider when picking which one to learn.  But now that you know WHAT you want to learn, HOW do you go about…

06 Feb 2015 Genomics and Epigenetics

Choosing a Scripting Language for Next Generation Sequencing: Python, Perl, and More

Large amounts of data? Check. Repetitive tasks? Check. If you work with next gen sequencing data, you have probably already realized it’s a good idea to learn a scripting language. But learning a programming language is a major endeavour, and with lots of languages available how do you decide which one to study? And once…

16 Jan 2015 Genomics and Epigenetics

Saying goodbye to 454: how to choose your next NGS platform

The Rise and Fall of the 454 Sequencer  The GS20 454 sequencer, released in 2005, was the first next-generation DNA sequencer to hit the market, and its feats quickly dazzled the scientific community. As new sequencing platforms proliferated, however, many researchers opted for less expensive options and 454 market share fell. About a year ago,…

17 Dec 2014 Genomics and Epigenetics

Beware The Bane of Batch Effects

A promising study on using gene expression to develop personalized treatments for ovarian cancer. A report of surprisingly high levels of differential gene expression among different ethnic groups. The announcement of previously unsuspected levels of physiological diversity in Plasmodium falciparum, the parasite that causes the most deadly form of malaria. What do these three seemingly…

15 Sep 2014 Genomics and Epigenetics

Next Gen Sequencing or Microarray: How to Make the Choice

You’re about to start that big project you’ve been dreaming of for years. You’ve identified a potential miracle compound and want to figure out how it affects gene expression. But how are you going to do it: with next gen sequencing or a microarray? Especially if you are new to this area of research, the…

07 Aug 2014 Genomics and Epigenetics

Ancient RNA: Does Next Generation Sequencing Offer a New Window into the Past?

The wonders of ancient DNA (‘aDNA’) have become so commonplace that they almost cease to amaze. At this point, we’ve sequenced the genomes of Neanderthals, woolly mammoths, and Pleistocene Cave Bears, and each week it seems there are new and exciting aDNA stories in the news. But what about ancient RNA? As we have come…

12 Dec 2013 Genomics and Epigenetics

What To Do When Whole Genome Sequencing Yields Unexpected Results: Is There A One-Size-Fits-All Answer?

Whole genome sequencing (WGS) is becoming increasingly common. Doctors now routinely order it for patients with puzzling diseases. The NHS (National Health Service in the UK) has declared that it will sequence 100,000 genomes over the next few years. Increase WGS…increase ethical questions The direct-to-consumer company 23andme has been experimenting with whole exome sequencing (WES), and another company, DNA…

22 Aug 2013 Genomics and Epigenetics

Next Gen Sequencing Reveals Transposable Elements Can Re-wire Gene Regulatory Networks

In 1983, Barbara McClintock won a Nobel Prize for discovering transposable elements (TEs)– the first woman to solely win the Prize. These genetic parasites can copy themselves and jump around the genome, and, as McClintock showed, when they insert themselves into the right place, they can dramatically change the appearance of their host. Jumping genes…

18 Apr 2013 Genomics and Epigenetics
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