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SKennedy

Suzanne is Director of R&D at Mo Bio Laboratories in California, and the author of their blog, The Culture Dish. She has a PhD in Microbiology and Immunology from Virginia Commonwealth University.

Articles by SKennedy:

When Your Partner is NOT a scientist

A recent  article published by The Scientist called Power Couples gave advice and examples for scientist couples who have successfully balanced their life at home and in the lab.  It was interesting from the perspective of how two very busy and career motivated people work together to have it all: raise a family, run a lab, and stay in love…

24 Mar 2010 Personal Development

Tech Clinic #5: Copy Number Determination for Plasmid Standard Curves

We received the following question from Bitesize Bio reader, Beheroze Sattha. It relates to a problem with absolute quantification using plasmids for standard curves. Since many people use this technique it is an interesting one question for us to explore, and it also gives us a great opportunity to cover some important tips for performing…

10 Mar 2010 DNA / RNA Manipulation and Analysis

A role for cannabinoids in slowing down HIV

We all are very familiar with the effects of cannabinoid receptor stimulation on the body. Relaxation, pain relief, and increased appetite probably come first to mind. These psychoactive effects result from activation of  the CB1 receptor found on cells in the brain by tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). But there is another receptor, called CB2, that can bind THC and other…

01 Mar 2010 Of Interest

Is Peer Review Broken?

This past week I found myself asking this question quite a few times. What is going on with the peer review process? Is anyone actually reviewing the papers getting into journals anymore? This is due to some recent experiences I’ve had with papers published in both the larger highly reputable journals and smaller niche journals…

23 Feb 2010 Taming the Literature

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…

01 Feb 2010 Fun Stuff

RTFP (Read the F*****g Paper)

When I worked in technical service for a well known biotech company, I have to confess that we often used a certain phrase in the frustration of dealing with calls from angry scientists ranting about a problem they were having with a kit because, as it turned out, they didn’t read the manual. “Read the F***ing…

18 Jan 2010 Taming the Literature

What Conferences Will You Attend in 2010?

Happy New Year! Now that 2010 has begun, it’s a good time to start thinking about how you want to spend your travel money (or which meetings you want to nudge your PI about spending their travel money on for you). So to help you plan, here is a list of the bigger, more popular conferences in the…

04 Jan 2010 Writing, Publishing & Presenting

Scientists. Do You Believe in God?

Perhaps at no other time of year like the winter solstice is the mixture of religious beliefs and daily life more intertwined.  Most people, regardless of race and country of origin, come from a faith that believes in God or a Higher Power. As scientists, it is a widely held belief that we do not…

21 Dec 2009 Inspiring & Thought Provoking

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…

03 Dec 2009 Fun Stuff

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.…

25 Nov 2009 Fun Stuff

Be The Golden Child In Your Lab

In a previous article, I listed some ways that people annoy their co-workers and many of you added some of your own pet peeves. Now I would like to discuss some ways to be the lab favorite, also known as the “golden child”. Does your lab have a “golden child”? Someone who is always perfect,…

09 Nov 2009 Dealing with Fellow Scientists

The Perfect Learning Tool for Science: Video

I don’t need to tell you that you can find (virtually) everything you need to know on the internet — encylopedias are a thing of the past. Now, you have an app for that on your phone. You don’t even need to wait to get home. So it makes total sense that for science, we…

05 Nov 2009 Writing, Publishing & Presenting

10 Ways to Piss Off Your Co-Workers

Every day you go into the lab and you spend the 8-14 hours with the same group of people. And when you spend that much time with people, bench to bench, for anywhere from 3-6 years, you really need to learn how to get along. Usually, after some time, most people learn the rules of…

16 Oct 2009 Dealing with Fellow Scientists

Better Than Betaine: PCR Additives That Actually Work

If you’re like many researchers, problems with PCR amplifying high GC DNA templates will be a major annoyance for you.  Many strategies developed to overcome this issue. Betaine is the most common PCR additive used to enhance amplification of GC rich sequences because of its ability to dissolve secondary structure that blocks polymerase action.  But…

30 Sep 2009 PCR, qPCR and qRT-PCR

Read This Before You Design Those qPCR Primers

qPCR is a technique used daily in most labs, but the first step, designing your primers, can be the biggest obstacle to even getting started. Without a good pair of primers, you can’t start asking the real questions and generating data.  And sometimes the effort involved in optimizing an assay for high efficiency and sensitivity can be…

21 Sep 2009 PCR, qPCR and qRT-PCR

The Role of the FDA in Molecular Diagnostics

When was the last time you had to give blood or a swab sample for a test, such as for a cold or flu, or some other virus? Have you ever wondered about the accuracy of the test results? If the test is FDA approved, then you can rest easy knowing that the test went…

08 Sep 2009 Of Interest

The Amazing Race: Pathogen Detection and Quantification

Each winter, the flu season peaks in January as new strains of virus emerge and spread among school age children, elderly and immunocompromised members of the population. Diagnosis of flu, and other infectious diseases, puts serious strain on public health labs.  But the intense pressure to handle more samples faster is driving development of new innovative…

25 Aug 2009 Inspiring & Thought Provoking

It’s Like Getting RNA From a Blood Sample

So you have some blood stored in the -20C or -80C and you want to isolate RNA from the samples. If you wanted DNA, you would have many products to choose from. But for RNA, your choices are more limited. Obtaining RNA From Frozen Blood is Difficult Why is that?  The reason is that most RNA from…

04 Aug 2009 DNA / RNA Manipulation and Analysis

Pointers for New Graduate Students

If you ask any finished graduate student, most of us starting a Masters or PhD program were very excited at what awaited us and if you were anything like me, you were foolishly idealistic and thought you were going to pull on a lab coat, cure cancer and save the world. Ok, maybe most people…

29 Jul 2009 PhD Survival

Tech Clinic #3: DNA digestion, precipitation and clean-up

Thanks to Bitesize Bio reader, Muthu Arumugam for contacting us about some problems he has been having with restriction digestion and clean up of DNA. I have boiled his query down to four main questions that are pertinent for most molecular biologists, so I hope that Muthu and everyone else can learn something from my…

15 Jul 2009 DNA / RNA Manipulation and Analysis