10 Tips to Organize Your Lab Space for Better Productivity

10 Tips to Organize Your Lab Space for Better Productivity

Do you hate it when you get into the lab ready to get stuff done and then find yourself spending the first 45 minutes of the day hunting for what you need? We do too. So read these 10 tips to organize your lab space for better productivity and spend less time hunting for stuff and more time doing research.

Struggles of a Life Scientist
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Struggles of a Life Scientist

Working late nights or weekends in the lab—we’ve all been there. Why isn’t your cell culture considerate enough to get to exponential phase during normal business hours, anyway? Maybe you just need utter peace and quiet while you pipette hundreds of wells worth of stinky beta-mercaptoethanol. Or perhaps you’re using your wealth of microbiology knowledge…

What to Do During That Awkward One-Minute Spin

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…

Why You Should Dedicate Time to Write Detailed Protocols

Why You Should Dedicate Time to Write Detailed Protocols

During my first year as a graduate student, one of the earliest pieces of advice that I received from a senior student in the lab was to keep detailed protocols. In fact, she had a folder of her own protocols, all of them extremely detailed and riddled with notes. When she showed me how to…

Starting Up a New Lab:  What you Need to Know

Starting Up a New Lab: What you Need to Know

Here’s a few things to take into consideration when starting up a new lab. Starting anything new is understandably overwhelming, but let’s break it down and go through the main points of designing your own laboratory. Purpose of Your New Lab The purpose and function of your proposed lab sets the course for the tasks…

How to Effectively Organize a Research Lab

How to Effectively Organize a Research Lab

An academic lab is a unique working environment. Lab members are expected to take responsibility for their own research projects and perform the work quickly and efficiently. However, unlike an industrial or corporate setting, there are often no clearly defined management structures. This means that when it comes to communal equipment, reagents and resources, individual…

Top Tips to Avoid Multi-sample Labeling Chaos

Top Tips to Avoid Multi-sample Labeling Chaos

Imagine pipetting your publication experiment and then your favourite lab mate has an urgent question, which of course you helpfully answer. But when you finally turn back to your experiment you suddenly are not sure which pipetting step you were at. It’s happened to us all! Efficiently keeping track of your samples in a sometimes…

7 Helpful Tips to Get You Through Your First Grad School Week

7 Helpful Tips to Get You Through Your First Grad School Week

It’s official. You’ve signed on the dotted line and you are about to begin the most exciting and frustrating journey into the depths of the unknown: a journey otherwise known as a PhD. You’ve heard the horror stories from previous students; the cloning that wouldn’t work for reasons unknown to man, the data that indicates…

Tips for Taking Immunofluorescent Images for Your Next Paper

Tips for Taking Immunofluorescent Images for Your Next Paper

Taking publication quality immunofluorescent images of can be a very time intensive, and frustrating process with hours spent capturing, processing, and putting the images into final figure format. And, if you aren’t careful, you can do a lot of work only to realize later that you need to re-image something for one reason or another….

Five Simple Tips to Break Your Dissertation up into Manageable Parts

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…