Monday, 30 April 2012

Science Songs

"Chemistry" by Semisonic. There are a lot of Biologists who would agree with the chorus "it's all about chemistry".

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Caught read-genomed

Here's me having a pop at writing about some actual science - yeah it does happen every now and then.

With the advent of cheap, high throughput sequencing it’s only a matter of time before we all have our personal genomes, all three billion base pairs of it, at our disposal. It’s fairly obvious how having our own genome sequenced can, and will, revolutionise medicine from personalised drug treatment to identification of a whole host of risk factors in disease. There are other far-reaching and seemingly far-fetched uses for our genomes though. One area that may see some of the biggest advances is in the world of forensics.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Everything on a sliding scale

My friend, Maxine, did me a huge favour by sharing this link  from the smallest thing known to man to the largest observable thing known to man this webpage is as awe-inspiring as it is vertigo-inducing. Honestly my head hurts from the experience but in a really good way.
I tend to stick to biology and there is a "small" portion of it that includes it but sometimes it's ok to make an exception and this is definitely worthy of it.
Enjoy! I'll put my favourite bits under the "read more" tag so you can discover your own surprises. If you come straight to the full article then DON'T read what follows until you've been to the website.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Science erotica

I had to order some plastic pestles for squashing flies in test tubes today as people were trying to make do with pipette tips and I was all "I can't work in these conditions" diva-ish about it. So i tried to find out how to obtain these essential items - well I just asked a friend if she could tell me how to obtain them. Ever reliable my friend soon emailed a catalogue link where we can now all bask in the glory of said pestles.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Name the biologist - week 6

The last one proved a bit tricky so this one should be easier. The guy was one of those folk who didn't just stick to biology - show off.

As for last week's Biologist:

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Odd journal covers

This is an eye-catching cover for the latest issue of "Developmental Cell".

It has a really strong "Flash Gordon" pulp sci-fi vibe. Still, I have to admit surprise at them going for such a fantastical image - it doesn't exactly scream accurate. I wonder if there was a last minute change of cover? Or did they expect "john carter" to have been a bigger success? I'm not sure how i'd feel if i had a paper on the subject the cover is depicting. Well, i'd probably be fine (I'm a geek) and to be honest I'm sure there have been bigger works of fiction made it onto the cover of journals passing itself off as real. Miaow

If my paper ever does get published this is the cover I'd like:

What kind of Cover would you like for your work?

Why we grow ears on mice

The ear on a mouse experiment is pretty infamous for it's use in media and tabloid scare mongering, The sitcom "Community" offers up an alternative reason for why the experiment was done, which is thankfully ironic but i think some people would see it as true.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Name the Biologist - Week 5

This may be the trickiest one yet...

Update: Here's a clue for those of you who may be lagging behind...

Update 2: Maybe some of you are following the wrong strand?

Friday, 13 April 2012


This has to be one of my favourite science puns!

Well done to the creator who I guess is the name at the bottom of the picture. I tip my hat, to you.

Monday, 9 April 2012

Name the Biologist - week 4

I think this one will be tricky although it really depends on what type of model organism you work with.

Below are the answers to the previous editions.

Captain America - The first Avenger

I'm a big fan of superhero comics. The X-men and Spider-man comics/cartoons probably had a bigger influence on my decision to become a geneticist than I'd care to admit. For that reason I've been enjoying all the Marvel films that have been building up to next month's "The Avengers" film. The film is good fun and it's definitely in the Indiana Jones/The rocketeer mould (the latter of which was also directed by Joe Johnson) although I'd say it was the weakest of the Marvel "universe" films (even the often ignored recent Hulk film).

But why am I mentioning it in the blog?

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Even scientists have birthdays...

The lack of activity is largely due to lack of internet access but I've been busy moving too. It's also my birthday so i'm having an indulgent easter.

Normal schedule should resume in a week.

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Name the biologist special edition

Today is a special day, as you may have gathered from the "endgangered species" post so here is a special edition "name the biologist". Enjoy!

Bonus imaginary points if you can name all 3.

Endangered species

The IUCN (Internatinal Union for Conservation of Nature) red (ironic) list has added "gingers" as a "sub species" that is potentially endangered. To be fair it's in the lowest category of "least concern".
I think that's a first for people as it's not like gingers are a separate species. It's shocking news for me reading this information on a sunny early april morning. What exactly does being added to this list mean for me? Why are gingers dying out and what can be done to save us?