Saturday, 30 June 2012

Science Songs

For anyone who has ever conducted a screen in science, I don't need to say any more...

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Marvelous Scientists!

I stumbled upon this list today which compiles all of the scientists that have featured in the Marvel Universe. I have to agree that Marvel comics has a pretty favourable view of scientists and celebrates them. Pretty much all of their major characters are scientists; Mr Fantastic (that super smart PI), Iron Man (sell-out to industry), The Hulk (postdoc too many) and Spider-man (who is probably the most student/young postdoc- relatable). It's nice that they have this as part of what makes them a hero too and in many cases it's their science that gets them out of trouble (although it's always good to throw a few punches in there too).

Monday, 25 June 2012

Name the biologist - week 14

Here's another old one - so old it's a painting rather than a photograph. I guess that could be a clue in itself. This guy named something that's pretty essential in biology.

As for last week they were the biologists who came up with the one gene-one enzyme hypothesis. George Beadle and Edward Tatum.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Science Songs

I'm sure this song was supposed to be about losing a girl but I was listening to it yesterday and it reminds me a lot of science and getting a PhD or paper. Bear with me and listen carefully...

Monday, 18 June 2012

science pun!

I stumbled upon this image and pun today. I will definitely find opportunities to use the phrase "Drosoph-apocalypse" in the future. Sadly it will probably mean something horribly wrong has happened.

Name the Bioblogist - week 13

So there was a week long absence due to football being a bit busy and uninspired but I've manage to come up with a new one. This is an old school one so I will give you a clue, these two came up with a fairly important hypothesis in genetics/biochemistry.

As for the last installment, "Anonymous" wins again by recognising Elizabeth Blackburn, Carol Greider and Alexey Olovnikov. In hindsight I should have also included Jack W Szostak too. Anyway they get a mention for their work on Telomerase the enzyme that adds DNA repeats onto telomeres, the ends of chromosomes in vertebrates. It's also been linked to cell ageing which wins it a lot of attention (and is often used as a magic ageing up of human clones in sc-fi)

Friday, 8 June 2012


I was thrown off balance today when my PCRs worked. My plan for the afternoon was to start from scratch with new dNTPs, frsh DNA preparation etc so I had to quickly figure out what to do next. The answer turned out to be more PCRs as i need more of the product to do the digestions afterwards.

This puts the KO method ever-so-slightly ahead of the P-element excision. Then again it is possible that I could cross my isogenised (in bred) P-element flies to the transposase next Friday.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Well travelled flies

I had a gig to attend work-related fly retrieval mission yesterday for a student in the lab. My old lab had a mutant he needs, so I selflessly decided to go and get them for him.

Monday, 4 June 2012

The chances of anything coming from Mars are 0.70 (or 0.59) they said

Sorry to those of you without access to the BBC but i'm sure it's accessible elsewhere on the net but this list of "Planets most likely to have or sustain life" was pretty interesting. The actual paper is in the journal of Astrobiology but it's a subscription journal (boo) but i will see if my uni has access to it as i'd like to read the actual paper. Anyway it comes up with two criteria; the Earth Similarity Index and the Planet habitability Index.

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Place your bets please!

A big part of my new project is to generate a null mutant of two genes in Drosophila to see what effect they have. My hope is that it kills them or has some nice developmental phenotype I can then dissect further- we have proteomics, from human cells, suggesting this should be the case.

So the reason we make a mutant is fairly straight-forward. If you take a gene away and something goes wrong then you can claim that gene is required to prevent those things going wrong or more accurately you can infer what the gene is required for in a normal situation. There are basically 3 ways you can make a mutant in flies.

Name the Biologist - Week 12

This week i'm doing a few mug shots as they are all connected. You can guess the connection and if you're really smart name them too. So here we go

A) this guy had the hypothesis;

B) And these two helped prove it by finding a key component;

As for last week's answer it was no other than Hans Adolf Krebs of "the Krebs Cycle" fame. I told you he was someone most high school Biology students will have encountered or cursed at some point in their lives. Although once memorised, that was a gift of an exam question.