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Is it worth getting an education?
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It Gets Better
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This is why we get vaccinated
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Saturday Morning Serenade
Saturday, April 23, 2011

So long, farewell ...
Friday, April 1, 2011
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Stay Tuned ...
Thursday, March 31, 2011

From the Union of Concerned Scientists
Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Week 23 - Hockey Pool
Monday, March 14, 2011

March Madness
Monday, March 14, 2011

Saturday Morning Serenade
Saturday, March 12, 2011

What a bargain!
Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Wednesday Micro Hits
Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Technique Overload
Monday, March 7, 2011

Saturday Morning Serenade
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Et tu FDA?
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
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Saturday Morning Serenade - A Hip Edition
Saturday, February 26, 2011

Saturday Morning Serenade
Saturday, February 19, 2011

Wednesday Micro Hits (on Thursday!)
Thursday, February 17, 2011

HR1
Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day
Monday, February 14, 2011

Saturday Morning Serenade
Saturday, February 12, 2011

The GOP War on Science
Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Wednesday Micro Hits
Wednesday, February 9, 2011

People, how about some ...
Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Saturday Morning Serenade
Saturday, February 5, 2011
January (21)

Saturday Morning Serenade
Saturday, January 29, 2011

Sacrifice
Friday, January 28, 2011

Are you married to your reagents?
Thursday, January 27, 2011

Wednesday Micro Hits
Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Common Sense Tip #1
Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Saturday Morning Serenade
Saturday, January 22, 2011

From the Baby Boomers, a Big "Screw You"
Friday, January 21, 2011

Student Worker - More Student or More Worker?
Friday, January 21, 2011

Wednesday Micro Hits
Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Saturday Morning Serenade
Saturday, January 15, 2011

Holy moly!
Friday, January 14, 2011

Thursday Pondering
Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Electronic Office
Thursday, January 13, 2011

Wednesday Micro Hits
Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Saturday Morning Serenade
Saturday, January 8, 2011

The Plug - January Edition
Friday, January 7, 2011

Bits 'N Pieces
Thursday, January 6, 2011

Latest Manuscript Review
Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The $4 gallon of gas
Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Our slowly shrinking (and dying) planet
Tuesday, January 4, 2011

It's 2011 already? For reals?
Monday, January 3, 2011
2010 (46)
December (9)

Saturday Morning Serenade
Saturday, December 11, 2010

The State of Microbiology
Thursday, December 9, 2010

Wednesday Micro Hits
Wednesday, December 8, 2010

2010 blogging meme
Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Environmental Impact of the Christmas Season
Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Music Snobbery
Thursday, December 2, 2010

Phantom Power
Thursday, December 2, 2010

What's Your Name?
Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Wednesday Micro Hits
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
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Saturday Morning Serenade
Saturday, November 27, 2010

Awakening from the food coma ...
Friday, November 26, 2010

Wednesday Micro Hits
Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Donor's Choose Final Followup (Recipes #3 and #4)
Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A Monday Mess
Monday, November 22, 2010

Saturday Morning Serenade
Saturday, November 6, 2010

Wednesday Micro Hits (Peer-Review Edition)
Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Day 2 of the ASA-CSSA-SSSA Meeting (#ACSMtg)
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
October (29)

ASA-CSSA-SSSA Meeting - Day 1
Sunday, October 31, 2010

Stayin' Alive
Sunday, October 31, 2010

Saturday Morning Serenade
Saturday, October 30, 2010

Wednesday Micro Hits (Vol. 4)
Wednesday, October 27, 2010

ASA-CSSA-SSSA Early Career Program
Monday, October 25, 2010

Saturday Morning Serenade
Saturday, October 23, 2010

Wednesday Micro Hits (Vol. 3)
Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Donor's Choose - Family Recipe Number 1
Sunday, October 17, 2010

Making Good on Donor's Choose Bribe - Comfort Food Recipe 1
Saturday, October 16, 2010

Saturday Morning Serenade
Saturday, October 16, 2010

Friday Wrap-Up and Random Thoughts (Vol. 2)
Friday, October 15, 2010

First I Begged, Now I Bribe
Thursday, October 14, 2010

Finding Out Things The Hard Way(TM)
Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Wednesday Micro Hits (Vol 2)
Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Here's where I start begging ...
Tuesday, October 12, 2010

#UnK3rn3d: Life Outside the Lab?
Tuesday, October 12, 2010

First fleas, now frogs?
Tuesday, October 12, 2010

No Fleas Please
Monday, October 11, 2010

My next Research Blogging article has been chosen ...
Sunday, October 10, 2010

Saturday Morning Serenade
Saturday, October 9, 2010

Donor's Choose
Friday, October 8, 2010

Friday Wrap-up and Random Thoughts
Friday, October 8, 2010

RB: Waste Not, Want Not.
Thursday, October 7, 2010

Research Blogging
Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Wednesday Micro Hits
Wednesday, October 6, 2010

What if I were not a microbiologist ...
Tuesday, October 5, 2010

TJ's Tips on Manuscript Review
Monday, October 4, 2010

Chinese plagiarism and the death of English-language journals
Friday, October 1, 2010

Allow Me a Formal Introduction
Friday, October 1, 2010
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Blogger Profile

Thomas Joseph

It's a Micro World after all is a blog dedicated to discussing pretty much whatever I feel like. When I delve into scientific matters it will primarily be discussing microbiology (agricultural, bioenergy, and environmental focus). Otherwise, I'll probably ramble on about sports and life.

My posts are presented as opinion and commentary and do not represent the views of LabSpaces Productions, LLC, my employer, or my educational institution.

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Awesome Stuff
Friday, October 1, 2010

I know my prior introduction was hardly on the verbose side, so I'm going to take this opportunity to introduce myself a bit more in-depth. Instead of running off a few dense paragraphs of text, I figured I'd break it down into a FAQ of sorts. I guess I've always wanted a FAQ about myself, and this is my chance, so by golly I'm going to take it! And yes, it won't be half as exciting/interesting as Psycasm's introduction.

1. Is your name really Thomas Joseph?

For the intents and purposes of this blog, yes. Would I answer to it if it was shouted out in public? Probably not.

2. Why did you come to LabSpaces?

As some of you may or may not know, I have a blog of the same name over at Blogger. I'd like to think that as a stand-alone, amateur blogger I did fairly well for myself. Obviously blogging at LabSpaces gives me a much larger platform from which I can blather from. I think it's going to be a challenge. LabSpaces is going to give me more traffic, which should increase the peer-reviewing of my thoughts/words. I'm taking it as an opportunity to grow and I'm very excited about it.

3. What will your blog primarily be about?

Well, I'm a microbiologist by trade, and molecular biology is my primary tool. I started in medical microbiology (transcriptional regulation) which is the area in which I earned my Ph.D. but I eventually found myself doing microbiology of the agricultural, environmental, and soil bent. Nowadays I do a lot of microbial ecology, genomics, and even some bio-energy work as well. Given the wide areas I've dabbled in, I'll probably discuss all of those topics at some point. Also, since I do a lot of ecological work, I'll talk about biodiversity and ecology issues. Of course, you can also expect a lot of stories relying purely on anecdotal evidence, sports talk, music, and whatever else strikes my fancy. It is my blog after all.

4. What is your science training?

As I mentioned, I am trained as a microbiologist and molecular biologist. I originally started out as a Medical Technologist (still pay my dues to the Board of Registry for the American Society of Clinical Pathologists) and have two degrees in that field. A lot of what goes on in the clinical lab is automated, and at the time microbiology was one of the few disciplines which was not. The clinical microbiologist was a detective. Given few clues (site of isolation, specimen received, potential symptoms) the microbiologist then set about determining what the patient suffered from using their training and various tools of the trade (selective agars, Gram staining/microscopes, candle jars, antibiotics, etc). It was super exciting, and totally hands on. I fell in love with it and decided to continue on with my Ph.D. in microbiology and immunology. I hope to blog more on my experiences as a Medical Technologist.

5. When did you start blogging?

I first started blogging in the early 2000's but didn't start science blogging until the end of 2006. That is when I started this blog. I've been steadily putting my two cents into the blogosphere ever since then (picked up the pace in earnest in 2008). Of course, I don't imagine much of it has been even been noticed, but then that's part of why I moved here.

6. What do you do on your free time?

When I'm not doing work, I'm off doing any number of things. I am an amateur astronomer and I can often be found at the local observatory star gazing, or volunteering on any available projects. I also am a part of the local astronomy club and have given a couple of lectures on exobiology to the group. I have an extreme interest in extremophiles, and as such extremophiles and exobiology really go hand in hand. I'm also an avid racquetball player and play as often as I can. I also own quite the collection of videogames and have systems ranging from ColecoVision, the doomed 3DO, PS, PS2, and Wii. A PS360 is on my wishlist, I just need to make up my mind on which one. I love to read, mostly books in the fantasy, sci-fi area. I also have any number of scientific books which I delve into on occasion (see my upcoming Reading List page). I also have a couple of dogs, and they do a pretty good job of keeping me busy as well.

7. Why should I bother to read your blog?

Because. Well, I hope to fill this blog with some topics which will interest people other than myself. I admit that I probably won't blog on things that I don't personally find interesting or view as important (or are told to blog on specifically). I mean, if there are people who regularly blog on things that they don't want to cover I'd say they're crazy. I'd like to think I'm my own sort of non-crazy so you won't find me doing such things. So, if you find what I blog on interesting, then I think you should bother to read my blog. If you don't, I imagine you won't come back.

 

I suppose that wraps up my formal introduction. There are probably details I've left out and wanted to add, but in the scheme of things I doubt it really matters all that much. There will be plenty of time for people to get to know me, and vice versa. I hope you enjoy your visits here, just as I will enjoy posting.

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Blog Comments

Brian Krueger, PhD
Columbia University Medical Center
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Welcome TJ!  What was your PhD project?  I got my PhD in a lab that worked very intensly in trying to define the events that regulate transcription elongation.  So I guess you can say I'm a huge transcription nerd too!


It's interesting you say that you're an amteur astronomer.  When I was growing up, my neighbor had all of these cool toys and one of them was a massive telescope.  Well, I think it was a 12" celestron or something, but it was like 5 ft long.  Anyway, I spent all night one night trying to find Saturn.  It took me freaking hours to do it, and then when I did, it was like a bright white pinhead with a thin ring around it AND it flew across the view finder in a matter of seconds.  I lost my passion for amateur astronomy after that :P


Psycasm
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Oh, oh! Do lots of exobiology! That's flippin' awesome.


Also, welcome to labspaces. As a recent addition myself, I can only say good things so far.


Also also, how many people here consider themselves amatuer astronomers? It seems like every other person is...


Odyssey
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Welcome!


I'm not an amateur astronomer.


Brian Krueger, PhD
Columbia University Medical Center
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Odyssey said:


I'm not an amateur astronomer.



But TideLiar told me that you spend hours looking at Uranus?


Dr Becca, Ph.D.
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Welcome, TJ!


I am also not an amateur astronomer.  Should I have waited for someone else to comment "yes" first?


 


 


Thomas Joseph
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Thanks for the welcome everybody. I appreciate it. :)

Brian, my PhD thesis was based on looking at transcriptional regulation in response to the availability of a particularly important nutrient. It was back when microarrays were in their heyday so we did a lot of microarray work and some qPCR. I followed that paper up with a reporter assay looking at the direct control of that response which served as my second pub and ticket out of graduate school.

Rift, I definitely intend on doing a number of exobiology/extremophile blog entries.

In regards to amateur astronomy, yeah I dabble in it quite often so I do consider myself one. I don't have a scope yet, because I'm saving up to buy something other than your typical light bucket (reflector). I have a pair of binoculars (15 x 70 Clestron Skymaster Series) which are often recommended for people entering the field. Plus with binoc's everything is right side up (which if you've used a refractor before, you'll appreciate). It sort of comes natural I suppose. I spend most of my time at work looking down using microscopes to look at small things, so in the evening I look up using a telescope to look at big things which look small because they're so far away. :)


Namnezia
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Hey! I'm an amateur astronomer too! I became interested in it when I was in graduate school. Since starting my faculty job and having kids, the hobby has fallen by the wayside - but I keep planning to pick it up again soon (yeah right). I don't have a huge telescope, but I picked up a fairly decent 6 inch reflector on a polar mount, which provided for tons of good viewing, particularly if you invest in some nice low power eyepieces.

What I really want is one of those nice TeleVue refractors. I figure something which is more compact would get more use than the bulky reflector. But of course they're REALLY expensive!


Tideliar
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Brian Krueger, PhD said:

Odyssey said:

I'm not an amateur astronomer.

But TideLiar told me that you spend hours looking at Uranus?

SHHHH!


Cath@VWXYNot?
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Fri, Oct 01, 2010, 2:53 pm CDT

Nice new digs!

I'm a transcription geek too, or rather I used to be. All eukaryotic though.


Odyssey
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Fri, Oct 01, 2010, 3:08 pm CDT

Tideliar said:

Brian Krueger, PhD said:

Odyssey said:

I'm not an amateur astronomer.

But TideLiar told me that you spend hours looking at Uranus?

SHHHH!

I'm not that flexible. And if I were I can think of better things to do with it.


Brian Krueger, PhD
Columbia University Medical Center
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Fri, Oct 01, 2010, 3:12 pm CDT

Odyssey said:

I'm not that flexible. And if I were I can think of better things to do with it.

Most astronomers use a mirrored device to look at Uranus.  No flexibility required.  Stop trying to hide your vice with feigned ignorance :P


Thomas Joseph
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Fri, Oct 01, 2010, 3:45 pm CDT

I'm not sure this is how I predicted the comments thread of my first post here would go.Tongue out


Evie
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Fri, Oct 01, 2010, 3:56 pm CDT

Hiiiiii TJ :)


Odyssey
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Fri, Oct 01, 2010, 3:59 pm CDT

Brian Krueger, PhD said:

Odyssey said:

I'm not that flexible. And if I were I can think of better things to do with it.

Most astronomers use a mirrored device to look at Uranus.  No flexibility required.  Stop trying to hide your vice with feigned ignorance :P

I have vices, but that's not one of them.


Dr. O
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Fri, Oct 01, 2010, 4:51 pm CDT

Thomas Joseph said:

I'm not sure this is how I predicted the comments thread of my first post here would go.Tongue out

It's amazing where these guys can take a post...real talent over here, I'm tellin' ya. ;) Oh, and welcome!!


Prabodh Kandala
Texas Tech University Health Science Center
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Sat, Oct 02, 2010, 7:30 am CDT

Welcome to World of Labspaces. I follow you on blogspot too.


biochem belle
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Sat, Oct 02, 2010, 10:21 am CDT

Welcome aboard, TJ! And yeah, there's no telling where we'll drag a comment thread. We're all about alternate pathways some days.


Thomas Joseph
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Mon, Oct 04, 2010, 9:21 am CDT

Namnezia, yes! I have my eyes on a Vixen 115mm. http://www.vixenoptics.com/refractors/ed115s.htm

 

And once again, thanks for all the welcomes peep and peepettes. It's nice to be here!

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