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Author: LabSpaces.net | Views: 2266 | Comments: 0
Well, it's that time of year again. It's the annual Donor's Choose drive to promote scientific literacy in grade school classrooms. The LabSpaces crew has once again teamed up to select a variety of projects to to fund to help bring new materials into classrooms to enrich students and their scientific education. Yesterday, we gave $60 to a project in Naples, FL to obtain microscopes and slides for an underpriviliged grade school classroom. The email message from the teacher was exceedingly heartwarming:

Dear Brian, Shanna Hodgson, Lauren Ledesma and CenturyLink,

I cannot thank you enough for your generous donation to my classroom! I can't wait to see the looks on my student's faces when I tell them what is on the way to our classroom! My students will be so excited to use this microscope! You just opened their eyes to science. We can't wait to get these great resources and put them to work in our classroom. Your genorosity means so much to my students and myself! Once again, thank you so much for opening up your hearts to my classroom. Words cannot express how grateful we are!

With gratitude,
Mrs. I

Giving to Donor's Choose is simple and every little bit helps. I ask you to please visit our giving page where we have selected 70 projects to highlight and hopefully get funded by the end of the month. I will be spotlighting my favorites over the coming weeks and working hard to bring science into these children's lives. Please help me by donating and forwarding this link to as many people as you can. It's for science :)

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Author: LabSpaces.net | Views: 2305 | Comments: 3
Last by h2so4hurts on Feb 02, 2011, 10:45am

Credit: Facebook.com
This update was a long time coming but I finally sat down and coded in the ability to authenticate blog and news article comments using Facebook Connect. It was actually really easy once I started coding. It only took two hours!

For all of you anony bloggers and people who fly under a different "name" I've also given you the option to OPT OUT of displaying your real name and facebook page. Just enter a new handle and webpage URL and those will be used instead. Entering a different name will also prevent the posting of your facebook page link so you can stay anonymous yet skip the hassle of dealing with the CAPTCHAs.

And for all of you CAPTCHA lovers out there, you can still login that way. I just figure Facebook is much easier for everyone. I probably won't be adding google, openID, or twitter support any time soon.

Please test it out and let me know if you have any issues.

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Author: Angry Scientist | Views: 2210 | Comments: 1
Last by Alchemystress on Jul 17, 2011, 10:21am


With all of the budget discussions in congress this year, I wonder if we won't start seeing researchers get all NASCAR with biotech sponsorships.

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Author: Angry Scientist | Views: 2136 | Comments: 3
Last by Tideliar on Nov 22, 2010, 1:06pm


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Author: LabSpaces.net | Views: 1806 | Comments: 2
Last by Brian Krueger, PhD on Apr 22, 2008, 2:00pm
I initially got 300 extra clicks from my $200 investment. That's about $1 a click or a really bad day with google Adwords. I guess I shouldn't have expected a whole lot out of the release, but I was hoping it'd be picked up by at least a few science blogs or something.

The next phase of my advertising campaign is going to be a little more local I think. I e-mailed my press release to all of the area newspapers. I remember a few weeks back the Des Moines Register ran a story about some guy's car washing business. Hopefully they'll be interested in some graduate student's internet business :) I'm also looking to do some table spamming on Monday all over the medical campus. Look for my signs. My latest plan is to get a local following from Iowa on the site and then maybe that will attract other users to stop by and comment or sign up for an account.

Looks like it's back to Yahoo!, Google, and Fark ads :(

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Author: Brian Krueger, PhD | Views: 2017 | Comments: 0
I know, know, paper is so 1990 but I just wanted to pull a paper over at Nature to read during seminar later. Unfortunately I used the big fat "Print" button on the manuscript page. This is what I got:


Notice anything funny about the figures?
I guess next time I'll just download the PDF and print it that way. However, even I know that if you stick blocks of text and figures in DIV or P code blocks, they won't get hacked off by the browser print renderer. I think some web developer was sleeping at the keyboard. A good example of this on LabSpaces can be seen if your try printing this page. You'll notice that in the browser rendered view, all 3 images butt up on one another, however in the print preview, the third image is moved to the bottom of the second page. This is because the image is in a DIV and the browser knows to not cut images in DIVs in half.

I can't be the only person that's ever tried using that button, right?

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Author: Brian Krueger, PhD | Views: 1822 | Comments: 6
Last by Brian Krueger, PhD on Mar 23, 2012, 9:13am
A quick update on the side project since I'm procrastinating writing a short fellowship grant... About a month ago I realized why my sonications were not working. It turns out that when I moved to Florida from my Graduate work at Iowa, I didn't update my ChIP protocol to reflect a reagent change. At Iowa, we had been using 16% paraformaldehyde as our crosslinking agent. Unfortunately, I was throwing 37% formaldehyde in there instead meaning that I was way over crosslinking my samples which explains why I was having such a hard time shearing the DNA. I practically cemented all of the proteins in the cell together. Anyway, I had some more downtime this week waiting for a new batch of cells to grow for a massive timecourse experiment involving 3 timepoints and 10 different immunoprecipitations for cool proteins. I used this waiting period to optimize sonication conditions with the fancy programmable sonicator.


Misonix 4000, power 60, 30s on 1 min off. Numbers above lanes equals the number of cycles




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Author: Brian Krueger, PhD | Views: 1625 | Comments: 9
Last by Nikkilina on Sep 21, 2010, 7:58am
I came into lab yesterday to a disaster. I took a look at my quarantine tank and it was filled with a white bacterial bloom, the bottom of the tank was covered in what looked like leftover food and fish poop, and the water smelled like rotting fish. To top it off, the Powder Blue Tang could not right itself, and was swimming upside down and in circles. For those of you that have never owned fish, upside down and in circles is usually referred to as the "death roll." The yellow longnose butterfly fish seemed just fine though. I have absolutely no clue why there were feces and food all over the tank. I'm the only person in lab that messes with the fish and everyone knows that if they touch anything to do with the tanks without asking me, they're liable to get their hands whacked off with the guillotine paper cutter. Both fish were doing just fine when I left them on Saturday and did their daily feeding and tank cleaning. The presence of the amount of food and feces in the tank was very surprising. I do a 25% water change EVERYDAY on this tank AFTER feeding to clean up any uneaten food and feces from the night before. I'm convinced someone messed with it, because there's no other explanation. I rushed to do a massive water change. This involved making . . . More
Author: Brian Krueger, PhD | Views: 1707 | Comments: 1
Last by Brian Krueger, PhD on Apr 24, 2011, 7:31pm
I've been working on this project on and off for a few months now. You may remember my previous post about attempting sonication trials. Unfortunately, things in lab have been busy trying to get a new graduate student started and troubleshooting problems with other experiments so I haven't had as much time to devote to this project as I would like. I've spent the past month or so trying to optimize my sonication conditions on a sonicator that's in my building, and I've gotten less than spectacular results (I've tested at least 10 different conditions on this machine ex: buffers, cell densities, sonication intensity, sonication duration). I'm looking to break my DNA up into short 100-300 base pair fragments and previously I was only able to get them down to about 600. I decided it was time to test other sonicators and here are the results.


Fisher 100 sonic dismembrator vs Misonix 4000 - 1/8" tapered tip.1 mL of RIPA buffer containing 1x107 cells. Numbers above the lanes indicate the number of cycles that were done (30 seconds on 1.5 minutes of rest between cycles)

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Author: LabSpaces.net | Views: 1523 | Comments: 0
I spent the last month or so researching some good ways to promote the site. I had been using google adwords, but I got very mixed results and had few users stick around for more than one or two clicks (that was also back when the site was the "green monster" so who knows if I'd have better luck now).

More recently, I have read a bunch of blog articles about how using a PRweb news release drove new users to their site during their initial launch. I figured I'd give it a try. And wrote a news release: See it here. It got a 5 out of 5 editorial score which I'm not completely sure what that means, but I assume its good (or just a result of me spending $200 on the release...). The release went live this morning at 12am and I've seen a marginal increase in the amount of traffic to the site, and unfortunately most of them are one clickers :(

Hopefully things pick up a bit over the next few weeks as a result of the news release being posted to multiple news feeds. I'd hate to think I blew $200 :( I'll save my final verdict for next Monday. So stay tuned and I'll post the stats! Cross your fingers for me though, I think I� . . . More
Author: Angry Scientist | Views: 1661 | Comments: 1
Last by Cath@VWXYNot? on Nov 29, 2010, 11:25am


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Author: Brian Krueger, PhD | Views: 1878 | Comments: 6
Last by Brian Krueger, PhD on Aug 22, 2011, 2:23pm
Here's a true timelapse video of a day in lab. Pictures were taken every minute for 24 hrs. The video goes from about 4am to 4am the next day.

And because someone asked...The images were taken with a GoProHD Hero camera and then compiled in Windows Live MovieMaker. Images are displayed for 0.1 seconds.

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Author: Brian Krueger, PhD | Views: 1824 | Comments: 11
Last by Brian Krueger, PhD on Feb 07, 2011, 10:01am
When I started graduate school at Iowa, I went in there with a chip on my shoulder.  They didn’t choose me, I chose them.  They weren’t a highly ranked “elite” institution, so to make my mark I had to work for the biggest and the best that Iowa had to offer, or so I thought.  I sought out the highest profile researchers at Iowa and picked the one that best aligned with my interests.  No matter what school you look at, there’s always, “That Professor.”  You know who I’m talking about.  The professor who publishes the most papers, who has the most respect.

I did my homework on my mentor.  I read a bunch of old papers, I understood the direction and the goals of the lab.  I remember our first lab meeting vividly, well, I remember how I felt after the lab meeting.  I was exhausted.  My brain physically hurt.  I thought I knew it all going into that meeting and I realized I didn’t know anything.  It was a wake up call, but I think I liked that feeling.  It was fresh and challenging.

During my rotation, I put in ungodly long hours, not because I thought it was expected of me, but because I wanted to.  At this point in time I was enamored with the science.  It’s funny how this changed for me as I look back on my four and a half years in t . . . More
Author: Brian Krueger, PhD | Views: 1595 | Comments: 8
Last by David Manly on Sep 13, 2010, 10:37pm
This is kind of stupid, but I thought I'd share a video of my new lab fish. Who knows if they'll survive quarantine, but we can bask in their beauty for a while.

*This entry contains a YouTube video*

The blue-ish one is a powder blue tang approximately 3" long and the yellow one is one of my favorite fish of all time! It's a yellow long nose butterfly fish. The tang is covered in a pretty common parasite so they have to stay in quarantine for a few weeks. The treatment regimen is to lower the salinity by 70% and then let the fish hang out in that for 4 weeks. Amazingly, saltwater fish can survive in very low salinity water, the parasite can't and eventually dies out as all of the eggs hatch. Although, the unfortunate thing is that salinity can be reduce drastically over a one hour period, but the salinity must be raised back up to normal much much more slowly. It usually takes a week and a half to bring the quarantine tank's salinity back up without killing the fish. I'm sure there's some interesting physiology involved there ;) So maybe in 6 weeks I'll post another video of these guys swimming in the main tank!

*This entry contains a YouTube video* . . . More
Author: LabSpaces.net | Views: 1453 | Comments: 0
I decided to do a little more advertising this week. I'm still running this site on a shoestring budget but I decided $60/month in advertising is doable.

I'm currently running a $40 Fark ad for the week. You can see it Here.

In addition I decided to test out StumbleUpon's ad service. Now if you don't know what StumbleUpon is, I encourage you to check them out because it really is a genius concept. The site is typical social bookmarking site with the small exception that it relies on a Fire Fox browser plug-in. This plug-in basically gives you a direct connection to stumbleupon and adds a set of buttons to your tool bar for looking up new websites. The cool part is that there's a randomizer button that you click and it takes you to a random site (with in a bunch of preferred categories that you set). Now, you can also pay for stumbles, which is what I have done. Feedback has been pretty positive so far, so hopefully this helps spread the word.

I also made a Facebook group and a . . . More
Author: LabSpaces.net | Views: 1446 | Comments: 0
Well, its been a little less than 2 weeks since I spent $200 on a PRweb news release. I thought the release was well written and on an interesting topic, but I guess it didn't grab the attention of the PRweb subscribers. I should have been tipped off that this might be a problem since a large number of the releases on that site are for tech items. Haha, or maybe people just don't care about a science social network. I won't give up just yet though, but here are the stats.

-177 visits from PRweb clicks
-That's $1.30 per click (ouch, my google average is $0.20)
-4 new 'users' ($25 per new user, bigger ouch)
-PRweb says the article was read on their site 1034 times(which means only 17% of those viewers clicked over to my site)
-The news article was displayed 75,000 times over news feeds and 30,000 times on the PRweb main page

For a comparison...

My $160 Yahoo! Campaign ($100 of that was free introductory advertising)
-142,000 impressions (the ads have been show that many times)
-1,100 clicks and an average of $0.12 per click
-The 'new' users from above may actually be a result of this campaign, well, we know at least one of them wasn't

So sadly, I didn't get even a hundredth of the exposure I was hoping for out of t . . . More
Author: LabSpaces.net | Views: 1376 | Comments: 0
This past week I found a couple of Social networks for the sciences that have launched in the last few months. One was advertising itself as the "First" social network for the sciences, although its only been live for a month. I went live in the summer of 2006, Nature's goofy little network went live in December of 2006, followed by Biomed Experts and Researchcrossroads in January. So it seems that I have a little bit of competition out there (Although I'm ahead of all but 2 in Alexa rankings...) That just means I have to be more creative than them. I think I'm capable :)

This next ad campaign is going to focus on the things that have worked for me in the past, I'm just going to multiply the monetary input by a factor of...haha, I guess I won't let too many secrets out.

I also have some other more inventive plans floating around in my head. More about those in a few weeks! Enjoy the news and tell your friends! . . . More
Author: Brian Krueger, PhD | Views: 1541 | Comments: 2
Last by JaniceF on Sep 04, 2011, 4:31pm

Bachmann Says She'd Consider Everglades Drilling by associatedpress

God caused the hurricane and now this shit? It saddens me that these people are top political candidates.

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