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Author: | Views: 2384 | 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: Brian Krueger, PhD | Views: 1710 | 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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Author: Brian Krueger, PhD | Views: 2128 | 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: 1555 | Comments: 5
Last by Brian Krueger, PhD on Aug 09, 2011, 8:51am

Just messing around with timelapse on my GoPro. This is only about 2 hours before the battery died. Maybe tomorrow I'll set it up for 24hr and plug it into a nearby computer for power.

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Author: Angry Scientist | Views: 2437 | 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: Brian Krueger, PhD | Views: 1073 | Comments: 7
Last by FunkDoctorX on Aug 03, 2011, 7:27pm
A week or so ago someone forgot to close the door on our enzyme freezer tightly. I had just ordered $1,000 worth of NEB enzymes to make high throughput sequencing libraries too... Before the meltdown, I made a couple of test libraries to be sure that the protocol was worked out.

One of my test libraries with a perfect library smear. We extract the DNA in between the 200 and 300bp bands for sequencing.
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Author: Angry Scientist | Views: 708 | Comments: 0

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Author: Angry Scientist | Views: 878 | Comments: 0

I've been MIA for the last few months. It seems like everything's been piling up lately. I'm going to try to get back on schedule with a post per week. Don't hold me to that though!

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Author: Brian Krueger, PhD | Views: 2013 | 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: 1032 | Comments: 5
Last by Brian Krueger, PhD on Jun 01, 2011, 12:44pm
In a recent episode of the new TV show, Happy Endings (Episode on HuLu), one of the characters, Dave, gets super excited when he runs into and reconnects with his favorite high school teacher. The only problem is that the teacher turns out to be an alcoholic douche, but Dave spends the entire episode fawning over the guy until he realizes that the teacher is just an underachieving loser who is trying to bed his friend Penny.

The nostalgic undertones of this show got me thinking about my favorite high school teachers. It should be no surprise that my favorite teachers are my science teachers. Many of them helped inspire me to pursue a career in science. I'm not sure if I should thank them or hate them for that.

Regardless, my senior year of high school was exciting because I was taking a bunch of really cool AP science classes. At the time, my favorite teacher award was a dead heat between my AP bio teacher and my AP physics teacher. The physics guy was new to the school. It was either his first or second year there. I really liked his teaching style. He forced us to think about the problems he gave us and always answered our questions with qu . . . More
Author: Brian Krueger, PhD | Views: 1234 | Comments: 3
Last by Brian Krueger, PhD on Apr 27, 2011, 2:01pm

The University of Iowa will be holding s science writing symposium tomorrow (April 27th). The symposium will be webcast LIVE at this address from 1PM to 5PM CST:

There's a login screen now, but that will disappear once the talks start.

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Author: Brian Krueger, PhD | Views: 1886 | 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: Angry Scientist | Views: 11081 | Comments: 3
Last by Moderates_Rule on Mar 26, 2013, 11:56am

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Author: Brian Krueger, PhD | Views: 1101 | Comments: 2
Last by Brian Krueger, PhD on Mar 17, 2011, 10:17am
Today I noticed my Tomato Clownfish acting a little friskier than usual. A few days ago I saw a white bump under the female's anal fin and thought it might be a fungal infection because it had a goofy gray tinge to it. I figured I'd just wait and see what developed. Well today I noticed that it was much bigger and longer...It was her ovipositor (egg laying tube)!! She also had a big fat round belly, so that really means only one thing. I watched her and the male clownfish do their dance and the ovipositor grew longer while the male started showing signs of arousal too. I guess a video is worth more than my explanation. I started recording after the first egg went down. It's the little orange sac in the middle of the screen. This patch grows much larger over the course of the 10 minute video. Enjoy!

Mass eggs start going down around the 2 minute mark if you don't want to watch the fish dance.

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Author: Brian Krueger, PhD | Views: 5859 | Comments: 8
Last by americanbiotech on Mar 10, 2011, 12:22pm
Every once in a while I find myself having a "grass is greener" moment in science. I sit at the computer thinking about all of the annoying things in lab that aren't working and wonder, "If I could answer any question, given unlimited resources, what would I choose to study?" This, my friends, is where I prove my unhealthy obsession with fish.

If money, fame, and science groupies weren't a priority, I'd spend my time and resources trying to find a cure for Cryptocaryon irritans, which is better known in the tropical fish industry as white spot disease, Ich, or Crypto. Crypto is a nasty little bug. It's a protozoan ectoparasite that lodges itself in the epidermis of fish where it grows until it drops off to mature into an Aliens inspired cyst that spits out 300 new little bastard parasites that go on to infect more host fish. In the open ocean, this guy isn't so terrible because its chances of infecting a host are minimal considering the massive amount of water a parasite has to travel through to find a new host. This is a completely different story at an aquaculture facility or in the home aquarium where fish are typically stocked to capacity in relatively small volumes of water. A single cyst can quickly turn into a fish killing epidemic. . . . More
Author: Brian Krueger, PhD | Views: 927 | Comments: 1
Last by Dr. Girlfriend on Mar 02, 2011, 2:11pm
Things have started to calm down a bit on my weekends so I've had more time to attend to fish. One of the crappiest things about owning a saltwater fish tank is that you can't just add fish to your system immediately. The fish come from the ocean covered in parasites, so you have to take extra special care of new additions to be sure they're clear of parasites and infections before you add them to your main "display" tank. Quarantining fish is absolutely a necessary evil. A lot of people neglect to do this, but it saves a ton of headaches. Trust me on this, you would much rather lose an $80 fish than get your $3000 display tank infested with a parasite!

Anyway, the fall got clogged with trips and holidays. Some of you may remember that back in October I tried to quarantine a yellow longnose butterfly fish and a powder blue tang that both died from a nasty bacterial infection. Given that quarantining fish takes at most 2 months if they get sick, I didn't have enough time to cycle in more fish before Turkey Day! Once Christmas passed, I was working on setting up an office tank for Whitney, so my quarantine system has been occupied with her inhabitants for the past two months... Finally I was able to pick up a new butterfly fish a few weeks ago. . . . More
Author: Angry Scientist | Views: 6505 | Comments: 3
Last by Mike Bramnik on Mar 26, 2011, 11:09pm

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