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Author: LabSpaces.net | Views: 1983 | 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: Brian Krueger, PhD | Views: 9788 | Comments: 13
Last by Brian Krueger, PhD on Feb 07, 2011, 10:23am
"This is the one thing you never want to mess around with. You'll wake up in the middle of the night crying like a baby and you'll have no idea why." These were the sage words of my undergraduate advisor, it's too bad they got discarded with everything else that I learned in undergrad.

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My scientific career has been filled with plenty of misadventures and screw ups. Most of them are really boring mistakes that didn't involve bodily harm, and only resulted in weeks of repeated work or extended nights in the lab re-preparing samples. Though, every good scientist has an epic fail story locked away in their skeleton closet. I think many of us go into science in the beginning thinking that we're unstoppable know it alls. That is until some event punches us in the gut to tell us, "Open your eyes and pay attention or else next time I'm going to aim a little lower and negatively affect your chances of reproduction."

When I was in undergrad, I worked on a bunch of projects ranging from ecology field studies to molecular biology projects in plants and fish. One of the last projects I worked on was one where we were trying to determine if fish bacterial infections could be transferred from mother to egg. This project involved c . . . More
Author: Angry Scientist | Views: 2744 | Comments: 3
Last by Suzy on Jan 29, 2011, 10:52am


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Author: Brian Krueger, PhD | Views: 2381 | Comments: 9
Last by Brian Krueger, PhD on Jan 20, 2011, 12:17pm
I'm finally coming out of my Scio11 coma. It was a super exciting weekend filled with talks about technology, blogging, and new media. On Saturday, Kristy Meyer, Dr. Isis and I led a panel discussion on the use of new communication tools in academic and industry science.

The discussion covered a wide range of topics. One of the first that was brought up was how new media tools might be used to increase collaboration between science and industry. One participant stated that she was surprised by the lack of collaboration between academic and industry scientists in the Research Triangle Park area. She said there really was no resource for expert discovery and thought that the creation of a local database would be helpful in finding connections.

Expanding on this researcher database idea, I asked the audience to talk about their use of currently available social networking tools like LabMeeting, MyNetResearch, BioKM, Mendeley, ResearchGate, etc. One biotech researcher said that his company was open to using these tools privately, and that's really what I have seen and heard of over the years. Companies and institutions want to find bette . . . More
Author: Brian Krueger, PhD | Views: 2413 | Comments: 11
Last by Thomas Joseph on Jan 04, 2011, 7:47am
I'm beginning a new project in lab. It's a series of ChIP-seq experiments and the first step to doing ChIP-seq properly is optimizing sonication conditions. Here's a trial run with the sonicator I plan on using. The DNA shown in the gel is from cells containing latent herpes virus. We're looking to shear the DNA so that the bulk of it is between 100 and 600bp. For ChIP-seq we extract and purify the DNA in the 100-300 range in the gel. Looks like about 13 cycles of sonication should do (sonication past this point doesn't result in smaller fragments, don't want to risk over sonicating)! Actually, I think I'm going to do this again on Monday. I looked back at some old data and I should be able to get the fragment sizes a bit smaller by increasing the pulse time. I'll post an update soon!



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Author: Angry Scientist | Views: 679 | Comments: 4
Last by Angry Scientist on Dec 23, 2010, 9:41pm


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Author: Brian Krueger, PhD | Views: 6191 | Comments: 1
Last by Evie on Dec 18, 2010, 11:17am
Yesterday there was some buzz over at Huffington Post about a stem cell cure for HIV. I first ran across the article via a link a friend of mine had posted on Facebook. The HuffPo piece is scant on details, so I’ll provide a quick run down on what’s going on here. But first, a lesson in HIV virology…

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) was first discovered in the 1980’s when gay men and IV drug users started turning up in hospitals with very odd opportunistic infections like Kaposi’s Sarcoma Herpes virus. These individuals had severely compromised immune systems and the original name given to the condition was gay related immunodeficiency disorder (GRID). The discovery of a viral cause of the disease came in 1983 from the labs of Luc Montagnier (recently won the Nobel Prize for this work) and Robert Gallo (recently didn’t win the Nobel Prize and is kind of pissed about it).

Genetic tests have shown that HIV originated in African monkeys and is related to a similar condition in monkeys called Simian Immunodeficiency Virus (SIV). It is thought that the virus was passed on to humans through the consumption of “bush meat” in sub-saharan . . . More
Author: Brian Krueger, PhD | Views: 2543 | Comments: 3
Last by Evie on Dec 18, 2010, 10:48am
In a previous post I mentioned that I spent the first year of graduate school working on a dead end project that was going nowhere. I’m going to present and discuss the findings of the paper that changed the direction of my thesis project and ultimately lead to the completion of my PhD.

In the fall of 2006, I was finishing up the last few experiments on a project trying to link P53 (a very important protein in cells that helps to prevent cancer) to one of the most important transcriptional activators, P-TEFb. I should probably pause for a second here to give a little bit of background on P-TEFb so that what follows is somewhat understandable. Positive transcription elongation factor b (P-TEFb: Pee Tef bee) is a protein kinase (read as on/off switch) that regulates RNA polymerase II transcription of most genes. RNA polymerase II is the protein responsible for messenger RNA (mRNA) transcription or the process of turning DNA into mRNA. Without mRNA, the transfer form of DNA, proteins cannot be made by the cell, and life does not exist. Essentially, P-TEFb tells RNA polymerase when it’s ok to start making RNA. You can think of P-TEFb as the starter at a track meet, you know, the guy th . . . More
Author: Angry Scientist | Views: 1514 | Comments: 1
Last by Cath@VWXYNot? on Nov 29, 2010, 11:25am


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Author: Brian Krueger, PhD | Views: 17843 | Comments: 136
Last by Isabel on Nov 26, 2010, 3:02pm
With the launch of this year’s “Rock Stars of Science” campaign, there’s been a lot of talk about how to best promote science. I’m no marketing guru, but I am a scientist. This latest campaign is better than last years', only because it’s more diverse, but I think it really misses the boat. Is the public really going to be inspired by a couple of pictures in GQ of scientists looking uncomfortable and over dressed in the presence of Rock Stars? The most appalling aspect of this campaign is that there is no highlight of the researchers or their science. There truly are some science all stars in this group, many of which are well spoken.

However, the Rock Stars of science pages in GQ only list the scientist’s name and title, while the “Rock stars” get a one or two sentence summary of how awesome they are for standing in on these pictures. What’s the real focus of this campaign? To promote Bret Michaels’ latest reality TV dreck? If a reader wants to actually understand why these scientists were chosen and what they’re doing to cure disease, they have to visit the website. I find it hard to believ . . . More
Author: Angry Scientist | Views: 2018 | Comments: 3
Last by Tideliar on Nov 22, 2010, 1:06pm


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Author: Brian Krueger, PhD | Views: 754 | Comments: 14
Last by Thomas Joseph on Nov 23, 2010, 12:01pm






I'm back! And here's an early treat from my photographer and good friend, Todd Adamson

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Author: LabSpaces.net | Views: 750 | Comments: 1
Last by GUEST COMMENT on Nov 12, 2010, 7:43pm
This month's LabSpaces blogging theme is all about mentoring styles. The topic is pretty open ended, so we'll see where everyone ends up! We decided that the basic theme would be mentoring styles and we'd all write on the topic from our chosen perspective as mentee or mentor and then provide some insight on how we think the process can be improved upon. I'll keep updating this summary post as more entries go live! Happy reading.

Genomic Repairman kicked this one off early. He's off on his honeymoon but gave us a great post on his experiences as both mentee and mentor. Appearances by lazy PI, Awesome PI, and the amazing Genomic Repair Girl.

Dr. Girlfriend thinks that the mentee-mentor relationship should be an open one with mutual respect and the knowledge that the mentor is not all knowing, but there to provide some support and guidance as long as the mentee is willing to put in the effort

GertyZ thinks the mentor is there for support and the relationship . . . More
Author: Brian Krueger, PhD | Views: 1622 | 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: LabSpaces.net | Views: 1372 | Comments: 0
This is a guest post by XrayManCoUk about his experiences as mentee and mentor as a crystallographer in the UK.


They say you never forget a good teacher but to be honest this is somewhat, erm, crap, you never forget a bad teacher either. So in short you never forget a teacher. Unless they were wholehearted bland. So this is wholly transferable to you never forget a good mentor or boss. In my somewhat chequered life I can remember the woes and follies of my supervisors and the purity and talents of my bosses. How I tried to learn from them and then put into practise their mistakes and triumphs.

My own experience as an underling

In academia we have always got some sort of hierarchy, the lecturer lectures to us via whichever medium they can utilise to get the job done. In my day blackboard and if lucky photocopied handouts, then OHP transparencies and photocopies of OHP transparency as handouts. Then came powerpoint and photocopies of powerpoint print outs, now a whole world of technology is there to transpose this information.

So whilst my PhD supervisors (I had two) had of course gone through this mellay of learning themselves, no one had really stopped along the way and given them a . . . More
Author: Angry Scientist | Views: 1121 | Comments: 6
Last by Image Goddess on Nov 10, 2010, 3:03pm


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Author: LabSpaces.net | Views: 559 | Comments: 19
Last by Lascap on Nov 03, 2010, 6:18pm
After 4 weeks of heated discussions and friend recruiting, our first iPad contest comes to a close with Jane De Lartigue coming out as the winner. In a close second was Nikkilina with Will rounding out third place. Nikki wins the LabSpaces runner up junk package while Will takes home the EtonBio junk package. Please message me your mailing information and I'll try to get those (and last month's, whoops) prizes out the door! For T-shirt selections, view the original prize package blog post here.

I'll be in contact with Jane to distribute her Apple Gift Card!

Stayed tuned for details on our next contest!

Again, thanks to BioKm for their generous contribution to this contest. You will be hearing more about them and their awesome on-line LIMS system, BioData, over the next few weeks as I review their product! Check it out, and . . . More
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