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Author: Angry Scientist | Views: 1964 | 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.

. . . More
Author: Brian Krueger, PhD | Views: 639 | 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: Angry Scientist | Views: 2011 | Comments: 3
Last by Tideliar on Nov 22, 2010, 1:06pm


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Author: LabSpaces.net | Views: 735 | 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: 1613 | 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: 1364 | 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: Brian Krueger, PhD | Views: 1102 | Comments: 10
Last by biochem belle on Oct 10, 2010, 6:30pm
Today is: "What I'd be doing if I wasn't doing science" blog post theme day. The goal of this post theme is to let our readers get to know who we are and what our non-scientific interests are.



1. DamnGoodTechnician says that she'd probably have majored in sociology and become an administrative assistant if it wasn't for her high school sweetheart and his penchant for genetics.

2. Dr. O was involved with every group and club under the sun in high school and really wanted to become a broadway performer and until recently she had her heart set on teaching high school science but research sucked her in.

3. Evie would be everything. First she'd be a ninja kung fu master, then she'd learn how to talk to dolphins, create world peace and turn earth into an atheist utopia. Evie needs to lay off the caffeine pills

4. . . . More
Author: Brian Krueger, PhD | Views: 1207 | Comments: 14
Last by Brian Krueger, PhD on Apr 10, 2011, 6:49am
I thought about this question probably everyday of my graduate school career. My days usually went like this:

1. Get to lab at 7am
2. Start 12hr experiment
3. 7pm, experiment failed
4. 7:15pm set it all up again for tomorrow

Eventually I got everything to work but that 12hr period in the middle was filled with:

"I bet me engineer friends don't have to deal with this shit, and they're getting paid 6 times as much as me."
"I should have just become a web designer. I have fun doing that AND things usually work the first time."
"I want to run away to the cirus and become a Barker."

My PhD mentor once told me that I was the weirdest person he'd ever met because I have too many hobbies. He didn't think I could be successful in lab if I ran a website, went to the gym for two hours in the middle of the day, maintained my saltwater fish tank etc. I think he saw all of these things as distractions, or more like, "If he spent that energy in lab, he'd have a billion papers by now." Well, Honestly I can only take so much science and I need all of these hobbies to keep me sane. Further, I think I could turn any of my hobbies into careers.

In middle school, my mom worked for a computer training c . . . More
Author: Brian Krueger, PhD | Views: 45121 | Comments: 12
Last by Brian Krueger, PhD on Jun 24, 2013, 8:39am
I’m totally late to this party. I spent the morning writing my rebuttal to DrugMonkey and Co, doing the news, and cranking out a few pesky experiments. Ah, to live the life, right? Anyway, I’ve noticed that all of the good topics are now taken so I have to scrub the bottom of the bucket. I think one of the most important decisions I made in my scientific career was when I decided where I wanted to go to graduate school. The factors that play ball in this game are numerous and obviously not the same for everyone, but here’s my rundown of all of the things I wish I knew before heading off to graduate school.

Not to be too bitter about my undergraduate experience or anything, but the graduate school preparation was horrendous. No one told me from the beginning, “If you want to go to graduate school, here’s the X, the Y and the Z.” This may all sound like common sense, but some of it is not and having someone tell me all about X, Y, and Z my freshman year would have been helpful.

Do grades matter?

YES. They matter as much as they do for your annoying pre-med classmates, especially if you want to go to a . . . More
Author: LabSpaces.net | Views: 543 | Comments: 13
Last by Brian Krueger, PhD on Aug 05, 2010, 8:14pm
This really is the story of my life. I meant to write this entry last Saturday when Genomic Repairman suggested we do a blog theme sometime next week. Of course I thought Monday was too early because I had a weekend of coding and lab work to get through, so I picked Tuesday...And here I am on Tuesday morning, writing this entry.

My scientific life really began when I was in junior high and got my first subscription to Discover magazine. At the time I didn't realize that most of the pieces in there were sensationalized glam science, but for a kid in junior high I found the research fascinating. I've wanted to do scientific research for a long time, and finally when I got the opportunity to get my hands dirty in undergrad, it really wasn't what I expected. I got a job at a USDA lab in Peoria, IL while studying biology at Bradley University. I was really excited until I found out that the bullshit job description they wrote up actually translated into "4hr a day indentured servant dishwashers." I did actually get to do some science there, but it wasn't enough for me to tell if I liked it enough to make science my career. So I went to graduate school to get a b . . . More
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