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Author: JaniceF | Views: 1251 | Comments: 5
Last by genegeek on May 31, 2011, 12:41pm
This blog has been quiet for a couple of weeks because I am so overwhelmed by all that needs to get done to meet my goals. It may be quiet for a little while longer...

But I did read this and it made me wonder if each gender percieves what constitutes housework differently. Here is an excerpt:

An Oxford University study says if current trends continue, women will probably have to wait until 2050 before men are doing an equal share of the household chores and childcare. According to the paper published in the latest issue of the journal Sociology, ‘substantial and persistent obstacles’ remain.

The amount of time women spend on routine housework still ‘dwarfs’ time spent on non-routine domestic jobs carried out by men. Nevertheless, there is evidence to show that the gender gap in housework and child care has been narrowing gradually. Women’s time spent on caring and chores in the home declined gradually from about 360 minutes a day in the 1960s for both the UK and US to 280 and 272 minutes, respectively, in the early 2000s. In the UK and the US, men went from spending 90 and 105 minutes a day, respectively, on housework and child care in the 1960s to 148 and . . . More
Author: JaniceF | Views: 983 | Comments: 15
Last by JaniceF on May 05, 2011, 12:48pm
This is one of the worst things that could have happened to Canada.  Stephen Harper and his conservatives have won a majority.   We have lost our country.

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Author: JaniceF | Views: 3330 | Comments: 18
Last by JaniceF on Apr 28, 2011, 4:26pm
Today I had a friend email me this link. It's a link to an April 21 2011 article in Nature called "The PhD Factory." The authors suggest that the world is facing unsustainable exponential growth of newly minted PhDs into a shrinking labour market and that it's time to stop and re-examine the system.

Credit: Nature
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Author: JaniceF | Views: 1773 | Comments: 5
Last by JaySeeDub on Apr 15, 2011, 6:15pm
It's Friday and I thought that a little Canadiana might be in order. Ever wonder what the Canadian Wildlife Service does?

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Author: Lab Mom | Views: 403 | Comments: 3
Last by Suzy on Mar 18, 2011, 10:22pm
In honor of St. Patty's I present you with this:

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Author: JaySeeDub | Views: 531 | Comments: 3
Last by JaySeeDub on Mar 23, 2011, 4:03am
Ketchup. A condiment ubiquitous to the American household. I don't think any condiment evokes more flavor memories for Americans. Nor does any condiment have as many rules. Ketchup with fries? Check. Ketchup on a hot dog? Not in NYC, OK on the West Coast. You can put it on a burger, but I will stab you if I ever see you put it on a steak I've made for you. And in 1981 the USDA, under the Reagan Administration, proposed classifying it as a vegetable for the school lunch program. It didn't happen.

School lunches are hit or miss. I remember pre-made, mass produced crap. Chicken nuggets. "Enchiladas." "French bread" "pizzas." Grey green beans. Neon orange carrots. Spongy, soft, sweet rolls. These are not flavors or memories I cherish. I was the kid with the "weird" food. I grew up in a Filipino household. My best friend's mom worked the line at a high end restaurant in SF, and her dad was the sous chef at another Italian restaurant. The flavors I remember best growing up were of sardines in oil alongside eggs at breakfast; fresh avocado everywhere; fresh fish prepared whole in a number of ways (the eyes are still one of my favorites); s . . . More
Author: Thomas Joseph | Views: 324 | Comments: 0
Received the following in my email today, thought I would pass it on.

Dear Thomas,

Over the last several days, we've received many calls and emails from UCS members and supporters asking about the current crisis involving several of Japan's nuclear power reactors. Like most of you, we are deeply saddened by the terrible tragedy of last week's earthquake and tsunami, and our hearts go out to the many victims.

For more than 40 years, UCS has served as a nuclear safety watchdog and a reliable, independent source of information on nuclear power technology and its risks. UCS technical experts are working hard to provide timely, updated analysis of what is happening at the stricken facilities and what the implications may be.

You can find regular updates on our blog "All Things Nuclear" and learn about why events have unfolded in the way they have, where the situation may be headed, and what it may mean for the people around the facilities and the environment.

We are also being called on frequently by a wide range of media outlets to provide independent, unbiased information and analysis about the rapidly changin . . . More
Author: Dangerous Experiments | Views: 2211 | Comments: 14
Last by katie_phd on Mar 17, 2011, 9:57am
This week's guest blogger is Image Goddess who is a PhD Scientist with a multidisciplinary background. She has a degree in a field within the biological sciences and is currently enjoying life after graduate school. She blogs at


When you're in graduate school, especially in the biological sciences, your life is your dissertation work. You live it. You breathe it. If you're like most doctoral students your dissertation work is everything. You are in the standard doctoral student mold created by the system you have to go through to get that coveted degree. And because your whole life is focused around getting your degree, after several years all you can think about is getting done and moving on. But you're often afraid to think about it. Where are you going to move on to? That's the big question. You've spent years dedicating yourself to obtaining this degree, to your research, but now what? And frequently, you don't want to think about it un . . . More
Author: Neil Losin | Views: 538 | Comments: 0
At some point in your life, you’ve probably missed out on something great because your timing was off. Maybe you waited too long to ask a cute friend on a date, and she ended up going out with some d-bag instead of you. Maybe you bought a Version 1 iPad last week, just days before they announced the new, clearly-superior-in-every-way edition. Regardless of the specifics, at some point each of us has learned the hard way that timing is critical. Good timing is crucial in nature too, and recent research on birds gives us a vivid illustration why.

You’d be yawning, too, if you completed a migration like that of the Ruddy Turnstone (Arenaria interpres). Scientists satellite-tracked one bird on a 27,000km round-trip migration around the Pacific – a flight that included three non-stop flights of 7600km, 6200km, and 5000km!It’s hard to imagine a group of animals for whom timing is more critical than migratory birds. If they arrive too early on the breeding grounds, they might encounter frigid temperatures and inadequate food. If they arrive too late, and all the best territories might already be occupied. Migration itself is such a costly activity that birds can . . . More
Author: Dangerous Experiments | Views: 1125 | Comments: 12
Last by 27 and a PhD on Feb 24, 2011, 3:46pm
29andaPhD is a PostDoc with a degree in Biochemistry and Biophysics who is currently on the hunt for a real job. She blogs at 29 and a PhD and she can be found on twitter as 28andaPhD.


One of the most awesome experiences of grad school (besides landing the coveted spot for the interview, getting into your favourite lab, or finishing your degree sooner than planned) is passing the qualifying or comprehensive exam. For short, I'll call it qual. In a way this exam is designed to not only test your capacity to create new and test an idea, by teaching yourself new concepts, challenge paradigms, establish a new line of thinking, but to “filter”, in a way, the incoming talent of the department. Passing the qual, in a way, serves to welcome you into some sort of club, where students (usually) don't take any more exams, that of senior grad students who are held up as the best and brightest within a department. It was understood that if you passed this rigorous examination you had fought hard and earned your spot in the department. At least that's how it seemed to the 24-year-old-super-scared me.

This is my story about passing th . . . More
Author: Lab Mom | Views: 2601 | Comments: 3
Last by 27 and a PhD on Feb 21, 2011, 10:15am
I have blogged about it before: I am a visual person. I love the beauty in science.

Frequently you see microscopy** featured as for its artisanship, but National Geographic has proven that the beauty in science goes beyond the microscopic.

Check out a few of the images in their list of the Best Science Pictures of 2010.

3D illustrations of HIV:

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Author: Lab Mom | Views: 773 | Comments: 2
Last by Lab Mom on Feb 18, 2011, 9:42pm
I have noticed this story circulating around my social circles, and I was ignoring the hype (as usual) because I am keenly aware of how the mainstream media loves to spin a good science story.

In case you didn't hear about the newest fear-inducing phobia (Diet Soda), let me just give you a few headlines:

MSN: "Daily diet soda tied to higher risk for stroke, heart attack"USA Today: "Study: Diet soda linked to heart risks"CBS: "Diet Soda, Heart Attack Linked: Is Anything Safe to Drink?"newser:"Diet Soda's Dark Side: Heart Attacks, Strokes"ABC: "Diet Soda: Fewer Calories, Greater Stroke Risk?"The irony here is that when you go on to watch the ABC news clip, their expert actually says "This is one of the worst studies I've seen capt . . . More
Author: Thomas Joseph | Views: 1552 | Comments: 7
Last by JaySeeDub on Feb 16, 2011, 6:18pm
There are a number of people currently writing about the proposal HR 1. Problem is, all they're whining about is the cuts to NIH funding. I'm here to tell you though that more than just NIH is going to be taken to the woodshed with this proposal.

I received the following from the ASA-CSSA-SSSA trisociety today and they paint a picture that is just as, if not more so, dire than what the medical folks are seeing in this proposal. In effect, it is going to gut agricultural and environmental science research.

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Author: Lab Mom | Views: 1166 | Comments: 5
Last by Alchemystress on Feb 11, 2011, 5:16pm
I stumbled upon these cupcakes and I just had to share them.

They say the way to a persons heart is through their stomach, but in this case a heart can actually wind up *IN* your stomach!

I originally saw them on Not So Humble Pie, and she shared the link to the original baker Lily Vanilli. If you want to attempt to make your own you can find the complete instructions here.

If you aren't feeling that bold, you can actually order them directly from Lily herself (20% of the proceeds go to help kids with cancer):

Scarily realistic, each edible heart cake is baked with a delicious red velvet sponge, cream cheese frosting and blackcurrant & cherry 'blood'.A single ʻbleeding heart cakeʼ is priced at £7 and comes in a cute perspex box tied with apink or red ribbon with a personal note.

Available exclusively through this site 20% of the procee . . . More
Author: JaySeeDub | Views: 577 | Comments: 5
Last by Alchemystress on Mar 04, 2011, 7:15am
Mark Bittman at the NY Times has a great opinion piece up on the current food system in the United States. I read this thanks to the ever wonderful Maryn McKenna, who tweeted about Mark's piece. Now food legislation in the United States is tricky. On the one hand, there are the people who support better food as a means to better health. On the other hand, there are those, like Anthony Bourdain, who feel that our priority should be cheaper food for the poor. Sustainable agriculture works, but it is incredibly expensive, and out of reach for those hovering around the poverty level.

Bittman's idea is to tackle the argument at both ends. First by eliminating or severly reducing the subsidies to corn and soy. Corn and soy are two wonderful ingredients, but they're no longer used the way we think they are used. Both are turned into a raw material for processing into feed or plastics or fuel. Very little of the corn grown is the sweet corn we eat. Slightly more soy is turned into something edible for human consump . . . More
Author: JaySeeDub | Views: 618 | Comments: 5
Last by Lab Mom on Feb 02, 2011, 11:26pm
It was a warm July day in 2008. The temperature was hovering somewhere between pleasant and stifling. For those that could retreat into air conditioned tasting rooms, shaded verandas and terraces or tipple cold, cold Sauvignon or Fume Blanc it was pleasant. Lounging and loafing around speaking to the attendants in tasting rooms and caves. Yet one more pour of the latest release. The dry texture and salty taste of crackers to cleanse visitor palates. A swig of water to keep hydrated for the tourists. Winery staff almost always used the spit buckets exclusively. For those working outside, it was hell.

It was the kind of warm day I typically hate. My allergies were triggered and I was self medicating with some weird combination of Claritin and Zyrtec. Two, or three, Claritin and one and one half Zyrtec for the first 4 hours. Another two Claritin and another Zyrtec, plus the other half, at around 1pm to stave off the worst of my allergies. They never completely went away, but the drugs made it a little more bearable to be outside. I could not wear my contacts because my eyes would not stop watering. This meant I couldn’t wear sunglasses out in the bright Napa sun. My motto of “just pave it all” was close to being uttered. I was missing the salt air and fog of home, just . . . More
Author: Lab Mom | Views: 41509 | Comments: 9
Last by Shawn Russell on May 23, 2013, 3:58am
I was trying to think back to my biggest lab mistake and although I have had quite a few minor mishaps (mis-loading lanes for a Western blot, not adding the right controls for a Q-RT-PCR) that lead to disastrous scientific outcomes (i.e. repeating weeks worth of sample acquisition), those mistakes aren't as entertaining as the one I have decided to feature.

Let me set the scene. I was working as a technician straight out of my undergrad. I had been with the lab for a few years and one of duties was autoclaving glassware, pipette tips etc. Simple grunt work.

Or so you would think.

During my tenure with this lab we actually relocated our lab space to a brand new building and a few weeks after moving in they installed brand new autoclaves for our department. Ooohh Ahhh. They were state of the art, brand new and shiny (no gross brown stains, nothing oozing out of the seams, no strange odors at start up) and they came pre-programmed with standard dry and wet runs. Pretty dummy proof.

Or so you would think.

I was actually excited to throw in my load of glassware and break in the virgin autoclave. I loaded the beakers and flasks into the . . . More
Author: Lab Mom | Views: 494 | Comments: 1
Last by Suzy on Jan 30, 2011, 11:27am
.. And don't piss on my door either.

I couldn't believe it when I read this.. it seems that a couple of math professors from Cal State Northridge are having a pissing match.. literally.

It reminded me of Scio10's "Don't piss on my carpet" civility debate**. Although we can all agree that pissing on a coworker's office door is nothing if not uncivilized. No need for debate.

**here, here, here, here, here, here... etc.

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Author: Dangerous Experiments | Views: 3157 | Comments: 7
Last by LeStonga on May 09, 2011, 9:40am
Sean Marshall is a science communication practitioner living in Ireland. He produces and presents the Science Chat podcast and associated blog. He blogs and podcasts mainly on issues and topics related to science communication, education and outreach. He also writes (fiction) and plays electric guitar (noisily). Sean can be found on twitter as @arthurpdent42.

So many people, I mean soooo many people have been saying to me over the past few weeks (in Ireland - unsurprising as that's where I live) that how can people be talking about climate change and global warming when this year and last year we've had such snow as hasn't been seen in these parts for years. Of course, the fact that we're having some really cold weather with plenty of snow doesn't contradict global warming. Global warming is a climate change effect that can cause many types of weather anomaly, and an overall increase in global temperature doesn’t have to cause locally warmer weather, it’s a bit more complex than that, and you have to understand how climate relates to weather. . . . More
Author: JaySeeDub | Views: 507 | Comments: 6
Last by Evie on Jan 11, 2011, 3:36pm
I thought I'd start a weekly series here, where I tackled quick fixes and ideas in the kitchen.  Partly because these are questions/ideas that deserve an answer, but are quick to answer.  Partly because some of the other posts I've got lined up are taking a while to get back from my technical editors (friends I've worked with on recipes/ideas).  Actually one post I've had on the back burner since I started may very well end up a book considering the amount of literature I've consulted to write it.  Seriously.  It's kind of insane.  I may need to chop it up into parts or talk to Dr. G at the Robert Mondavi Institute about finding a publisher.

First up - Sauces.

Who doesn't love sauces?  Whether it's a creamy mornay over macaroni (mac n cheese), ketchup with fries, or a cherry gastrique with braised pork belly.

Sauces serve two purposes.  They accentuate and enhance the food they're lusciously draped over.  And they help lube your mouth.  (For my more prurient readers, I'll allow you time to compose yourself.)  The acids and salts in sauces stimulate your salivary glands into producing more saliva, and if your sauce has any fats, even more lube!  Seriously, your mouth needs all the lube it can get, otherwise you'll choke.

A friend of mine wou . . . More