archive-com.com » COM » L » LABLIT.COM

Total: 202

Choose link from "Titles, links and description words view":

Or switch to "Titles and links view".
  • Double standards on acupuncture?
    April 2010 5 March 2010 3 February 2010 3 January 2010 6 December 2009 5 November 2009 5 October 2009 10 September 2009 14 August 2009 8 Admin Log in Entries RSS Comments RSS WordPress org Double standards on acupuncture June 2nd 2010 by Jenny in Uncategorized The Twitterverse and blogosphere are positively quivering in outrage about the way the media covered Nature Neuroscience s recent paper suggesting a molecular role for pain relief in a mouse model for acupuncture This blog post is not about the science or the finding and to put it into context I don t believe there s evidence that acupuncture works beyond placebo in humans either either before this paper or after But what intrigues me is the response of the non mainstream media i e Twitterers and bloggers All of their complaints are valid particularly the often restated point that mice aren t humans and you can t extrapolate But what strikes me is that you could levy the same charge against many many papers published weekly in high profile journals that use animal models to study human diseases or biology Some of these papers are covered by science bloggers who are just as critical but somehow not nearly as outraged I just think it s interesting that because what s being studied is something people don t believe in making overstated claims about mouse models is somehow more repugnant than what happens every day in the press Is it because giving the apparent stamp of scientific approval to alternative medicine is ultimately more harmful than validating this week s cure for cancer I think that s probably the most likely explanation but would be curious to know what others think 5 Comments Karen James 1 Comment permalink June 2nd 2010 at 11 00 Hmmm well without having personally reviewed the tweets blog posts on the acupuncture article I m skeptical that you can t extrapolate from mice was really the main criticism Was it Tom Chivers 2 Comment permalink June 2nd 2010 at 11 02 Surely it s more an extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence thing If eg a particular vaccine seems to work on mice we have plenty of evidence that vaccination works so we can reasonably assume that it might have similar effects in humans Whereas acupuncture is largely unfounded on evidence so we need a lot more before we can start extrapolating from one or two animal trials Jenny 3 Comment permalink June 2nd 2010 at 11 09 Hi Karen I read four blog posts over the past few days and that point was indeed what stuck in my mind sorry I was too rushed to actually back up my post with links and references Tom that s exactly what I just tweeted before I read your comment extraordinary claims But it s not so much that people were harsh on the acupuncture thing it s that there NOT so harsh about everything else when perhaps they should be

    Original URL path: http://blogs.lablit.com/2010/06/double-standards-on-acupuncture/ (2016-04-26)
    Open archived version from archive

  • Get a grip, people
    Snow LabLit chats with Anna Ziegler Summer reading LabLit com will be ten years old on 7 March 2015 Lab Twitterati Links LabLit home Categories Comics Drugs Essays Fiction Films Guest post Lab LabLit Meta Podcasts Reviews Students Uncategorized Video Wide world Archives Archives Select Month March 2016 1 January 2016 2 December 2015 1 October 2015 1 June 2015 1 February 2015 2 January 2015 1 December 2014 1 October 2014 1 September 2014 1 June 2014 1 April 2014 1 March 2014 2 February 2014 1 January 2014 2 December 2013 1 November 2013 1 October 2013 1 September 2013 2 August 2013 1 July 2013 1 April 2013 1 January 2013 1 December 2012 3 July 2012 1 May 2012 1 March 2012 1 January 2012 1 November 2011 1 October 2011 1 September 2011 1 August 2011 1 July 2011 1 June 2011 2 May 2011 4 April 2011 2 March 2011 2 February 2011 3 January 2011 1 December 2010 2 November 2010 3 October 2010 2 September 2010 3 August 2010 14 July 2010 6 June 2010 4 May 2010 6 April 2010 5 March 2010 3 February 2010 3 January 2010 6 December

    Original URL path: http://blogs.lablit.com/2010/05/get-a-grip-people/ (2016-04-26)
    Open archived version from archive

  • on Henrietta Lacks and the extended phenotype
    first heard the story of Henrietta Lacks and her amazing HeLa cells in the mid 90s while working in a virology lab in Memphis Tennessee Then as now I was struck by the combination of pathos and science fiction The former comes from the way that the cells arise from a tumour that killed Lacks at an appallingly early age robbing a family of its wife and mother in the callous way tumours do Yet the scientific advances to which those cells have contributed have saved unknown thousands of lives The science fiction comes from the way that the cells now growing in labs throughout the world have come to outweigh many times over the body of the woman they killed They are hardy specimens Tissue culture weeds capable of over running less fecund replicators Given the enormous numbers of copies of their DNA it is arguable that Henrietta Lacks genome together with the mutations which gave rise to the tumour is the most selectively successful human DNA there has ever been albeit operating through its extended phenotype of being useful to cell biologists And a fat lot of good that did poor Henrietta whose story is at last told in a new book titled The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot which I am looking forward to reading From this review in the Guardian it sounds like it redresses some of the balance It s true that Lacks herself unlike her cells was largely forgotten until recently The person who first told me about her got her name wrong reporting it as Helen Lang and mistook the primary tumour for the breast Lacks died of ovarian cancer And there is something about her case that fits all too well into medical science s shamefully cavalier attitude to the patients who supply the raw material While the way in which some journals insist on using the word patient rather than case can seem irritating and inappropriate at times it should be supported insofar that it can help remind us that a case is a patient and yet more a patient is a person We should go out of our way to remember the people who have contributed to our research and who though they have suffered appallingly have indirectly relieved the suffering of others 8 Comments Jenny 1 Comment permalink May 24th 2010 at 11 16 In undergraduate biology we were taught that Helen Lane was a pseudonym for Henrietta Lacks that was put in circulation to protect the family s privacy not as a careless misremembering But perhaps that s an urban lab myth I haven t read the Skloot book yet Bill 2 Comment permalink May 24th 2010 at 11 37 Interesting I guess it sort of makes sense In which case the reasons why the family s privacy was breached should make for an interesting tale Eva 3 Comment permalink May 24th 2010 at 11 48 I so want to read this book I asked

    Original URL path: http://blogs.lablit.com/2010/05/on-henrietta-lacks-and-the-extended-phenotype/ (2016-04-26)
    Open archived version from archive

  • Yes, it really *is* that simple
    2011 1 October 2011 1 September 2011 1 August 2011 1 July 2011 1 June 2011 2 May 2011 4 April 2011 2 March 2011 2 February 2011 3 January 2011 1 December 2010 2 November 2010 3 October 2010 2 September 2010 3 August 2010 14 July 2010 6 June 2010 4 May 2010 6 April 2010 5 March 2010 3 February 2010 3 January 2010 6 December 2009 5 November 2009 5 October 2009 10 September 2009 14 August 2009 8 Admin Log in Entries RSS Comments RSS WordPress org Yes it really is that simple May 19th 2010 by Jenny in Uncategorized I ve been showing a newbie how to work with bacteria and today her transformation plates were sprinkled with dozens of lovely colonies I described to her how she should inoculate a single colony into antibiotic broth and left her to it After lunch she came to my desk with a worried crease to her brow What it it I said The colony she said Are you sure it s going to work It ll work I said But I couldn t actually see anything on the tip before I put it into the broth It ll work Are you sure there was anything on the tip Show me the plate I said She did so and pointed out the colony she had selected now smeared into a tiny linear smudge by the action of the sterile plastic yellow tip she had used to collect it It will work I said It s all down to the wonders of exponential growth She didn t look entirely satisfied but come tomorrow I m sure she ll be convinced by 100 mL of frothy bacterial goodness 7 Comments challenge 1 Comment permalink May 19th 2010 at 20

    Original URL path: http://blogs.lablit.com/2010/05/yes-it-really-is-that-simple/ (2016-04-26)
    Open archived version from archive

  • On getting along in the lab
    2016 1 January 2016 2 December 2015 1 October 2015 1 June 2015 1 February 2015 2 January 2015 1 December 2014 1 October 2014 1 September 2014 1 June 2014 1 April 2014 1 March 2014 2 February 2014 1 January 2014 2 December 2013 1 November 2013 1 October 2013 1 September 2013 2 August 2013 1 July 2013 1 April 2013 1 January 2013 1 December 2012 3 July 2012 1 May 2012 1 March 2012 1 January 2012 1 November 2011 1 October 2011 1 September 2011 1 August 2011 1 July 2011 1 June 2011 2 May 2011 4 April 2011 2 March 2011 2 February 2011 3 January 2011 1 December 2010 2 November 2010 3 October 2010 2 September 2010 3 August 2010 14 July 2010 6 June 2010 4 May 2010 6 April 2010 5 March 2010 3 February 2010 3 January 2010 6 December 2009 5 November 2009 5 October 2009 10 September 2009 14 August 2009 8 Admin Log in Entries RSS Comments RSS WordPress org On getting along in the lab May 13th 2010 by Jenny in Uncategorized I was just reading a new protocol for staining yeast cells At first it was all very routine Wash cells fix cells make cells permeable stain cells But then I hit the next step and it made me smile You will need to make nice with a microscopist They have specialized and expensive equipment you need access to and a ton more expertise than this protocol will give you 5 Comments Biopather 1 Comment permalink May 13th 2010 at 20 55 Don t mess with the microscopists Jenny 2 Comment permalink May 14th 2010 at 20 34 Slides are classified as dangerous sharps in our institute Sounds like a good fight

    Original URL path: http://blogs.lablit.com/2010/05/on-getting-along-in-the-lab/ (2016-04-26)
    Open archived version from archive

  • On doing my electoral duty
    drinking a decent wine of some sort Which uncannily will be the same way I toast any unexpected good news There was a time let us call it 1997 when I loved elections In the elections since then a combination of no serious opposition and some fairly brutal disillusionment has left me less enthused The 2001 election found me in Amsterdam going to bed early In 2005 I sat up and watched the results but found little to savour This one though is different No matter what the result the process has regained its thrill as a spectator sport In 1992 the opinion pollsters ended up seriously embarrassed Not so in the intervening visits to the ballot box But a combination of things makes this one hard to call There have boundary changes meaning a number of new constituencies have appeared These have no history and so all parties can claim nobody knows how they will fall Or at least that s the story In my own neighbourhood of Hampstead and Kilburn described as the home of the chattering classes and the liberal intelligentsia Doesn t look quite so much like that from the Kilburn end of it where I live both the Tories and Labour are proclaiming the LibDems can t win here despite independent estimates and not just those favoured by the LibDems suggesting it is a LibDem Labour marginal Then there is of course the Clegg effect It might be a glorious triumph for democracy and an indictment of the way the two main parties have acted to squeeze out their competitor or it might be something more depressing Politics is a beauty contest for ugly people and many studies suggest our decisions about how to vote are made with our heads firmly not screwed on Clegg is new and he is not Brown or Cameron He has an easy way with a TV camera in much the same way that Brown for instance has a difficult way with a TV camera In fact Brown seems to have a difficult way with any form of communication And there is tactical voting In 1997 it drove the Tories to an historic low ebb Will it do the same for Labour now Or will it do something weirder Tactical voting is a bit of game theory in practice What you get will depend on the actions of others And the actions of others will depend on your actions in the form of the preferences you have communicated to them before the election This is one of the ways the 1992 result was so off nobody would admit to voting Tory but nonetheless still went out and did it There might have been a different result if people had appreciated that Major had a real chance of winning The results of tactical voting will depend crucially on the accuracy of the information communicated I know people who don t know which way to vote in supposed marginal s because the

    Original URL path: http://blogs.lablit.com/2010/05/on-doing-my-electoral-duty/ (2016-04-26)
    Open archived version from archive

  • On my journey to the sunlit uplands of Apple Macintosh
    life cycle so inconvenient for students and postdocs I used the Mac to play a game I can t remember what the game was but it involved a spaceship as almost all of them did back then You used the mouse to control it and how counterintuitive that was for all of two minutes Then it was obvious I admit that at that point I viewed the mouse as being rather like a sort of crap joystick I also thought hazily that Apple might have something to do with the Beatles who had for some reason begun making computers I know I was all of 19 years old and an ignoramus When I left the lab to return to the UK my boss gave me an old machine that the lab no longer needed I glowed at the thought of bringing it home firing it up and tapping out my professional looking white on blue documents Using the hard earned skills with the idiot software Oh yes this was going to be the start of the new Bill Hanage I would use the computer to write up lecture notes work on a novel write plays In reality I spent the next year of university in a pub induced haze I don t think any liquid that did not contain either alcohol or caffeine passed my lips I bought an expensive transformer to allow me to use my US computer in the UK and never switched it on In the computer labs at the university new machines had appeared They were sort of like the Apple in the US but there were more of them Instead of a single hopeful monster platoons of PCs running Windows and Word had appeared and taken over the campus And I became a PC person I gradually got to grips with the software which even now feels more sensible than the Mac s supposedly uberintuitivergonomic surround sound ponce fest Over time I also became adapted to the shortcuts Now when I try doing something on a Mac I feel slightly disabled as the keys which I normally strike without thinking yield odd results and I keep having to go back and correct things On the other side I could see people I liked and respected using Macs They were evangelical about the benefits I thought they were basically deluded And possibly I still do What has changed Well in the first place there s the iPhone No matter whether or not new touch screen interfaces are superior the iPhone was so clearly better than anything else I had used to date that it has staked an early claim to my affections That was a foot in the door Then there was the peer pressure Over the last two years a whole cohort of people who used to join in with me slagging off Apple and its acolytes have converted One of them bought a Mac to use as he put it as the most expensive

    Original URL path: http://blogs.lablit.com/2010/05/on-my-journey-to-the-sunlit-uplands-of-apple-macintosh/ (2016-04-26)
    Open archived version from archive

  • One of those lab lulls
    Anna Ziegler Summer reading LabLit com will be ten years old on 7 March 2015 Lab Twitterati Links LabLit home Categories Comics Drugs Essays Fiction Films Guest post Lab LabLit Meta Podcasts Reviews Students Uncategorized Video Wide world Archives Archives Select Month March 2016 1 January 2016 2 December 2015 1 October 2015 1 June 2015 1 February 2015 2 January 2015 1 December 2014 1 October 2014 1 September 2014 1 June 2014 1 April 2014 1 March 2014 2 February 2014 1 January 2014 2 December 2013 1 November 2013 1 October 2013 1 September 2013 2 August 2013 1 July 2013 1 April 2013 1 January 2013 1 December 2012 3 July 2012 1 May 2012 1 March 2012 1 January 2012 1 November 2011 1 October 2011 1 September 2011 1 August 2011 1 July 2011 1 June 2011 2 May 2011 4 April 2011 2 March 2011 2 February 2011 3 January 2011 1 December 2010 2 November 2010 3 October 2010 2 September 2010 3 August 2010 14 July 2010 6 June 2010 4 May 2010 6 April 2010 5 March 2010 3 February 2010 3 January 2010 6 December 2009 5 November 2009 5 October 2009 10 September 2009 14 August 2009 8 Admin Log in Entries RSS Comments RSS WordPress org One of those lab lulls April 29th 2010 by Jenny in Uncategorized It happens now and again in research for a variety of reasons the momentum just skitters to a halt In my case it s because I ve just finished one manuscript for publication and am about to embark on compiling data for the next It will be a long grueling and mostly unexciting affair of spreadsheets and bioinformatics so I d like to do a few fun projects on

    Original URL path: http://blogs.lablit.com/2010/04/one-of-those-lab-lulls/ (2016-04-26)
    Open archived version from archive



  •