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  • How many scientists does it take?
    8 Admin Log in Entries RSS Comments RSS WordPress org How many scientists does it take March 23rd 2010 by Jenny in Uncategorized It took three of us to work out how to get liquid out of this stupid bottle of lab disinfectant which is plugged permanently with a purpose built green plastic thing where you d expect the opening to be Instead you have to allow the liquid to flow into the little side tunnel which dispenses only about a milliliter at a time with the operator having to tip it all the way back and all the way forward again at a precise angle to reload it At this rate it took me five minutes to milk out 50 mL My question is why What crazy control freak designer thought it would be a good idea not to allow users to pour exactly how much liquid they wanted to all in one go I ll make them do it in tiny aliquots the more hurry they re in the more diabolic it will be I ll show them I ll show them aallllllll In other news in a real who s on first moment later on this afternoon one post doc kept asking another Have we got heaps Heaps of what Heaps Heaps of heaps After a few more rounds of this it transpired that they were actually talking about HEPES buffer 12 Comments rpg 1 Comment permalink March 23rd 2010 at 16 53 PIPES is another one Eva 2 Comment permalink March 23rd 2010 at 17 06 I pronounce it hee pees Is that right or wrong Is there even a right or wrong I know how to pronounce herpes but that s rarely relevant in a non virus lab setting Jenny 3 Comment permalink March 23rd 2010 at 17 20 He pees reminds me too much of heebie jeebies I believe the Brits call it heeps whereas those of a more North American persuasion go with the two syllable variant Åsa 4 Comment permalink March 23rd 2010 at 17 48 I think that s how I do Heh PehS just as the letters are pronounced in Swedish completly strange I m sure I get strange lokos when I say pnaaaas with an opensounded ah sound I mean the journal but people here don t seem to talk about it as an abbrevation Jenny 5 Comment permalink March 23rd 2010 at 17 56 Hahaha There s a good reason English speakers don t call it penas Åsa 6 Comment permalink March 23rd 2010 at 22 13 Jenny I know but it gets me most times anyway Jim 7 Comment permalink March 24th 2010 at 14 20 The reason for the bottle design with which I have also struggled try and take a swig out of it Um I call it PENAS mainly because I know everyone knows what I m talking about but you can still detect a flicker of puerile amusement across your colleagues face Yes

    Original URL path: http://blogs.lablit.com/2010/03/how-many-scientists-does-it-take/ (2016-04-26)
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  • That’s one way to intimidate your PhD viva committee
    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 That s one way to intimidate your PhD viva committee March 4th 2010 by Jenny in Uncategorized My boss just now introducing his graduating PhD student to the audience of his viva talk And he had a very unusual career path into Biology In addition to doing a Bsc in Physics and a Master s in computer science he spent a couple of years working for the Ministry of Defense So not only does he look like he can kill you but he actually can Knock em dead Michael 3 Comments

    Original URL path: http://blogs.lablit.com/2010/03/thats-one-way-to-intimidate-your-phd-viva-committee/ (2016-04-26)
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  • Drinking the Kool-Aid
    in Uncategorized Can you hear it All around us that tinny tiny tinkling is the sound of homeopathic hopes shattering into teeny pieces It would take the proverbial heart of stone not to laugh The question now and it should be asked is to what extent are homeopathic practitioners dishonest or merely deluded That might sound harsh but it s the pachyderm in the parlour There was a hint of it in the evidence check held by the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee when Paul Bennett superintendent pharmacist at Boots the chemist admitted that the chain stocked homeopathic medicines because there was a market for them It s about consumer choice for us Sod evidence of efficacy proof of profit is what matters As Edzard Ernst has pointed out far better than I could the essentially fraudulent nature of homeopathy is fully compatible with people going to a homeopath and feeling better Homeopathy is centred around the empathic encounter where the homeopath sits with the patient and considers their problems holistically a typical session with a homeopath will last much longer than a GP consultation The reasons if you think about it are obvious This is an obvious source of a strong placebo effect Placebo is stunningly powerful Daniel Moerman s brilliant book Meaning Medicine and the Placebo Effect documents its extraordinary impact on of all sorts of illnesses And one of the things which can influence its potential is whether the practitioner has drunk the same Kool Aid in homeopathic concentrations or not as the patient The more you believe something is going to work the more likely you are to see an effect This is one of the reasons why double blind trials are so bloody important It also may explain why drugs with newer brand names tend to outperform their older competitors even when the chemical content is exactly the same as several trials have shown People expect them to work more Truly we ignore the placebo at our peril But that is not to say that makes it OK for people to start pushing it at patients Any placebo effect is in addition to the pharmacological properties of a drug So why not have both Furthermore it is plainly unethical to lie to people about the active ingredients in the stuff they are taking And it s not just placebo People with the sort of self limiting illnesses which are popular with homeopaths tend to get better anyway a phenomenon known as regression to the mean This does suggest one possible use for homeopathy Otitis media causes misery for parents and children And it is the cause of a large number of totally unnecessary antibiotic prescriptions because in the vast majority of cases it resolves in a short period of time without any intervention So why not license homeopathic remedies for otitis Pushy parents demand a pill for little Peter or Penny who s screaming and clutching his her ear just give them a

    Original URL path: http://blogs.lablit.com/2010/02/drinking-the-kool-aid/ (2016-04-26)
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  • The laboratory diet plan
    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 The laboratory diet plan February 15th 2010 by Jenny in Uncategorized I m a fairly slim person but to stay that way I have to exercise regularly and refrain from eating too many unhealthy snacks Recently though I ve accidentally discovered a new trick if I book the confocal microscope from 12 til 2 PM lunch somehow doesn t happen I m not hungry enough to eat before noon but by 2 the canteen is closed and foraging for food starts to

    Original URL path: http://blogs.lablit.com/2010/02/the-laboratory-diet-plan/ (2016-04-26)
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  • This stinks
    a spent pipette tip So I just went through his trash trying to find anything smelly and purple but drew a blank Next I took off my lab coat and swirled it around my head for about a minute trying to circulate the smell away from my bench in vain Plan C a coffee in the office while I wait for my stomach to settle and for diffusion to do its thing 15 Comments rpg 1 Comment permalink February 10th 2010 at 22 19 Walk into the lab with a peg on your nose Biopather 2 Comment permalink February 11th 2010 at 10 41 Yep Beta merc stinks it s that touch of rotting fish that does it for me Was it SDS PAGE Did your labmate add TEMED to spice things up Jenny 3 Comment permalink February 11th 2010 at 10 55 Interestingly I don t mind TEMED so much It s not the fishiness that gets me there is something about the odor than makes me feel violently ill but I can t quite get what it is DTT on the other hand makes me salivate It s such a lovely smell Biopather 4 Comment permalink February 11th 2010 at 11 54 That s the first time I ve seen DTT and salivate in the same sentence Personally TEMED makes me nervous Must be a Pavlovian response or something Jenny 5 Comment permalink February 11th 2010 at 12 09 Were you flogged with dead herring as a child Biopather 6 Comment permalink February 11th 2010 at 12 14 No but I ve had a bunch of awful gels on my watch Jim 7 Comment permalink February 12th 2010 at 18 42 I had a Greek lab mate who used to say that 2 ME made him feel hungry I personally hate it but my worst enemy is TEMED which I really despise probably since a project student of mine managed to tip over a bottle with an incorrectly secured lid on route to the fume hood That was nasty On the other hand I ve worked with S aureus for the better part of a decade and I ve learnt to quite enjoy the sweet literally smell even though to newcomers they smell like a tramp s armpit Jenny 8 Comment permalink February 12th 2010 at 19 45 Is S aureus the one that s supposed to smell like grapes I don t mind TEMED at all which is very strange because I know logically it should be a highly objectionable odor Perhaps I am missing a few receptors The thing I find the most disgusting at all is the scent of cell cultures Have you ever sniffed a tissue culture dish full of cells It smells very disturbingly of flesh Of course that s not really surprising but it gives me the willies Biopather 9 Comment permalink February 12th 2010 at 19 49 You know I hadn t made that connection before Shiver rpg 10 Comment permalink

    Original URL path: http://blogs.lablit.com/2010/02/this-stinks/ (2016-04-26)
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  • I’m back
    September 2009 14 August 2009 8 Admin Log in Entries RSS Comments RSS WordPress org I m back January 28th 2010 by Bill in Uncategorized I ve been tempted back into blogging following a somewhat enforced period of attention elsewhere Over the last couple months I have thought of a lot of things to write about without quite finding the time to do so But you will have to wait for my views on climate science or the Iraq enquiry or Andrew expletive deleted Wakefield No I am being drawn out by a letter in today s Nature A few weeks ago that august journal published a short story in its Futures series speculating on what sort of diseases a god would suffer if we were truly made in his image and conversely whether our diseases would be visited upon him Now Denis Alexander writes to state this gratuitously offensive junk has no place in a serious scientific journal Denis Alexander is at pains to point out he is not a Catholic that faith and its doctrine of transubstantiation being clearly mocked in the story but he is the director of the Faraday Institute for Science and Religion So he s not quite the disinterested observer seems to be trying to claim Arguably neither am I as an atheist But I m not bringing this up to have a narrow go at religion honest It is the notion that the story should not have been published in a serious scientific journal I have long felt equivocal about Futures When it was trailed a few years ago I found it an irritant Here was some jejune piece of science fiction whimsy at the tail end of one of the most important journals around So I just ignored it Since it has

    Original URL path: http://blogs.lablit.com/2010/01/im-back/ (2016-04-26)
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  • My robotic commute
    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 My robotic commute January 25th 2010 by Jenny in Uncategorized Can anyone tell me why the new automated announcement system at Kings Cross St Pancras Underground station sounds like a female Stephen Hawking Of course I understand that it s a lot cooler to have a computer generate alerts as the need arises rather than imprisoning Mrs Flibbledy bit from Dagenham in a small room and forcing her to record all the possible syllables one might possibly need while traversing the bowels of London We all know where the latter

    Original URL path: http://blogs.lablit.com/2010/01/my-robotic-commute/ (2016-04-26)
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  • Uncategorized - Lab Literal
    escapism searching for CP 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

    Original URL path: http://blogs.lablit.com/category/uncategorized/page/8/ (2016-04-26)
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