lab technique

Science Aesthetic: a well kept lab notebook, perfect sterile technique, cross referenced stock solutions, a single, perfect freezer box, labels

Real Science™: post-it notes everywhere, a messy bench, yesterday’s bacterial cultures, fourteen pieces of scratch paper, digging in the freezer for ten minutes because you don’t know where your stocks ended up

Concept: a competition show in the style of the great british bake off except instead of cooking it’s a bunch of early career scientists competing in a variety of lab experiments from various fields. So one week you have to execute a technically perfect titration and the next you need to design and perfect an assay of some
sort etc. and in between you need to demonstrate a variety of lab techniques like sterile technique and silica column separations and idk some physics things. And at the end one young scientist is crowned queen of the lab and wins like a fellowship or something.

Crash Course aka. our saviours. 
(other crash course masterposts coming soon!)




Anatomy & Physiology

* You said something like…
* “You look horrible.”
* “Why are you even alive?”
* … what?
* You didn’t say that?

This is inspired by @nochocolate‘s analysis: “What was Chara Laughing At?” I’m a Chara sympathizer, but this moment in the game always haunted me. I’ve read many fan-interpretations, and NoChocolate’s is my favorite, even though it crushes my heart.
Lecture List for University Chemistry Courses

Chemistry Courses Included:

  • General Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Physical Chemistry
  • Quantum Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Computational Chemistry
  • Medicinal/Pharmaceutical Chemistry
  • Polymer Chemistry
  • Chemistry Lab Technique
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Biotechnology
  • Metallurgy

This is an amazing resource for anyone currently studying these courses, studying these courses in the future, or anyone interested in the subject. Enjoy and please reblog so more people are aware!

Non-Sterile Lab Technique (Dirk/Gamzee, shadowbound au)

Dirk hides in his lab. Gamzee hunts him down. Inappropriate workplace behavior ensues.

  • Relationships: Dirk/Gamzee, Dirk & Hal, Gamzee & Kurloz
  • ~9k, urban fantasy AU, shadows as daemons/familiars
  • NSFW, 18+, mind the tags :3
  • series tag

read on AO3

coauthored with the lovely and talented @rollerskatinglizard.  thanks muchly to @splickedylit for beta!

anonymous asked:

Even though I still have awhile before graduate school, I'm already worried about coming up with a thesis? How did you figure out yours? How does one write a thesis in chemistry?

Oh man don’t even worry about this at all.

Most people get thesis projects directly from their advisors, and while they can often change and can be influenced by your personal interests, generally speaking you’re not coming up with them out of whole cloth all by yourself. 

And even if your PI is the type to let you come up with something yourself, you’re still working within the parameters of what the focus of the lab is and what techniques and instruments you have available to you.

For example, my project is actually fairly original (in that I proposed it myself and my PI approved it, rather than her telling me what to work on), but it’s still within the parameters of what we as a lab are good at. I just picked a different protein to apply our techniques to.

If you have things that you are particularly interested in you can use that to guide your grad school applications (so apply to schools with people who do what you want to do), but other than that you really don’t need to worry about this yet.

biology squads at my uni

(according to me)

anthropology: the cool ones; biggest swag of all scientists, high self-esteem, inappropriate jokes, messiest labs ever, always cheerful, late to everything, love undergrads, nice lab coats

genetics: the nerdiest nerds; lots of colored pens and pretty posters, know a ton of fun facts, strong sense of community, good at old-school lab techniques, meme lords, labs always have fruit flies flying around

evolution-zoology-comparative anatomy: the hippies; weirdest lectures and classes, unusual working hours, constantly talk like they’re stoned, most original research, good with animals, always smell faintly of formaldehyde, either the best teachers you’ve ever met or absolute messes

molecular/cell biology: the motorbike gang; perpetually tired, highest coffee consumption, get to work with the most advanced equipment, always on their phones, complicated lectures and classes, amazing at drawing stuff, very hard-working

neurobiology: the badasses; wild west of science, never quite sure what exactly they’re doing or researching, lots of huge illustrated textbooks, sci-fi labs, mind blowing lectures, regular philosophical discussions, great dress sense

ecology: the chill ones; really good at math and physics, bitter about climate change, lots of trips and field work, love to talk about their research, best lecture presentations, hang out in the library a lot, dirty lab coats, low-key scared of undergrads, pretty much live on campus

geology: the cryptids; nobody is really sure they exist, idk they probably do, but I’ve never seen one

Not to be unsympathetic, but if your lab safety technique is that piss-poor you only have yourself to blame if you die a horrible death.

My new lab

The pipette feels comfortable in my hand. There is something familiar about it, despite not using one in half a decade. Even though the lab techniques are slowly re-emerging in my mind, getting dusted off after years of not using them, I feel like an outcast still.  I am, after all, an interloper. A transient that some might regard as a burden rather than a help. And yet, if that is their belief, they have not shown it. In fact the lab has welcomed me with open arms. 

I am currently on break from clinical duties. I am using this time (which is meant for vacation) for research. I was accepted into a virology and bacterial pathogen lab working on a very specific virus that has captured public interest in recent years (in an effort to preserve anonymity I will refrain from details that might make it easier to identify me). Because I am interested in infectious diseases as a possible specialty, I wanted to find an opportunity to do some bench research in the field.  

Though I worked in a research lab in undergrad, this experience seems quite different. The level of science being performed is higher and the expectation of me is also increased - I am, after all, a doctor. The sarcasm of the last statement is likely lost in typed form. Essentially there is a dramatic difference between what I do on a daily basis and what many of my lab compatriots expect of me. They ask in depth questions on cell pathways, which they spend most of their waking hours studying. Meanwhile much of my intern year experience has been spent on documentation.  Much of the things they speak about were lost from my mind after my USMLE Step 1, or perhaps never learned at all. 

Regardless, I am having a blast in this lab. It is interesting to see my own evolution as well. I find myself having much more confidence than I used to. I am willing to dive into the literature in a way I would not have prior to medical school. If nothing else, the process of becoming a doctor has made me into a learning machine, ready to read and absorb information in a way I could not during my undergrad years. And yet I am still not on par with these PhD candidates, whose lives are filled with lab work, figures, and paper writing.

It is a bit hard to swallow my pride and start fresh in a field I am very weak in, especially after spending the last 4.5 years attempting to gain competence in an entirely different field. At times my PI and lab mates talk down to me, unintentionally, explaining concepts I have a firm grasp on. Other times they gloss over things they expect me to know - things I actually have no idea about. In the end I am learning, and re-learning, a great deal. Ultimately I am excited for this new endeavor. I just hope to keep up some lab work when my clinical responsibilities resume.      

anonymous asked:

Hi Julia! I've got an internship soon and I'm so nervous. It's in a neuroscience lab (I'm a 2nd year undergrad) and they said I should read up on their recent papers, but is there anything else I should do to prepare? I just feel like I'd come off unskilled (which I am) or stupid >_< even though I'm sure the lab is full of lovely people. We haven't strictly planned out what I'll be doing but it's probably similar to lab rotations if that helps at all. Would appreciate any tips, thanks! :)

hi there! congratulations!! this is going to be such a great experience for you. 

i think the most helpful thing for you to do right now would be these things when reading the papers:

  • write down the main question they’re asking/exploring in the paper. this sets everything up. you can also do some research on what lead up to that question (eg. important past findings, knowledge gaps, clinical needs, etc).
  • familiarize yourself with the methods, as these will probably be the techniques you will be learning in lab. i find it helpful to youtube the techniques so you can watch the process. 
  • write down the main conclusions from the paper, as everything else in lab will be built upon those conclusions.
  • write down what their future directions are (if they state it). this may give you a good idea of what current experiments are being run. 
  • write down any and all questions you have regarding anything! do they talk about a pathway you’re not familiar with? ask! super complicated mouse model? ask! nothing shows your preparation quite like having a list of questions–it means you did your homework, and you’re passionate about learning more about the research. 
  • lastly, don’t stress if nothing in the papers makes sense. those things are really hard to understand if you’re not familiar with the science/field/techniques/results. there are a lot of little nuances that will only be understandable with experience. if you can at least walk away with a general idea of what the lab is working on, then that’s ok. you will learn more, and at the end of your internship, you’ll go back to these papers and realize just how much more you understand!

aaaaaand that’s it! not a big list, i know, but you really don’t know what you should prepare for until you’re more familiar with your project and your techniques. your mentor (probably a lab tech or grad student) will teach you all you need to know. and it’s ok if you feel like you're “inexperienced”. no one expects an undergrad to come into a lab knowing every single technique; we know you’re here to learn!

as for general lab stuff, i would recommend bringing a light jacket as some labs and offices can get pretty chilly, and a notebook to jot down notes in. and if someone is showing you a technique/protocol that you’ll be using down the line, ask for a copy of the protocol and take notes on it. 

once you’re more settled in your lab and see what your routine is, you’ll have a better idea of what else to bring (eg. headphones, snacks, etc)

remember: no one expects you to be a super duper expert on the 1st day! you’ll be taking everything one reasonable step at a time, with plenty of help along the way. it’s in everyone’s interest that you feel comfortable with whatever you’re doing :)

good luck, and have fun! let me know how it goes! i’d love to hear what you’re working on!

anonymous asked:

What's the difference between the definition of disabled according to the ada and the definition of disabled according to ssi? Thank you!!!

The ADA’s definition of a disability is an impairment that substantially limits one’s ability to perform one or more major life activities, including, but not limited to: caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, seeing, hearing, eating, sleeping, walking, standing, lifting, bending, speaking, breathing, learning, reading, concentrating, thinking, communicating, or working. Pretty straightforward.

The Social Security Administration’s definition of a disability is much different. The SSA website reads: “The law defines disability as the inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity (SGA) by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment(s) which can be expected to result in death or which has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months.”

What a mouthful. “Medically determinable” means an impairment that stems from an anatomical, physiological, or psychological abnormality that can be shown through clinical or lab diagnostic techniques. Just having symptoms is not enough; there has to be tangible evidence that something is wrong (so if you have debilitating back pain but doctors can’t find a reason for it, you’re basically SOL). This impairment needs to have lasted or will be expected to last for at least one year, unless it’s a terminal illness. And a person earning more than a set monthly amount of money is considered to be engaging in “substantial gainful activity”. The amount of money is listed here and changes yearly. You have to earn less than that monthly amount to be considered disabled.

So, in layman’s terms, the SSA defines a disability as a tangible, medically evidential impairment that limits your ability to work and make more than a certain amount of money and has lasted or is expected to last for over a year.


Just finished taking the new MCAT! ^__^

I don’t know if this is appropriate to post, but I wanted to share my thoughts and IMOs and perhaps it may benefit those who plan on taking the MCAT. Also, a thousand pardons in advance as this post is lengthy.

Here we go…

I retook it only to improve my “verbal” aka Critical Analysis and Reasoning Section (CARS). It is definitely more conceptualized and heavily passage-based in comparison to the old MCAT exam. Everything was sprinkled with bio and biochem.

I felt very confident with the first section (Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological Systems). This time, I prepared by not even bothering to memorize any physics formulas/laws/etc and just worked on practice passages to build my endurance for 95 minutes. I took my time in answering each question and still had 40 minutes to spare. I spent the remainder of the time writing concepts on top of my head for the biochem and biology section (blood flow in the heart, how the eyes work, how hearing works, the respiratory system, categorizing Amino Acids, hormones, etc…) Ironically, there were barely any physics problems and a majority were focused on biology/chemistry labs and techniques, some general chemistry, a good handful of biochemistry, and a pinch of organic chemistry. In addition, you were essentially a unit converting calculator. However, this doesn’t mean that it will happen again on the upcoming exams. I wasn’t really concerned with this section as I have been tutoring general chemistry for 3+ years, apply physics in research, and reviewed all the lab techniques. I felt very very confident and sure with 57 out the of 59 questions.

I utilized every second of the 10 minute break in between PS and CARS. For the second section, CARS, there were 53 questions split amongst 9 passages. Since I was allotted 90 minutes to complete this section, I divided my time into 10 minute increments per passage. Compared to the Verbal Reasoning Section on the old MCAT, there were no “sciency” passages and it only focused on humanities (with the exception of some art). I kept my focused, looked for answers in the readings for each question, and kept at a good steady pace. I spent a majority of my studies preparing for this section by buying CARS practice books from several different publishers (The Princeton Review, Kaplan, NextStep, McGraw Hill and Barron’s Prep) What I didn’t do is NOT read The Economist, Time, etc. like everyone told me to do. The only way I felt like I was going to improve my crappy “verbal” score is by reading actual novels and doing more practice passages. I prepared by taking all the time in the world to read a passage and answer the problems by asking myself “why did I answer that?” and “can you provide evidence from the passage that the answer is X?” Even though it took me 20+ minutes, I never got a perfect on a passage until I used this strategy. Over time and practice I was able to finish a passage with this technique in less than 10 minutes. What I highly suggest to those struggling in “verbal” is to take it really really slow, read one paragraph at a time and ask yourself what the f**k did I just read… what happened. Keep in mind about the author’s tone/attitude/main point. Then go to the questions and try to find the answer in the passage. I didn’t bother writing or taking notes on the scratch paper this time because last time… it took a lot of my time. Today, I had only 2 minutes to spare and decided not to change ANY answers like I did on the old MCAT.

Between the second and third section, you are given a 30 minute break/lunch. Use all 30 minutes! I wanted to recuperate from the constant hyper-focusing in CARS. Lunch consisted of bananas, trail mix, salad and water. Entering Biology, there were A LOT of passage based questions. I was able to finish with 10 minutes to spare out of the 95 minutes. I prepared for biology by studying the same books I used to practice PS and CARS (see above). I also got a hold of the Sterling’s 1200 Bio/Biochem Question Prep Book which really helped me answer such questions faster. TPR and Kaplan worked really well for content review. I also noticed that the Kaplan 2014 and 2015 barely had any changes as they just reorganized the chapters and stamped a 2015/NEW onto the book… So it is fine to use the old books for Bio/Biochem/Ochem/Gchem/Physics and just get the CARS and PSB books separately.

Take that break! 10 minutes later… PSB Section. The last section of the MCAT and I was getting a tad bit worn out from Biology. I used up all 95 minutes but I took my time (mostly because I was slowing down haha). A majority of the questions per passage involved recalling theories and concepts applied in a hypothetical experiment. There was quite a good amount of Neurology and Physiology questions. And then again… MORE passage based experiments on theories/concepts left and right. I found the PSB section to be somewhat enjoyable since all I really was doing was to analyze data/graphs. How I prepared for PSB was by going over all the names of those who contributed to PSB and Sociology, theories, experiments, and terminology. I also went through the same books I prepped for (see above). I find Kaplan and TPR on par for PSB. In addition, I used McGraw Hill just to compare and contrast along with Kaplan’s Flashcard Set (which I only benefited in PSB and not the other sections).

Overall, I felt pretty darn good handling this 230-question exam with 3 months of preparation. To summarize this all up, I highly recommend to (1) take a diagnostics practice test and see your strengths and weaknesses (2) lightly review content regularly and if you can afford to take a class, go for it! (3) take a bunch of practice passages and get used to being glued to a computer screen (4) take full NEW tests toward the remaining month of studying (5) don’t burn yourself out and lastly (6) be confident in yourself. Yes it is a 7+ hour test, but you’re not alone! You’ve made it this far in life, and as an aspiring physician, you will overcome this obstacle. The score really reflects on how much you put into it and how much you want it.

Well, time to spend the rest of my weekend as a vegetable and catch up on Game of Thrones, Arrow, Flash, piano, surfing, dancing, etc…


- Alex Lebroski

Scientific careers provide personal, professional rewards

As Black History Month 2016 draws to a close, some of our NSF Graduate Research Fellows share insights about what they find rewarding about their careers in science.

“What makes me proudest in my scientific career is participating in initiatives that support women and underrepresented minorities to pursue interests in science. My involvement in eco-evolutionary research allows me to be the positive change I want to see in the world because seeing other underrepresented groups in graduate studies helps create a diverse student body and future faculty that is more inclusive and representative of our community.”

– Lekeah A. Durden, Ph.D. student, Department of Biology, Indiana University 

“My research looks at connectivity of reef fish across various spatial scales with the use of genetic methods. This information will be used to inform local communities regarding the dispersal patterns for species considered subsistence fisheries. I receive great satisfaction knowing that my research has a direct impact on the strategies of both state and community-based management efforts. I intend to continue to engage younger generations and act as an example for individuals from low socioeconomic backgrounds that one is able to pursue fulfilling careers in fields that are disparate from what is traditionally represented in our communities.”

– Richard Coleman, Ph.D. candidate, Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology, University of Hawaii at Manoa

Keep reading

anonymous asked:

When was the moment you knew you wanted to commit to Chemistry as a major?

This is probably going to be a more detailed answer than you wanted since I’m going to take this one step further and also add why I wanted to commit to environmental/atmospheric chemistry but…whatever. I’m also going to talk in third person because why not. 

So, once upon a time tiny high school Krystal wanted to go to college. So what did she do? She applied to the UC system because it was easy and cheap (one app/fee for all the schools). When asked which major, she basically selected every life science major listed because she thought she wanted to be premed or at least do medical-related research. After all, she was a first generation college student and didn’t really know what else was out there. So, when Krystal got accepted to UC Riverside as a biochemistry major she thought, “How exciting! I’m one step closer to getting a really cool job.” 

However, Krystal soon realized that she didn’t actually like biology or biochemistry all that much (to be fair, how was she supposed to know, there wasn’t much exposure to other sciences in her high school). The classes were kind of lame and the research wasn’t very interesting and she just didn’t want to be stuck doing something she didn’t like.

“Well, crap…”

Luckily, at the same time she was also taking her required gen chem course. And also, luckily, she happened to have a really fantastic professor that essentially sold her on the idea of chemistry. Not only did he teach the concepts very well, but he also talked so highly about the subject and how chemistry can be valuable in so many different fields–which, for Krystal, seemed like a good thing since she no longer knew what she wanted to do in life. 

So, after her first quarter in college she switched her major and started looking for chances to do undergrad research in chemistry so she could get a better idea of what the field entailed (and boost her resume). Though some luck and some connections, she even got a chance to do undergrad research in an organic synthesis lab that made conjugated dyes for solar cells. 

Yea, well, turned out she hated that too. Synthesis just wasn’t for her. But, she thought, what else do chemists do aside from synthesize things? (Turns out, a lot). 

It’s cool though. Krystal had faced the despair of having her life plans suddenly fall apart once. She could totally get through it again. And this time at least she liked the courses in chemistry, so it’s not like she was completely down for the count. So, as a hopeful quick solution, she decided to look for classes in the summer so she can tack on a minor. At the very least she figured she’d be specialized enough in a subject to get a job, even if it’s not as a chemist. Somehow, she stumbled upon an introductory environmental science class. 

And she loved it.

It was amazing.

The field was interdisciplinary and relied strongly on people with lots of different science backgrounds. Like chemistry. Perfect! 

Coincidentally, Krystal also did really good in the class and the professor offered her a position in his lab. She excitedly took the offer and got experience in hydrology and soil chemistry. She even decided to tack on environmental science as a minor and took all those classes on top of her beloved chemistry courses. 

And then sometime into her third year, she had to take an atmospheric chemistry course, which was a shared requirement between her major and minor. And she fell in love. She fell so much in love that she decided to apply for a bunch of internships to make sure that this time her passion was for real. And she got a very cool NASA internship. And as part of this NASA internship she got to visit Caltech and learn about their chemistry department and the faculty that do research in atmospheric chemistry. And every time she read a paper or learned something new, she just got so excited that she knew that this was definitely something she wanted to commit her life to. 

So she did. 

And now that’s what she does for a living.

Though admittedly, nowadays it seems like I do nothing but complaining about work. But, even so, deep down every time she reads a paper or learns a new technique in lab, that love of atmospheric chemistry flickers and grows a little brighter. 

That’s the story of how I found the subject I wanted to commit to. It just kind of fell into place because I explored different subjects and combined the ones I really enjoyed. 

For a Tl;dr: The moral of the story is (1) Take lots of classes in college, (2) professors can make a huge difference on how you approach a subject, (3) sometimes your passions just find you and (4) there’s not really “a moment.” It’s more like the sum of many moments where you realize that there is this thing that you just really like doing, even during the sucky times. 

PS: Totally didn’t proofread this. So sorry for grammatical stuff. 

Most people’s first reaction: Oh my God! Is that a girl doing science?!
My fourth reaction: I can’t believe the NIH posted this picture on their Facebook page. That is practically asking for a major fine from OSHA.
My fifth reaction: LABEL YOUR GODDAMN CHEMICALS! I don’t give a fuck if that is tap water with dye in it. For all I know it could be corrosive and/or lethal and/or bad for the environment to dispose of down the drain.
My sixth reaction: Oh look at her doing sciencey stuff. She has a lot to learn about lab safety, but one day she might be a role model to other aspiring female scientists!

MoMA Teens’ In the Making

NYC high school students! Apply now for In the Making, @momateens‘ free studio art courses. No previous art-making experience is required! Our Spring 2017 courses are TAKE CARE, a behind-the-scenes exploration of MoMA’s conservation lab, and PYRO TECHNIQUES, a course about glass-blowing and sculpture created in collaboration with UrbanGlass.

Applications are available at and due January 9th. For more information, email