anonymous asked:

What science did/will you major in? Also, how much schooling do you need to become a forensic scientist? Is it hard to get a job as one?

I’m a creative writing major, actually. My goal is to write novels and be the next Stephen King or Anne Rice. 

However, my uncle works as a professor at a university and he was able to get me into classes where I took chemistry, biology, and forensic science courses for a while. I’m also very well read on the subject. I have a steadily growing collection of books from everything from behavioral analysis to unsolved murder cases to forensic pathology. I’ve spoken to convicted killers face to face and my family owns a pharmaceutical company which comes in handy for learning about drugs and their effects on the body (this is geared primarily towards forensic toxicology). 

To be a forensic scientist you need to have a four-year degree in physics, biology, microbiology, chemistry, medical technology, or genetics. Also, taking classes in law and communication can only benefit you. Entry level jobs in the forensic science field earn about $1,900 a month and can build up to $3,000+ a month with experience. It’s not unheard of for experienced workers to earn 6 figure paychecks, either. 

It’s the same as getting a job in any other career path. Starting out and finding entry level work will be difficult because of the competition but if you’re skilled and determined then there will always be room for you. The job outlook for forensic science is moderate at the moment– there’s not a huge demand for people but the area is not in decline, either. 

When you say you want to be a forensic scientist, keep in mind that there are many different working parts in the field. This includes:

Forensic science technician, forensic ballistics expert, bloodstain pattern analyst, forensic DNA analyst, polygraph examiner, forensic documents examiner, forensic toxicologist, forensic anthropologist, and more. They each serve a different purpose. I’d look into them carefully and decide which one you’re best suited for before starting your education. 

I hope I was helpful, if you have any more questions don’t be scared to ask. Good luck.

Alice Catherine Evans (1881-1975) was a microbiologist who worked for the US Department of Agriculture, investigating bacteriology in milk and cheese. Her research was responsible for discovering the bacteria that causes the disease known as ‘Malta fever’ in humans and cattle.

She was initially contracted to work on finding methods to improve the flavor of cheddar cheese, but she undertook her own research to investigate a disease in cattle which was believed to be harmless towards humans. Her findings led to the beginnings of milk pasteurization, and greatly reduced the incidence of the disease.

H5N1 | h.arderwiek

H5N1 avian influenza virus particles, coloured transmission electron micrograph (TEM). Each virus particle consists of ribonucleic acid (RNA), surrounded by a nucleocapsid and a lipid envelope (green). The natural hosts of this virus are wild birds, which show few symptoms. However, infected domestic birds suffer a 90-100% mortality rate. Humans that have contact with infected birds can become infected. The first such infection was identified in South-East Asia in 1997, and the virus has steadily spread across the world, with an outbreak in a poultry farm in the UK in 2007. There are fears that the virus may mutate into a human-transmissible form, which could lead to millions of deaths worldwide. Magnification: x670,000 when printed 10cm wide.


“There are thousands of different proteins in the human body. Each has a unique shape that determines its function. Scientists have a hard time capturing images of individual proteins, however—the high-powered imaging tools would obliterate the fragile proteins, so researchers capture photos of proteins in a crystal structure, often millions of them at a time. The resulting images are often blurry, and some proteins can’t be photographed because they don’t form crystals. Now a team has used wonder-material graphene to take the first photos of individual proteins, according to a study published recently on arXiv and reported by New Scientist. “

Read More at Popular Science

Microbes and Sleep

It’s Microbe Week and thanks to this video from @braincraft we’ve got visions of bacteria dancing in our heads! While you may be aware of the myriad essential functions our microbes help us perform that keep us happy and healthy, you may not have known about the surprising link between sleep and what’s going on in your gut. Watch the video to learn more:


This is me
This is me with my (accumulating) college acceptance letters
These colleges have accepted me for neuroscience, microbiology, and biology
This is the face of black excellence
Don’t tell me for one second that we’re stupid 👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾

New light-activated nanoparticles kill over 90% of antibiotic-resistant bacteria
A new solution in the fight against superbugs.
By Peter Dockrill

Bacterial resistance to antibiotics is a growing problem around the world, responsible for some 2 million infections in the US each year that lead to approximately 23,000 deaths.

But a new nanoparticle treatment developed by researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder could provide an effective means of fighting antibiotic-resistant bacteria including Salmonella, E. Coli, and Staphylococcus, based on results in a laboratory environment. In testing with a lab-grown culture, the nanoparticles killed 92 percent of drug-resistant bacterial cells while leaving the other cells intact.

The treatment consists of light-activated therapeutic nanoparticles called “‘quantum dots”. These extremely small particles, which resemble the semiconductors used in electronics, are about 20,000 times smaller than a human hair, and when excited by light they prove deadly to drug-resistant bacterial cells.

In Ancient DNA, Evidence of Plague Much Earlier Than Previously Known
A new study suggests that Yersinia pestis, which causes plague, infected people as long as 5,000 years ago.
By Carl Zimmer

In important reminder that the past is much more than what human DNA can tell us!

Dr. Willerslev and his colleagues are now looking for more clues to how the plague affected the Bronze Age world — as well as other pathogens that may have left behind genetic traces. He is now grateful that he and his colleagues didn’t simply throw out all their nonhuman DNA.

“It was just annoying waste lying there that we had to bully our way through,” said Dr. Willerslev. “Now it’s not waste anymore. It’s a potential gold mine.”