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Archives for February, 2008

Do different kinds of biomes (forest vs. creek) support different kinds of bacteria? Or do we find the same amounts of each genus wherever we look? Those are the questions that we’ll answer in this last video. We’re going to use pivot tables and count all the genera that live in each biome. Then, we’ll…

This is third video in our series on analyzing the DNA sequences that came from bacteria on the JHU campus. In this video, we use a pivot table to count all the different types of bacteria that students found in 2004 and we make a pie graph to visualize the different numbers of each genus.

What do you do after you’ve used DNA sequencing to identify the bacteria, viruses, or other organisms in the environment? What’s the next step? This four part video series covers those next steps. In this part, we learn that a surprisingly large portion of bioinformatics, or any type of informatics is concerned with fixing data…

For the past few years, I’ve been collaborating with a friend, Dr. Rebecca Pearlman, who teaches introductory biology at the Johns Hopkins University. Her students isolate bacteria from different environments on campus, use PCR to amplify the 16S ribosomal RNA genes, send the samples to the JHU core lab for sequencing, and use blastn to…

Bora had an enjoyable post yesterday on obsolete lab skills. I can empathize because I have a pretty good collection of obsolete lab skills myself. These days I’m rarely (okay, never) called upon to do rocket immunoelectrophoresis, take blood from a rat’s tail, culture tumor cells in the anterior eye chamber of a frog, locate…

Long ago, I worked in a large lab that was divided into several small rooms. For part of that time, I shared one of the small rooms with a graduate student from Taiwan. She was a wonderful person who taught me that many cultural norms are not normal in other cultures. One moment stands out.

I love the way you show me secret things. All I do is type: Select * from name_of_a_table And you share everything with me. Without you, my vision is obscured, and all I see is the display on the page. In fact, this was the push that finally made me decide to learn SQL.

They could have used the data from my serial killer survey, but no, being scientists or science-related, the ScienceBlogs overseers want to find out for themselves. Plus the chance of winning and iPod is higher than the chance of winning the lottery and you don’t even have to buy a ticket. Take the survey, maybe…

My funny Valentine

Believe it or not, this is a DNA kiss.

Confused about terms like “autonomy” and “beneficance” and their relationship to biomedical research? The Northwest Association for Biomedical Research (NWABR) is offering a short course at the University of Washington, Feb. 29th and March 1st, on Ethics in Science. Registration details and a description are below.