Life Science

Category archives for Life Science

(This post is part of the new round of interviews of non-academic scientists, giving the responses of Jennifer Saam, who translates between different departments at a medical diagnostic laboratory. The goal is to provide some additional information for science students thinking about their fiuture careers, describing options beyond the assumed default Ph.D.–post-doc–academic-job track.) 1) What…

(This post is part of the new round of interviews of non-academic scientists, giving the responses of Richard Lobinske, a Hazardous Waste Manager (meaning he handles chemicals, such as these decades-old pesticides, not particularly noxious low-level employees). The goal is to provide some additional information for science students thinking about their fiuture careers, describing options…

(This post is part of the new round of interviews of non-academic scientists, giving the responses of Will Hendrick, who worked as a lab tech before returning to school. (This may seem like an odd inclusion, but there are people who do this sort of thing forever, so I think it’s valid.) The goal is…

Thursday’s post about the troubles of biomedical scientists drew a response from Mad Mike saying that, no, biomedical science Ph.D.’s really don’t have any career options outside of academia, and pointing to Jessica Palmer’s post on the same subject for corroboration. Jessica writes: This is something I’ve tried to explain many times to nonscientists: most…

Your Problems Are Not Unique

Via Mad Mike, a discussion of why it sucks to be a biomedical scientist: 87% of my blog-related e-mail is from unhappy, bitter, troubled, distraught biomed grad students, postdocs, technicians, and early-career faculty. Others write to me with problems, but these tend to be of the “I’m frustrated with my advisor” sort rather than the…

Science on the Tree 2010: Dinosaurs!

Next up in our series of science-themed Christmas ornaments are these two dinosaurs: Why? Because dinosaurs are awesome. Seriously, do you really need to ask?

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry for 2010 goes to Richard F. Heck, Ei-ichi Negishi and Akira Suzuki for giving people a reason to care about palladium. OK, it might not be the only reason– I’m not actually sure what palladium is used for other than organic synthesis and cold fusion– but it’s the context in…

There’s a new medical study of the effects of alcohol consumption that finds a surprising result: Controlling only for age and gender, compared to moderate drinkers, abstainers had a more than 2 times increased mortality risk, heavy drinkers had 70% increased risk, and light drinkers had 23% increased risk. A model controlling for former problem…

1491 by Charles C. Mann

We picked up a used copy of Charles Mann’s pop-archeology book 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus a while back. I didn’t read it at the time, because I was a little afraid that it would be rather polemical in what I think of as the Neil Young mode– wildly overstating the awesomeness…

The New York Times today has a story with the provocative title Getting Into Med School Without Hard Sciences, about a program at Mount Sinai that allows students to go to med school without taking the three things most dreaded by pre-meds: physics, organic chemistry, and the MCAT: [I]t came as a total shock to…