Life Science

Category archives for Life Science

Back when I reviewed Mann’s pop-archaeology classic 1491, I mentioned that I’d held off reading it for a while for fear that it would be excessively polemical in a “Cortez the Killer” kind of way. Happily, it was not, so when I saw he had a sequel coming out, I didn’t hesitate to pick it…

Shockingly, it does not seem to involve right-wing politics in any way. It’s this explanation of why swirling wine in your glass clockwise produces different effects than swirling it counter-clockwise. a sample: Like all living things wine cells have a magnetic polarity, just like humans and the Earth. The positive pole is more highly charged,…

(This post is part of the new round of interviews of non-academic scientists, giving the responses of George Farrants, a freelance translator (and occasional marathon runner, as seen in the picture). 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.)…

(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…