Transcription and Translation

Archives for February, 2009

Quote of the day

Today’s quote is from the first two lines of a research manuscript about the neuroscience of Schadenfreude that appeared in a recent issue of Science. Envy is one of the seven biblical sins, the Shakespearian “green-eyed monster,” and what Bertrand Russell called an unfortunate facet of human nature. It is an irrational, unpleasant feeling and…

Next RNA Data Club, March 4th

Well after a bit of a holiday, the New England RNA Data Club is back. We’ll be meeting next week here at HMS. Here’s the latest email:

NIH & the Stimulus in the NY Times

An article appeared in today’s Science Section under the title, Beaker-Ready Projects? Colleges Have Quite a Few Here’s a passage that highlights what I’ve been harping about: The acting director of the National Institutes of Health begged university administrators on Wednesday to avoid even applying for stimulus money unless the universities planned to hire people…

Quote of the day

Natural human pathological variation can be readily identified by highly trained professionals, in other words doctors. Pathological variations of other model organisms are usually eaten. – Stephen O’Rahilly, Co-Director of IMS and Director of IMS Metabolic Research Laboratories, Cambridge University UK, on the advantages of studying humans who have rare metabolic diseases.

If you have happened to browse DrugMonkey, you’ll have noticed a discussion about how the NIH should spend its share of the stimulus package (~$10 billion). (For more info click here.) Unfortunately the plan, according to the NIH statement is the same usual BS – all quick fixes and no forethought about how to use…

Tid Bits, Downtime Edition

One common feature of bench work is downtime. Some activity, such as cutting and pasting DNA, require the researcher to incubate their samples for various periods of time. What to do? Well ideally the scientist in question should take advantage of this time to either, perform other experiments, make reagents such as buffers, or catch…

Yesterday I and a few local PhDs had a chat with a reporter from [insert name of big newspaper here] and we started talking about the life of a gradstudent and/or postdoc in the biomedical sciences. At the end of the conversation I brought up the academic blog scene and the reporter asked for a…

Quote of the day

In theory there is no difference between theory and practice but in practice, there is. – Yogi Bera (also attributed to Jan L. A. van de Snepscheut and Chuck Reid according to Wikiquote)

As many of you may know, I have been examining how mRNAs are transported and localized within the cell and how the regulation of mRNA metabolism contributes to gene expression. From data accumulated recently within the “RNA Field”, we know that transcription in eukaryotic cells is very sloppy – that is, a plethora of different…

… I have two simple requests: Stop asking people if they “believe in evolution”. Every time I hear some dumb ass politician or right wing theological nut say “I don’t believe in evolution”, it makes me cringe. Evolution is not some magical mystical process that you take on faith. Do you ever hear the question…