Knoxville '82: Where Miscellany Thrive

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Category archives for Knoxville ’82: Where Miscellany Thrive

It’s time again for John Bohannon’s annual “Dance Your Ph.D.” contest. This year, in my opinion, there are even more high quality entries than in previous years! (I was one of the judges who did the first round of choices…the “winners” were then chosen by a panel that includes several professional dancers (for several years it has…

Our lab has a paper called: “Enthalpic Switch-Points and Temperature Dependencies of DNA binding and Nucleotide Incorporation by Pol I DNA Polymerases” that was just published in BBA (Biochimica et Biophysica Acta): Proteins and Proteomics. The study follows up on an observation and prediction we had made some years ago in a different paper. The study…

Science Outreach Assessment?

This summer I am working with a student on trying to start to get some reasonable assessment of one of our ongoing oddball-ish outreach projects.  Working with a local videographer, we’ve been making 2 minute mini-profiles of astrobiologists who work here at LSU (Louisiana State University) – two minute summaries of who they are, what…

I recently spent a week in Lithuania visiting biophysical laboratories and giving a couple of seminars. My host was Daumantas Matulis of the Institute of Biotechnology at Vilnius University, where they have an EU grant that includes funds for bringing in visiting scientists from other countries (thank you EU!). Although my sampling of the science…

Hands Off Introductory Biology

A news story in ScienceNOW this week describes how City University of New York is planning to rearrange its “General Education” requirements so that non-majors who take science don’t have to take lab courses anymore. Scientists at CUNY are, predictably, annoyed and upset. Even non-majors should get to muck around in lab with their own…

Yanling Yang, who just graduated with a Ph.D. from my lab, has a paper in the just published November issue of Biophysical Chemistry. The entire issue of the journal celebrates the 25th Anniversary of a conference called “The Gibbs Conference on Biothermodynamics”, and each of the papers is from the laboratory of one of the…

Dance Your Ph.D. -2011

The “Dance Your Ph.D.” contest is on again for 2011. This unusual and highly interesting experiment in science outreach continues to be shepherded by John Bohannon, and continues to attract new sponsors — this years sponsor is TEDx Brussels. So what is this? Basically: you create an interpretive dance that “explains” your Ph.D. research and…

Reblogitation (pronounced with a “j” sound for the “g”, of course): the blogospheric phenomenon of reposting, and re-reposting, and re-re-reposting the information from the “apparent first” or “most snarky” report (or blog post) about a news item. Mother-post: the “apparent first” or “most snarky” report of an item, that then provides “the facts” for most…

A physicist friend of mine recently lent me a copy of Harry Frankfurt’s “On Bullshit“, which purports to be the only ever philosophical analysis of “bullshit”. This former essay turned teeny tiny hardback book reaches such profound conclusions as: 1) bullshit is sort of like humbug, only more excremental; 2) bullshit is worse than lying,…

Okay, after a long, long gap (on the blogosphere timescale) and/or almost zero elapsed time (by scientific literature standards), we’re going to attempt to wrap up this mini-series on heat capacity effects in biology. Parts 1 and 2 are here and here, respectively. So: How do you know if your reaction has a heat capacity…