Bored Scientist Unite!

I remember my first summer job as a lab summer student. I was given the all important job of making buffers and cleaning up the chemical cupboard. “Buffer Boy” they called me. To my surprise the summer turned out to be more exciting than it sounds (especially considering that I had spent the previous summer adding price tags to purses in a huge distribution warehouse). In addition to preparing buffers and being allowed to cast the occasional gel, our lab had a multi-user network with some high end computing power. Yes…that summer I was introduced to network gaming. Gone were the days of mine sweeper and solitaire. Thanks to endless hours waiting for their PCR reactions to finish (remember 3hr pcr? Ugly) I was able to convince grad students to make good use of their time in a challenging game of Rise of the Triads. Oh what fun.

Today we no longer have to worry about what to do in our spare time. With interesting blogs such as American Biotechnologist and Canadian Biotechnologist 2.0 we always have things to do to avoid boredom.

Bio-Rad has recently entered the fray with their online Gene Transfer Game! The Gene Transfer Game is fun and easy to play. It takes place in a tissue culture flask where players will be “shooting” cells and special characters. You can choose your weapon amongst Bio Rad’s gene transfer products — electroporators (Gene Pulser MXcell and Xcell electroporation systems and MicroPulser), biolistics (Helios gene gun and PDS-1000/He systems), liposomes (siLentFect, TransFectin, HEKFectin, and COSFectin) — or a viral-mediated delivery reagent, by clicking on its image. Each weapon creates a different effect when used, and special characters encountered along the way keep the fun going! The highest scoring player of each day wins the prize — an “Upregulated” or “Downregulated” T-shirt. The contest will run until June 10, 2010.

You can play the game and win a T-shirt which, due to legal issues, can only be awarded to players in the United States and Canada. Can you feel the excitement?!

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