:: Posted by American Biotechnologist on 01-03-2011
Welcome to a new year! I hope that everyone enjoyed the holidays with family and friends and that you’re all geared up for a great 2011.
I’ve been receiving dozens of messages from wordpress (the publishing platform used to power the American Biotechnologist blog) that many of the plugins and themes used on the American Biotechnologist were out of date. As any good molecular biologist would have done, I listened to my gut which told me that if it aint broke, don’t fix it. (Isn’t that how molecular biology works? If you get your best transfection results Tuesday afternoons at five while wearing a pink labcoat and blue nitrile gloves, you wouldn’t dare transfect cells under any other conditions.) Nonetheless, the warning messages of vulnerabilities in the site and necessary “emergency fixes” started eating at me and so, this weekend I bit the bullet and gave the site a thorough upgrade. All of this happened behind the scenes and hopefully you won’t notice any difference to the look, feel and functionality of the site (I didn’t). However, if you do come across any abnormalities such as links not working or strange things appearing on your screen please email me or send me a message using the comment section.
As always, if you have ideas or suggestions for improving the blog or topics you would like us to cover (or if you are interested in doing a guest post) please let us know! I look forward to your comments!
:: Posted by American Biotechnologist on 12-27-2010
Recently, the New York Times reported that financing for local science fairs is down significantly and that many events are in jeopardy of being canceled. These events include Mastodon Art and Science Regional Fair, the Illinois Science Olympiad, and The Academy of Science — St. Louis Science Fair,
According to the NYT:
Securing financing for these competitions and for the time-honored local science fair has become increasingly difficult because of the poor economy, organizers say. Sponsors have dropped out of local science fairs, while some schools are scaling back extracurricular activities, including science programs, because of state budget cuts.
We at the American Biotechnologist feel that science fairs are an important part of science education and that they are useful in shaping the goals and aspirations of student interested in science. Please help us increase the public’s awareness of the poor state of science fair funding by voting yes for more funding for science fairs and education. If you’re really keen to help, please leave a comment with your institution and city showing your support.
:: Posted by American Biotechnologist on 11-30-2010
More than 220 million people worldwide suffer from diabetes, a disorder that can lead to a series of complications and metabolic disorders arising from interactions among multiple proteins. The obese/diabetic mouse serves as an excellent model for the study of diabetes and its metabolic implications for drug discovery and targeted therapies. Bio-Rad Laboratories has developed a novel mouse 8-plex immunoassay to measure a selection of common metabolic biomarkers and a singleplex immunoassay for adiponectin. These metabolic biomarker immunoassays may be multiplexed with Bio-Plex Pro cytokine assays such as IL-6 and TNF alpha to extend the biomarker profile. The assays are based on Bio-Plex Pro magnetic COOH beads, which allow the implementation of automated wash steps using the Bio-Plex Pro wash station to improve efficiency and precision. The performance of these mouse metabolic biomarker assays was evaluated for specificity, sensitivity, precision, and accuracy. In addition, linearity of these biomarkers was demonstrated in mouse serum, plasma, and cell culture medium. Click on the technical note below to read more about the mouse diabetes multiplex metabolic biomarker assay and to learn how it can help you with your diabetes research.
Mouse Diabetes Multiplex Metabolic Biomarkers Assay
:: Posted by American Biotechnologist on 11-09-2010
Yesterday we told you about graduate student Nathaniel Krefman and his colleagues who lightened things up in their lab by producing a humorous video. Today I’d like to bring your attention to a blog post by Samuel Arbesman where he discusses a recent publication in the Journal of Information Science on humor in scientific publications.
Based on the huge number of hits received by the Stickleback video, one would expect that papers with humorous titles would receive more attention and thus more citations. However, it turns out that humorous titles actually yielded lower amounts of citations which the authors propose may be linked to the “serious” nature of scientific publications. I agree with the fact that we all want to be respected and for our work to be taken seriously, but should a fun/light approach to our work really hurt us?
At the American Biotechnologist we always like to have fun! If you have any funny stories or videos please send them along so we can share with others.
For more information see Abersman’s post humor in scientific publications.
:: Posted by American Biotechnologist on 09-02-2010
Hercules, CA — September 2010 — Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc has started a new Web Specials program in the Life Science Research group that will offer discounts on selected protein research products for online purchase, in the US, each month. The Web Specials can be accessed by going to the Bio-Rad Laboratories promotion web page.
The web specials provide a benefit to online customers by offering selected protein research products at a discounted price each month. These will be focused on products that are used in labs every day. Buying protein research products online is quickly becoming the preferred method for many labs, so the web specials reward these online buyers with a discount on products that are used so frequently.
The special for September is a 20% discount off any of the Protein Assay kits. These assays are a staple to practically any lab that works with proteins, and provide simple and accurate protein concentration. The web special includes:
• Bio-Rad Protein Assay (including the dye reagent)
– the Bradford assay used in labs around the world
• Quick Start Bradford Assay
– ready to use with pre-diluted assay standards
• DC Protein Assay
– used for detergent solubilized samples
• RC DC Protein Assay
– compatible with reducing agents and detergents
Visit the Web Specials each month by going to the Bio-Rad promotions web page.