Posts Tagged ‘fun facts’

Try Nerdy blog show scientist have a sense of humor

 :: Posted by American Biotechnologist on 07-28-2011

In these lazy summer days I find myself spending more time looking for and reading interesting/humorous blog posts by fellow scientists. My latest find is a blog by American PhD candidate “Try Nerdy” (TN). Although I don’t know his/her real name, (it is not listed in the TN about page), I do know that TN is a molecular biologist who helps distill complicated scientific material into easily digestible bits for his/her non-scientist readership. TN also has a great sense of humor and publishes some captivating stuff including TN’s latest post “The Inside Jokes of Scientists.”

If you were ever curious as to how crazy sounding proteins such as R2D2 and C3PO got their names, check out TN’s blog.

I am a scientist and despite TN’s claim that Try Nerdy is not focused on scientists I will continue to follow. Keep up the good work TN!

Saving lives one iPhone at a time

 :: Posted by American Biotechnologist on 07-25-2011

My iPhone is very precious to me. Until I had an iPhone, I wasn’t aware of how much I was missing. Now that I am an iPhone owner, I don’t know how I ever lived without one.

There are tons of awesome apps out there. For molecular biologists there is the NCBI Blast app, the MIQE app and the qPCR app (among others). There are also a number of cool health apps such as the urine blood glucose monitor or STD detector app.

Now another cool app has been added to your iPhone’s medical repitoire. The Melenoma Risk Assessment Tool by Health Discovery Corporation, is designed to help users learn about melanoma and identify areas on their skin which may need attention from a physician specializing in the diagnosis of melanoma.

Using the iPhone camera feature, users can take a picture of their skin lesions and moles and within seconds receive a risk analysis of their uploaded picture being a melanoma. Utilizing your iPhone GPS, MelApp can refer you to a nearby physician specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of melanoma for proper medical follow up, without the need to input a zip code or any personal information. These pictures also can be stored on MelApp and reviewed for changes in the skin lesions occurring over time.

For more information see the company’s official press release.

Tofu mice: an ethical alternative to the common lab rat

 :: Posted by American Biotechnologist on 07-25-2011

Below are some of my favorite lines/scenes from the video. What are yours?

  • “he’s not a labster-he’s just European”
  • “many labster spends at least 2hrs a day searching for journals with impact factors of less than 0.5″
  • labsters use “tofu mice” to avoid working with real animals

How realistic is your perception of science?

 :: Posted by American Biotechnologist on 07-07-2011

Here’s a great cartoon illustrating the perception of science in popular culture versus actual science. The cartoon was created by Paul Vallett over at the Electron CafĂ© and has been reprinted below with his permisson.

Elizabeth Taylor’s eyes reveal the mysteries of the human genome

 :: Posted by American Biotechnologist on 03-29-2011

I know that I’m late to the party on this one, but sometimes being late has its advantages.

Elizabeth Taylor, who passed away last week at the age of 79, was considered to be one of the more beautiful actresses from the previous century. One of her more distinctive features included her pretty eyes and long eyelashes. Yet in a blog post on BrowBeat (and pointed out by GenomeWeb’s Daily Scan) Roxanne Palmer writes that biographer J. Randy Tarborelli attributed Taylors long lashes to a mutant of the FOXC2 gene. Furthermore, Tarborelli claimed that Taylor’s parents knew about the mutation when she was born and dismissed it as not sounding “so terrible at all.”

All this is fine and dandy and a good story in itself, however, several commentor on both BrowBeat and The Daily Scan point out that Elizabeth Taylor was born in 1932 and the FOXC2 gene was cloned in 1998! Quite an interesting find indeed.

What’s my take on the story? Perhaps Elizabeth Taylor’s family physician was way ahead of his time. Could it be possible that he was able to look into her deep blue eyes and uncover the mysteries of the human genome? Now that’s a story!