Biocurious is a weblog about biology, quantified.

BioCurious: year one in review

by PhilipJ on 17 June 2006

Hard to believe, but it has been a year since we opened our door here at BioCurious! For anyone who is just recently discovering the weblog, or for “longtime” readers who would just like a recap of the past year’s events, here we go.

Travel—Both André and I traveled to neat conferences this past year: André visited Paris for BioImage 2005, and then Utah for the 2006 Biophysical Society Meeting (with more highlights here). I only took one trip, but made it count by heading off to Japan for the OIST Single Molecule Analysis workshop (recap here and here).

Research—I’ve been living a hybrid life in an optics lab and our collaborator’s microbiology lab. In the past year or so I’ve built and characterised my lab’s first optical tweezers instrument, and then switched gears entirely and started working on DNA, culminating with the creation of pPIU1, which ended up earning its name. In between then, we also successfully measured the force-extension relation for dsDNA, and recently we’ve been pulling on some more exciting DNA that I’ll hopefully be able to talk about more in the future.

André on the other hand has been working on a really wide variety of things: AFM pulling experiments with Dystrophin, incorporating FCS, and pushing around E. coli. He’s also taken images of what turned out to be boring old salt, but this was a neat example of using weblogs to collaborate on the interpretation of data. Kind of like BioCurious’s own unofficial version of PLoS ONE.

Scientific Publishing—Something I hadn’t imagined as a hot topic here at BioCurious when we first started was scientific publishing, but it quickly became one of more common themes we bring up, starting with the fact that scientists themselves are often poor writers. We’ve talked about how there is too much junk science getting published, and what we might do to remedy the problem, and have come to the defense of peer review, when it is improperly being blamed for the scandals that have plagued science recently. Helping to make science more accessible, we’ve supported the Public Library of Science financially (and gotten cool shirts in return) and through word of mouth by commenting on the neat science and editorials they publish.

Fun—We’ve also managed to have a bit of fun with some of our posts. Physics brain teasers about pressure in cylinders, airplanes taking off from conveyor belts, and mirrors reversing their images. André broke the news that creationism is like real science now, all because of Tiktaalik roseae. We’ve mused about leaf patterns near stairs, and complained about graduate school, as all good graduate students should.

This was just a brief snapshot of some of the fun things that happened around here this past year, so please feel free browse through everything via the archive, and here’s looking forward to year two!

  1. Uncle Al    4417 days ago    #

    I have seen the future and it works! The jet black pocket-embroidered lab coat,

    Oh god, oh god, oh god, oh god! (The graphic example needs a better bon mot)

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