Saturday, May 22, 2010

The first artificial bacterial genome

Just about every science blogger in the world has written about J. Craig's working artificial bacterial genome. Most of them are much cleverer people than me, so I don't have much to say that wouldn't be repeated what has already been said, but I'd just like to point you to some posts that are good, or thought provoking, or hilarious.

Did scientists play god? 

We can't control everything - evolution takes over immediately

J. Craig versus Francis Collins

Just to add to that last one, I distinctly remember some lecturers in my undergrad talking about J. Craig Venter and emphatically adding that he's apparently a total asshole. Well, so what? I've met plenty of asshole scientists*; being a meanie isn't unique to JCV and it shouldn't take anything away from his achievements. And boy are they spectacular achievements.

*I would just like to make it clear that I am NOT referring to any of you lovely scientists who I have ever worked with. You guys rock.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

An open letter to some males...

quit asking me to smile.

Sometimes I have a serious face because I'm doing serious business.

There's lots more I could say on the topic, but it has the potential to turn into a rant, which is no fun. Just google "men who ask women to smile" if you're still wondering why this bothers me.

It's mildly annoying if you're someone I know and respect, but it's downright creepy if you're some random d-bag on the street I've never seen before in my life. Get away from me, strange creepy man, before I hurl chunks on you.

Update: I just did that google search and found the excellent Zuska's article on this very topic. It makes me chuckle. Read it.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Silence of The Lab

The lab I'm working in at the moment is noisy... we're a bunch of people who talk. A lot.

So on the 27th and 28th of May, we're having two whole days of silence in the lab. No talking at all (believe me - this is a big deal. The rest of the department don't think we can do it haha). Why? To raise money for UNICEF's UnderCover Malaria Campaign.

Malaria is a major cause of death in developing nations killing one to three million people per year, the majority children. Malaria transmission can be reduced through the distribution of simple mosquito nets. Please help purchase and distribute mosquito nets to those who need them by supporting The Silence of the Lab.

Pledge your donation by going to

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

What? But my current paper has all of these sentences in it!

Does that mean I have to re-write? Dang.


Monday, May 3, 2010

In which I buy lots of moneys-worth of books

I am still painfully aware that I haven't finished my series of posts on the Atheist Convention, but am somewhat relieved by the thought that everyone is way past giving a shit anyway, so I'm OK. I will finish it soon. Promise.

So I've been very broke for a very long time, and finally got paid on Friday. I was away the whole weekend (at a Genetics Retreat, I might even post about it sometime soon...) so have only just got around to spending some flippin cash. Yay.

On BOOKS. These books:

Information is Beautiful