When I started reading it, my head felt foggy and my eyes glazed over. My PhD in biology did nothing to help me understand. I realized how my mom felt when I told her about my latest western blot results. Without a particle physics expert to come up with a metaphor, there was no way I was going to understand the original Higgs boson paper1.
Imagine walking up to a poster, snapping a QR code with your smartphone, and being connected to a permanent and citable version of that poster on the web. From there, you're a click away from connecting to the authors, reading an associated manuscript, embedding the poster in a website, or sharing it with your contacts. With the data repository figshare, this is easy to arrange.
1) Retractions in the scientific literature seem to be more common now than 10 years ago. How often are articles being retracted? How many retractions are due to outright fraud, compared with possible "sloppiness," as in use of a bad cell line, technical problems, or other unintentional mistakes? Should scientists worry about what they read in the literature now or do you think scientists should always be skeptical of what they read?
It is truly alarming to see the sharp increase in retractions in the scientific literature due to misconduct such as outright fraud and data falsification. To put the rising trend in perspective, the number of articles retracted due to misconduct, rather than errors, has increased ~10-fold since 1975 . Multiple studies have tried to explain this distressing trend by providing information on the numbers of scientists who knowingly committed misconduct (for examples, see [2-5]), studying the patterns in retractions from different journals , or even analyzing details about the scientists committing misconduct . However, I believe a look at the causes is necessary in order to battle this epidemic.
"I study tiny things that are man and woman parts of an animal. The woman part talks and the man part listens. The tiny things have a conversation so that they can find each other and make babies. Some man things are better at listening than others. I want to know if the man things that are better at listening are also better at making babies."
What is 3D printing?
3D printing is the process of printing a three-dimensional object from a computer-generated model. It utilizes an additive process whereby successive layers of materials are laid upon each other in a sequential manner and a solid 3D object is "printed" to life. One can print simple objects such as toys, coffee cups, etc. or extremely complex ones such as electronic devices, bicycles, guns and human organs like kidneys, heart and bladder.
We recently celebrated the 50th anniversary of the march on Washington and Martin Luther King Jr's I Have a Dream speech. A critical step towards civil rights was established at the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. Fifty years later, we are seeing in real time the fastest civil rights movement in history. In 1996, only 27% of Americans agreed that those in same-sex marriages should have the same rights as traditional marriages. In 2013, this number is 53% .
When I first heard of the ASCB Celldance contest, I thought it might involve an interpretative dance, so I steered clear of it. But it's actually a great chance for grad students and post-docs to make use of their beautiful scientific movies for cash prizes, and the guidelines are extremely simple. Any ASCB member can submit their very own movies (4 minutes max) that illustrate a cellular process in an educational way.
ePoster talks are an exciting new format being debuted this year at ASCB. During normal poster sessions, selected posters will be displayed on large monitors in meeting rooms for 30 minutes each. Following this, presenters will give a 3-4 minute run-through of their posters, which are required to incorporate multimedia content.
Whether you've been selected to present an ePoster this year or are looking to adapt this format for use at your own meeting, you're probably wondering what tools are at your disposal.
I learned a lot in graduate school. I learned about receptor tyrosine kinases, and oncogenic transformation, and how to do a western blot. But more importantly, I learned about myself, and I acquired many skills that help me to be not only a better scientist, but to be more engaged and successful in life. Here I have compiled several COMPASS members' ideas on some of the most valuable lessons they learned in graduate school – and many extend far beyond the laboratory.