Richard P Grant and his BioLOG (biolog); the wee blog, weblog, or web blog; things not necessarily biology related. The anti-blogger.


9 September 2010

On running scared

A question for the god-like entities inhabiting NPG: following yesterday’s speech by Vince Cable, was there a spike in traffic to

Filed under: science — rpg @ 13:55

4 September 2010

On the easy questions

I’ve just got back from a tiring but awesome couple of days at the Science Online London conference (which—conflict of interest declaration—I helped organize). I’ll be writing up my speaker notes for the final panel tomorrow, I hope, but in the meantime I’ve just been challenged by Ruth Seeley on twitter to explain the scientific method:

I’d LOVE it if ONE scientist would take on the challenge of CLEARLY explaining the scientific method. Wikipedia sure doesn’t.

Martin Robbins took up the challenge straight away, but in the interests of clarity (and non-jargon) I’d like to see suggestions that might replace the Wikipedia entry. As far as I’m concerned, these explanations should be lay-readable; understandable to a high school student, say.

Please feel free to have a go, and then, seeing as the Wikipedia article is the first Google hit for ‘scientific method’, let’s edit the bloody thing to something more like.

Filed under: science — Tags: , — rpg @ 21:34

17 May 2010

On defecting

Jenny has a new shiny. It’s a device for imaging chemiluminescence–a standard procedure in any lab that works with proteins. The traditional way of doing this is on film, but it seems a lot quicker, safer and environmentally-friendlier to do it with one of the imaging gizmos.


Except I’m a little bit worried. I was reading a paper just now, trying to figure out how to summarize it for our Faculty Dailies, and came across this figure:


Now I have no idea how this image was obtained (the Methods section mentions neither film nor fancy-schmancy new devices), but either way that is one butt-ugly blot (BUB for short). I am worried that it is obtained with a FSND, because you really have to be a bit of an imbecile to get that level of pixellation when digitizing a blot by scanning a film. I wouldn’t ever want to publish something that looked like that–accusations of over-processing aside, it simply looks wrong.

Are we likely to see more BUBs as FSNDs gain in popularity? Is a whole way of life and aesthetic pleasure at stake here? Say it ain’t so, Jenny.

Say it ain’t so.

Filed under: Rants,science — Tags: , , , — rpg @ 21:14


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