Archive for the ‘General’ Category

I can’t think of titles.  I have never been able to think of titles and I am still unable to think of titles.

When I write for SCN, my editor comes up with my titles.  Thought that “It’s a Matter of Attraction” was a clever way to introduce stem cell homing?  It was all thanks to my top notch editor.  I wrote a guest post for a personal finance blog recently.  No revisions to my post – but he didn’t like the title.  Hell – I didn’t like it either!  On my finance blog, one of my posts has the awe-inspiring title of “Indulge Yourself”.  WTF does that even mean?

I also can’t think of fictional names. I suck at coming up with fictional names.  When  I write fiction, my towns have stupid names like “Darcyville” (I hope that’s not a real place) and my characters are generically Annes, Davids and Johns (Except in 8th grade when I went through a Russian phase, and every other male character was “Alexei”.  Ahem…).

And damn it, I procrastinate.  I was supposed to write an intelligent post about new methods of stem cell testing and tissue culture that did not require animal tissues.  And you know what?  I wrote this instead.

//The end.


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I have a new post up on the Stem Cell Network on the topic of fat stem cells and the use of these stem cells in reconstructive and cosmetic surgery.  It was a better timed post than I had initially expected – just this morning, my “daily deal” email included an offer for a “breakthrough” stem cell skin cream.  Please do not buy this cream.

This terrifying link came though twitter today about a Yale student who died after getting her hair caught in some machinery late at night.  Soooo scary.  It’s a sober reminder to grad students and enthusiastic technicians – never work alone if you can help it.  Yes, I know we all have gone through the 12 hour time points or the 6am cell harvest – but at least let a close friend or roommate know where you are and take every precaution possible. Sadly, this can be as simple has tying back your hair, wearing your PPE and minding your general surroundings.

When I had to work late nights or early mornings in the animal facility, I always went around the room making sure racks and cabinets were locked down.  One of my greatest fears was to be in an animal room, several stories underground during an earthquake when some idiot has left the racks unlocked.  Imagine being crushed by several hundreds of pounds of metal while newly freed rodents roam your body as you lose consciousness. Terrifying.  But perhaps a bit of karma as well.  😛

Now that you all have that lovely picture in mind… Other links

  • This is what I’m getting the bf for Christmas.  What a great idea!
  • I found this post on how to get tenure at a major university incredibly… disturbing and discouraging, especially if you are a student.  Particularly this point:

Don’t worry about teaching, leadership, organizing, etc. I don’t think being good at these things actively hurts you, although I did once hear a senior faculty member say that he was negatively predisposed to candidates who had good teaching evaluations. (He was joking, I think.) Why? Because you’re spending time on something that isn’t research. But generally it won’t hurt, it just won’t help. You will typically be told (as I was) something like “teaching isn’t really important, but if your case is very close, it can help put you over the top.” Everyone agreed my case was very close, and my teaching was among the best in the department; it didn’t help. The point is simple: this stuff is not research.


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I’m going to Germany in the summer and thought I might get some work done while I’m there.  In between the requisite eating and drinking of course.

If anyone hears about any interesting stem cell related research coming out of Germany, please let me know or send the link to the paper!  I would love to contact researchers for a meet and greet and do a little write-up about their work.  I’ll be in and around Frankfurt, Berlin and Munich over three weeks.

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If I were a boxer, there would be some damn epic music playing right now because… I’m baaaaack!  🙂

After a 2 month hiatus, I’m feeling the itch again, as yes, I do have more stuff to say about science and damn it, people are going to listen!  Or at least read and perhaps click on a link once in a while.  I was also partially inspired to come back due to my impending employment in a microbiology lab doing bioinformatics work over the summer. I’m really excited about this opportunity and hopefully I’ll be learning lots.

While I have not been writing for AlbinoMouse, I have been busy writing!  Please check out my current venture, The Outlier Model.  It’s a blog written with my partner about personal finance and living simply.  I’ve also been writing for the Stem Cell Network on homing and attraction in hematopoietic stem cells and news and events in ESC policy.  I’ll be updating AlbinoMouse more regularly again, so please come back and visit.

Cheers – I missed you!

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After a busy holidays and a busy return to the working world, I am finally back to writing!  The fact that I seem to have broken my space key on my laptop did not help to speed my return nor did my habit of picking up more work than I can handle.  But here I am and now I have some good and bad news.

When I first started AlbinoMouse, I hoped to accomplish several things:

  1. Establish myself as a writer
  2. Re-connect with the things I love about science

I think I accomplished Point #1 .  I was able to get a job with a reputable blog and well as writing gigs several other sites.  For that alone I am grateful.  I always wanted to be a writer, but let myself be convinced that science was a good career path.

And when we’re all finished laughing…

Point #2… ehhhhhh.  For a while, I was really enjoying pushing out a few posts a week and having lots of visitors to my site.  But then, like my first go-around with science, I just got bogged down with the drama, the sheer stupidity of some of the things I read, and the fact that I was again, bored.

So AlbinoMouse is going on a bit of a holiday.  I may update the site and I may not – I don’t want to set anything in stone, but at the same time, I can’t promise regular content. I will still be on Twitter!

In fact, I’m starting a new blog venture!  It’s going to be a multi-faceted blog and yet, in many ways it will be more focused than AlbinoMouse was.   I’m going to stick with writing  about the things I’m passionate about and I hope many of you will be curious enough to follow me and find out where I end up.


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Merry Christmas all!

It’s Christmas Eve here in rainy Vancouver and I will be finishing up a day at work before heading out for dinner.  I would like to thank everyone who’s been reading and supporting my blog over the last year.  We’ve gone from having 3-5 reads a day to over 50 unique reads per day!  I’m so grateful for all the support and I hope to continue the momentum through the New Year.

Be safe, as Christmas and New Years are apparently scientifically validated risk factors for death (thanks to Discover | Discoblog).

Drink wine, but not too much, and be sure to do it socially.

And though you may not believe it, your family and friends can help you live longer , so leave behind the fakes, the liars, and the unfaithful.

Merry Christmas, and happy holidays to everyone!

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New header photo!

Attentive readers may notice that my header photo has changed!  Apparently I am not allowed to use images I took while working in the research lab – intellectual property, but not my property sadly.  *shrug*  I find myself suspicious of the timing of the complaint, but it is a small thing all in all.

So here is my new header, taken by local photographer Dale Tidy, whose work is also featured in each of my Stem Cell Network blogs.  It shows human blood being processed for transplantation.  Neat hm?

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