Category Archives: Uncategorized

Are ultra low-temperature freezers and liquid nitrogen tanks really necessary?

Molecular biology labs often house multiple -80 C freezers and liquid nitrogen tanks. I can think of only one function for which these are absolutely required: storage of mammalian cells and cell lines. Indeed I have never tried to store … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A molecular biology lab in my basement?

What are the components of an average, modern molecular biology lab? Equipment and space to perform basic microbiology, DNA and protein electrophoresis equipment and cell culture have been found in every lab space I’ve worked in. So…could these functions be … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A representative western blot…

I ran across this scary figure in a 2011 paper by a group from a large pharmaceutical company. It’s in a well-ranked specialty journal that doesn’t normally publish a lot of western blot data, and this is the only western … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Antibody validation: journals’ expectations vs. commercial suppliers

There is little appreciation of the degree of validation performed by commercial antibody suppliers (especially large ones with catalogs of tens of thousands of antibodies). New antibodies developed by a PI in-house are usually greeted by an appropriate degree of … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Adventures in peer review

The issue of inappropriate image manipulation in figures published in peer-reviewed journals has received much attention in the last few years. I often wonder whether this has led to more “ugly” results – which obviously have not been manipulated – … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Ahhh…they are 100-mm “style” dishes…

Biomedical research doesn’t require much beyond basic high school math…still, when I was a graduate student, I thought I could put these math skills to use by calculating the surface area of circular, “100-mm” tissue culture dishes. One would assume … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment