Skip to main content

130. Coronavirus, and Life Outside the Lab

It has quickly become a new way of life – working from home, avoiding restaurants and gyms, and ‘social distancing’ from coworkers, friends, and even family.

The upending of normal routines happened so quickly, and the days have become so blurred together, that it’s hard to keep track of just how long we’ve been confined to our apartments and homes.

We know that scientists and doctors at the NIH, CDC, virology labs, and hospitals around the world continue their front-lines fight to understand and treat the pandemic, and we are deeply grateful.

But what about all the other scientists? The research faculty, postdocs, grad students, and technicians whose research doesn’t cover RNA viruses or epidemiology?

Even though they are not working directly on understanding COVID-19, they still have important experiments to do. They have cell cultures, fruit fly lines, and mouse colonies to maintain. The have classes to teach or take, dissertations to write, and theses to defend.

What happens to them when the University closes, and experiments are forbidden?

This week, we catch up with those scientists, to understand how they are adapting to life and science in a pandemic.

119. Ten Tips to Crush Your First Semester

It’s that time of year again – summer days are growing shorter, your friends are trying to fit in one last trip to the beach, and the backpack aisle at Target is about to be cleared out to make way for the Halloween costumes.

Yes, it’s back-to-school time. From toddlers to teenagers, this time of year instills foreboding about the school-year ahead. But as a first-year graduate student, you may have other feelings.

For most, it’s the start of a new adventure. For the first time, you’re pursuing the one subject in the world you love best, surrounded by other equally brilliant and passionate people.

It’s the end of being told what to learn and how to study, and the beginning of blazing your own academic trail.

It IS a new experience – different from your matriculation in high school or college – and it may be difficult to know what to expect.

This week, we lay out a ten-ish step plan for putting your best-foot-forward in that first semester of your graduate journey.

Read More
echidna

111: Empowering the Impossible with Citizen Science

It looks like a cross between an anteater and a hedgehog, but don’t let that description fool you into believing it’s easy to spot an echidna in the wild. These denizens of the Down Under know how to hide.

“They’re really understudied in Australia because they’re hard to find in the wild,” says Tahlia Perry, a graduate student at the University of Adelaide who has staked her graduate career on studying these rather shy creatures.

Read More