The scientific publication niche is a bottomless pot of gold, with more than $9 billion annual revenue (as of 2011) from readers/universities (subscription-based journals) and from the authors themselves (open-access journals). This is not surprising, since scientific endeavor has never reclined, and with the fierce competition for academic positions, scientific publication rates will likely only increase. The recent decade has seen the rise of the open access journal publications which offer a slightly different concept of peer-reviewed scientific publication to the more traditional subscription-based journals.Read More
"The science of today is the technology of tomorrow" - Edward Teller
Scientific progress is the end result of current and past research. Only a few scientific discoveries in history have singularly influenced humanity, such as those whose discovery ignited further rapid successions of discoveries. The development of the atom bomb is one such example, in which 12 years of scientific research brought a concept held by Dr. Leo Szilard (1933) to realization and the devastation of two Japanese cities. The CRISPR phenomenon is another discovery associated with rapid technological progression and which inspires many scientists world wide.Read More
It is common to hear the phrase "Time is Money" in the industrial sector, yet it is less heard in the halls of academia. If there is any pressure in academia, it is to publish as much as possible and in some cases, the need to publish quickly in light of fierce competition that might scoop an important discovery. Whatever the reason, time management is crucial in science, whether it is at cutting edge of drug discovery in a pharma company or in a small academic lab revealing a new function for an oncoprotein. The most common time management tool is the calendar, whether paper-based or digital. Google Calendar, part of Google's free software, is among the most popular calendar software used today by many professionals. If you haven't started using Google calendar in your research, here are five reasons why you should start using it right away:Read More
The seed of scientific publication was planted back in the 17th century by the Royal Society's first secretary, Henry Oldenburg, who founded and edited the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society journal. In those times scientists tended to conduct research independently and thus the crediting of ownership was straightforward. Today, with globalization, advanced technologies, more than 25,000 scientific journals, and 6 million scientists, competition is fierce and science has become an arena of both collaborations and rivalry. Scientists are measured by their scientific output (publications) and their respective rank among other publications (journal impact factor). The "publish or perish" phrase is heard along the lab corridors and pushes students and researchers to work harder, search for solutions to technical difficulties and forge intra- and inter laboratory collaborations. Thus the number of single author publications declines and the issue of authorship and credits takes place over scientific passion.Read More
When it comes to running research smoothly, one trick is to verify at least one day ahead of conducting an experiment that you’ve got all the reagents you'll need. Otherwise, you will step into the lab all smiles, put on your lab coat, fresh new latex gloves and bang your head against the wall for not having enough autoclave ddWater or fresh buffers. Or realize someone else scheduled the centrifuge for the whole day. You just need to remember those things in advance, that’s all.
Since it likely happens a lot when you have so many other things on your mind, it would be nice if someone else would do the planning, the remembering and the reminding. I can’t offer a robot to do all this planning, but I can offer a little help from Labguru.
Since 2002 the Thomson's citation data has been used to predict the coming year's Nobel Laureates, as part of the ScienceWatch web resource (SW). The list is derived from Thomson Reuters Web of Knowledge and has been somewhat predictive of the actual Nobel laureates. And while Professors Rothman, Schekman, and Südhof, this year's ultimate winners, weren't on the SW list, it's worth having a look at these "runner-ups". Who knows - some of the names below might well be awarded The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2014!Read More
With the recent announcement of the iPhone 5S/5C, and the expected release of newer models by the big mobile manufacturers, it's time to see how you can harness the power of your smartphone for the benefit of your lab research. Here's a selection of 6 apps that can help you do more science:Read More
Here's a question for you: How many times have you attended a seminar and not played with your mobile? Let's be honest – today, most students and even PIs in the audience play with their mobile while in a seminar, whether for checking email, the weather, or the news. The above comic by phdcomics.com might depict only Prof. Smith tapping away (back in the early days of touchscreen smartphones) yet five years later things have changed considerably. Now, most attendees are tapping through their smartphones. Some draw notes and take snapshots of the slides, some read the latest articles through their 5'' screen, some will play (because they don’t have anything better to do), while some will try to understand how to master their brand new smartphone features.
How have smartphones changed your research and academic routines?
The advent of smartphones has led to dramatic cultural changes across the globe, from Manhattan's lofts to New Delhi's suburbs. The mobile phone is a sophisticated mini-computer which connecting individuals to their community, nation and out to ever expanding cyberspace. Research in the 21st century is being revolutionized by these electronic devices, enabling scientists to improve efficiency and increase output. Potential benefits of mobile technologies to researchers exist both at the bench and on-the-road...Read More
Our lives have considerably changed following the wide-spread adoption of internet-enabled smartphones. Today, smartphone owners rely on them as a sophisticated means to communicate with family, friends and colleagues beyond just a simple phone call. Perhaps ironically, a smartphone often receives more attention from its user than do his colleagues, friends and even family.
Thus, while we should remember to wisely limit our day-to-day smartphone usage, at the lab we can harness its capabilities for our scientific work, productivity and connectivity. The mobile, connected 24/7 to the internet (via either wireless or cellular) empowers scientists with an ever increasing number of applications that aid in buffer preparation, note taking, units conversion, timers of all sorts, chemical calculations, searching databases and much more.Read More