Dear MetaFilter, I am new to this forum and this is my first post, hi! I am in a bit of a pickle about a work project, and hope that I may be able to get some help by some fellow sciencey people. The science forums are rarely read and badly out of date, or I would have posted at one of those. I have a deadline for a miRNA PCR experiment, and I have already run the cDNA and PCR for the miRNA. All I have to do is run the miRNA on a gel. The problem: We don't have acrylamide! And neither does our neighboring lab. We only have Agarose with which to make gels, which is only for large fragments, not small miRNA fragments of 20-40 bp. The question: As the percentage of agarose in the gel goes higher, the smaller the size of the base pairs are that can be measured. Could I increase this percentage enough to work for miRNA? Out of respect for the community that doesn't like line returns, I have entered the specifics of this post in the Extended Explanation box, because to me, this post reads like a jumble of nonsense without some kind of organization. [more inside]
My company will pay for my graduate management degree, so it seems wise to take them up on the offer. Can you give me advice from your MBA or MBA-like program experience? [more inside]
I've noticed that most of what I read about science and technology is universally optimistic about the pace of knowledge (if not necessary its use). From tech journalists to science fiction writers everyone seems to believe that the possibilities of technology are boundless and the pace of scientific discovery is, if anything, accelerating and always will be. My question is: Is anyone credibly arguing the opposite? [more inside]
So I have been working in an entirely different field for the last years and was never entirely sure about what I wanted to do with my life. I am certain at this point that I want to work in a field which involves, you know, nervous systems. Unsurprisingly, I am thinking of academia. [more inside]
Can you please suggest a blog or resource that will tell me what under-the-radar science fiction movies I should go see? [more inside]
Never in my life has this happened before, but I keep finding myself in tears of grief over the looming death of Scottish writer Iain M Banks, who is far and away my favourite writer and has terminal cancer. I'm looking for ways of helping to resolve this emotion, by using it as energy to fuel a meaningful response. [more inside]
So I've spent the past year and a half burning through my severance package as slowly as I could, accomplishing some things, learning some stuff and generally getting my soul back. Now I'm feeling the urge to find a job and do science again, but I'm serious about the do science part. Help me rebuild my resume to get something I can live with. [more inside]
I was convinced to start a blog under my real name, for the purposes of being visible on the internet in a positive light while applying for jobs. Unfortunately, now it's up, I hate it and never want to write anything there. Since my partner is sick of me wailing about it, I thought I'd ask you guys for tips on low-effort ways to post on a blog with a general theme of 'interesting science news'. [more inside]
Surely when people try to be more "green", some efforts are significant and some are mere rounding error. What are some examples I could use, with an emphasis on the quantifiable and counterintuitive? [more inside]
Where can I find safety goggles or glasses for a Beanie Baby mouse? This is for Science. [more inside]
I want to relearn algebra, chemistry, basic mechanics, and basic physics this summer. For free? [more inside]
In my beef stock/soy sauce marinade, where did all this nasty congealed fat come from? [more inside]
I'm looking for movies and TV shows that have futuristic depictions of education. Can you help me find them? [more inside]
A friend of mine is designing a clinical trial to determine the comparative effectiveness of different methods of pain control during IUD insertion. The problem is, there isn’t a lot of existing literature on what women are actually being offered out in the real world, and what does exist is pretty low quality. If you have an IUD, and if you were offered pain control measures during insertion, what were they? How effective those measures were isn't really relevant here, because that's what the trial is designed to figure out; I’m just trying to help her get a sense of what the current state of practice is so that the design of the study can be as robust and relevant as possible. For Science!
What are some good resources to help explain the Big Bang, evolution and, the meaning of life to my delightful 5 year-old nephew? Fairly equal emphasis for each, but I am stumped most by "but why are all the things and people here, mayurasana?" than the rest. [more inside]
I'm trying to brush up on my geology, a science that pretty much passed me by, which is frustrating when people I work with casually start talking about Cambrian this, and Triassic that. Where can I find a large poster / chart detailing all the geological epochs and periods? The chart produced by the Geological Society of America is a good start, but it would be more useful if it was, say, annotated with important events ("Angiosperms evolved here! Gondwana separated here!"), and it it had maps of the positions of continents on it at various times. Has anyone seen anything like this? My searches for geology posters have mostly turned up pictures of mountains, or "Geology Rocks!" logos...
We have a Cuckoo "pressure rice cooker" (model HD1054F) that my husband and I got for our wedding. It makes great rice! Now, I want to explore its actual "pressure cooking" side. But it doesn't seem to cook at as high a pressure as a standard pressure cooker. How do I determine the pressure (in psi) that it uses? [more inside]
Looking for videos to create a youtube playlist to entertain a group of science-minded teenagers for about 30 min that are largely visual. Sound is fine but the bulk shouldn't be someone talking to the class like an instructor - visualizations are best - ideally they should look really, really cool. Class is engineering focused, but chemistry, robotics, wobbly bridges, comp-sci, biology, are all welcome. [more inside]
I'm a baby Australian scientist trying to earn experience and cash prior to embarking on a PhD, but landing a relevant job is turning out to be a bit of an ordeal. [more inside]
I am a scientifically-minded person who is trying to sort out my religious beliefs. I think it would be helpful to read some debates between deism, atheism, pantheism (Spinozism), and/or a scientifically-grounded theism. Can anyone recommend me books or essays that discuss these topics in ways that are engaging, well-thought-out, and thorough? [more inside]
How do other languages (non-English) express the scientific term 'race?' vs the colloquial? In taxonomic terms, the word "race" is 90% used as a misnomer in US discourse. This is rooted in "Social Darwinism," or contemporary racist applications of seminal evolution concepts. This colors verbiage across the sciences, especially the social sciences. To wit, the term 'racism' is in fact based on a dehumanizing paradigm. So, um, how does this shake out elsewhere? [more inside]
I am looking for people's experiences of demonstrating the basics of how a clinical trial works to the lay person. My audience will be pretty broad - from school children to adults - so I will need to keep it pretty sort and simple. I need something I can use when visiting schools to big events - I have heard of people using cake and chocolate to demonstrate randomisation/placebo etc - has anyone on here done that and have any pointers? TIA!
I've looked high and low for a political cartoon that shows a boy asking his father "What is science?" The father replies "I don't know, son, we are Republicans." Can anybody steer me to a link to that cartoon? Thanks.
What is this thing my cat brought to my porch? http://i.imgur.com/cejZcGe.jpg It appears to be something between an animal fetus and organ. When I turned it over it looked the same on the other side. There were no visible eyes/mouth/features. It was larger than a quarter and there was no blood present. A possum visits regularly, and the area has many moles, birds, and raccoons.
I was researching sequential eating and would like some advice, here are my thoughts and questions: It seems that it takes (on average) 2-4 hours for foods or beverages to leave the stomach. I was wanting to eat/drink something specific every two hours. I have 8 hours to sleep every night, and I like to eat right before sleep as well. This leaves me with 16 hours in a wakened state. Or, 9 segments of eating/drinking. (I drink water right when I wake up) On the basis of sequential eating, what are some useful tips/advice I could keep in consideration while putting together snacks of 1-3 things? It's looking like 4 meals a day, 5 drinks a day, alternating every two hours. OR, what I would rather prefer, is eating 9 meals a day (fruit in the morning with my water), and drinking 6oz of water every hour on the dot. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
I've been told recently that collecting micrometeorites is as easy, basically, as placing a clean surface outside and picking through the debris you collect because thousands of tons of space dust and debris fall to Earth every day. That can't be all there is to it, can it? How do you know whether you're looking at Earth dust or space dust? [more inside]
Do you have any ideas or resources on creating exciting and interesting science demonstrations for kids 5-12 years old? [more inside]
For a research project, I have several pieces of equipment mounted on top of a large metal rotating circular surface. At the moment, all equipment is battery powered. I would like to come up with an inexpensive way of getting DC power and signal wires to a computer off the surface to analyze data in real time. Besides that constraint, going down thru the center isn't really an option since the rotating shaft is solid metal. [more inside]
What is the best book to introduce pre-teens to how science works in space? [more inside]
Tomorrow is our day as Mystery Scientist in my son's kindergarten class. My husband is going, he planned the experiment, bought the stuff and just informed me that it doesn't work.....Arrrrgh!!! [more inside]
I recently accepted a sales position within a company that sells laboratory equipment. (i.e. centrifuges, GC's, HPLC's, Thermal Cyclers, etc) I have no previous lab or science experience, so learning about a myriad of highly technical products/methods is a quite challenging. My main challenge comes from the fact that I need to engage in conversations with scientists, chemists, biologists on a daily basis. With no previous lab experience, I've been having a hard time talking to them on technical level. [more inside]
What are some non-institution-specific scholarships or grants for someone who wants to do primate research this summer? [more inside]
Looking for beautiful books of microbiology for my 5 year old. [more inside]
Two years into a Ph.D. program in the biological science (in the US) and I am in a lab doing research. The lab I'm in takes a hand-off approach to our research, so much of the motivation to do projects must come from me. Unfortunately I'm the kind of person who needs deadlines and strong guidance, and without these two things I've begun to drift a little. Any tips for keeping my eyes on the prize and staying immersed in my field? [more inside]
Can anyone point me to reliable sources that can tell me how much alcohol actually gets absorbed in your system when you eat food cooked with it? [more inside]
I have recently been introduced to the concept of pseudoreplication as a mistake that people often make when using inferential statistics to evaluate treatment outcomes. My field (evolutionary and conservation biology) makes heavy use of inferential statistics, including techniques that are vulnerable to pseudoreplication, yet nowhere in my formal education have I been taught about how poor experimental design and lack of statistical rigor can lead to fallacies like this. My personal statistical proficiency is poor, but I am working to remedy that. To that end, could folks help me by identifying and ideally explaining whatever other potential pitfalls you can think of, and explaining how they can be avoided through careful experimental design and data-analysis?
I'm wondering, after breakfast, and a shower, and a commute, and coffee - what is next? [more inside]
I'm using Python in my research now to build some models and analyze some data. I've done this with Matlab and R in the past and became fairly used to running individual lines or blocks of code at a time and doing a lot of interactive printing and plotting from the console. This behavior seems to be a bit more difficult in Python and I'm trying to find the best way to be productive. [more inside]
I’m looking for opinions on how to best represent coursework and research taken toward a PhD on my resume. [more inside]
Years ago I saw a flickr set (I think) of the covers of a vintage series of books on science and engineering. Each cover (under the dust jacket) was a single color and featured a simple embossed diagram of the book's topic (e.g rockets, electricity & magnetism), with no text. They were gorgeous. Please help me find the series title!
How does my friend get his prostate cancer research into the hands of the relevant researchers? [more inside]
Are there ways for a federal research scientist to attend law school and remain a government employee after graduating? [more inside]
Teacher Filter: Increasing the efficiency of creating lesson plans [more inside]
How can I extract/rid of methylmercury out of canned Tuna? I bought a ton, and just realized I should have went with canned salmon. There HAS to be an easy way to at least cut down on the Hg content... right? [more inside]
Help me find a Stephen Jay Gould (I think) essay. [more inside]
Do you know about any researchers studying human behavior with regard to motivation, habits, and goal-setting, or books/papers about those topics?
Do you know about any researchers studying human behavior with regard to motivation, habits, and goal-setting, or books/papers about those topics? [more inside]
I have a free elective in my final undergrad semester. What should I take? [more inside]
I know I want to study genetics but I don't know where to go from there. What kind of things in genetics did Professor X and the Drs. Suresh on Heroes study? I want to study that. [more inside]
What do you think are the best educational (preferably scientific) magazines for middle-school aged girls (11-12)?
Help me discover recent 'Best Seller' scientific journal articles to read in 2013. [more inside]