How to Isolate Bacterial Colonies Using the Streak Plate Method

A protocol to isolate bacterial colonies is a crucial tool for any life scientist to have in their toolbox. There are several different variations of a procedure called streaking (insert funny comments here.) I would like to go over one I used countless times during my studies for my biomedical engineering degree. That procedure is called the Streak Plate Method using quadrants.…

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How to Survive Your First Research Poster Presentation

Recently, Eden Michael, my coworker and friend, attended her first ever poster presentation for her FIT graduate research project. I can tell you all from experience, standing in front of a poster for several hours waiting for people to ask you difficult questions is one of the most nerve-wracking and stressful, yet enlightening and helpful experiences you can have as…

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Biomedical Engineering: Your Questions Answered

What is biomedical engineering?   Biomedical engineering is a vast interdisciplinary field that pulls together elements from mechanical, electrical and chemical engineering as well as biology and computer sciences. There are many specialties within the realm of biomedical engineering including: designing medical devices and prosthetics (biomechanics), biomaterials and tissue regeneration (I happen to be taking a class on this very…

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10 Tips to Help Prevent Contamination in a Tissue Culture Lab

In previous posts, I have talked about cell culture technique and things NOT to do in a research lab. Today, I would like to pull elements from both and offer several important suggestions to help prevent one of the biggest potential problems in a tissue culture lab: contamination. This can include chemical contamination from media, water or equipment, as well…

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10 Things NOT to Do in a Research Lab

Most of the following items should be common sense. But you’d be surprised on how often I see these simple mistakes occur. If you ever have to work in a research lab, take note of this list—your co-workers and your body will thank you for it! 1. Wearing open-toed shoes It is important to wear closed toed shoes in the…

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Gene Activation: Nature’s Time Machine

Recently, I read an article in Scientific American on limb regeneration, and the first things I thought of were science fiction TV shows/books. In those stories, medicine is capable of absolutely incredible feats including regeneration of lost or severely injured body parts. I thought about this because the article talks about a fascinating gene called Lin28a. When Lin28a turns on,…

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Biomedical Engineering Thesis Project: Science is Expensive!

I have some exciting news — beyond just meeting with my adviser to talk about ideas, I am now in the beginning stages of starting my thesis project! First things first, though, I need a physical, functioning lab to work in.  This week, our lab group has begun to go through the lab space provided to determine what is already…

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Cystic Fibrosis Research: What is This Trouble-Making Protein?

It only takes one little mutation to cause a whole host of problems! While my pharmacology and drug development class has been intriguing, so far I think we are really starting to get into the good stuff now.  We are starting to get into the thought process behind how to develop a drug.  A very simplified view of the big…

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