Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The chosen one

Unfortunately, no one can be told what the extracellular matrix is. You have to see it for yourself.

I love the biology comics/drawings from this guy (the guy behind this one is also the author of this:-))


Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all of you!

Photomicrographer: Donna Stolz, University of Pittsburgh, United States
Specimen: Mammalian cell collage stained for various proteins and organelles, assembled into a wreath (200-2000X). Technique: Single slice confocal cell mosaic. 
Image: Courtesy of Nikon Small World

PS. I think I will take a break from all the science. I'll be back in January.


Saturday, December 24, 2011

The perfect gift:-)

PS. The Guess What challenges will resume in January.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Perversity of the Universe

Say hello to first reader submission. Yay:-) 
I love the quote:-)

Thanks to MM for sending me this.


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Coolest. Christmas. Tree. EVER.

I think we agree that our lab tree is the coolest Christmas tree ever.

Foto: Mojca

Happy holidays everyone!


Improved fluorescent proteins

Sorry for posting all these papers:-) I promise this is the last one for some time. The whole story is available here.

Yellow is my favorite. Thanks to T. for sharing this.


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Sperm Comets

This is Ljubljana (my home town) in December. Its beautiful.

Foto: Dusan Jez

Foto: Lidija Berke


Look whats hiding among all the lights and decorations.


Some chromosomes.

Egg and sperm.

Foto: Dusan Jez
And an embryo with a red heart.


(source for the rest of the photos)


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Legendary abstract

This abstract is legen-wait for it-dary ;)

And another one

When will my publications be this cool:-)

PS. I have a couple of awesome Christmas posts prepared for you.


Grad students don't have time for boys

A girl was crossing a road one day when a frog called out to her and said, "If you kiss me, I`ll turn into a handsome prince".

She bent over, picked up the frog and put it in her pocket.

The frog spoke up again and said, "If you kiss me and turn me back into a handsome prince, I will stay with you for one week."
The girl took the frog out of her pocket, smiled at it and returned it to the pocket.

The frog then cried out, "If you kiss me and turn me back into a prince, I`ll stay with you and do ANYTHING you want."
Again the girl took the frog out, smiled at it and put it back into her pocket.

Finally, the frog asked, "What is the matter? I`ve told you I`m a handsome prince, that I`ll stay with you for a week and do anything you want. Why won`t you kiss me?"

The girl said, "Look, I`m a graduate student. I don`t have time for boys ... but a talking frog, now that`s cool!"

So true:-)



Monday, December 12, 2011

You know you're ... part II

                                                                                                                                                 Foto: Mojca

... a biologist/biotech

Read Part I here.

§  When you ask your husband/wife to pull the food out of the minus 20 degrees.
§  When you place your Christmas gifts into tip boxes for easy wrapping.
§  When you think 12-well plates are great to make pralines.
§  When you misread praline for proline.
§  You spike your hot sauce with pure capsaicin from Sigma.
§  When Southern does not mean comfort and western is your world.
§  When you notice that DNA in a stupid cartoon is written in the wrong orientation and you even let everyone know this in comments:-).
§  When you use ubiquitous to describe general facts when talking with your family or friends.
§  When you have Giant Microbes covering every square inch of free shelf space in your office.
§  When you refer to people having phenotypes as if that is a normal description for people’s behaviors or characteristics.
§  When you say sucrose instead of sugar.
§  When you never consider that milk powder can be used in coffee.
§  When you use n of 1 or n of 2 in casual conversation.
§  When you print/say “H2O” ‘cause it’s faster.
§  When you say “protocol” instead of recipe.
§  When you disregard science toys for children ‘cause they aren’t difficult enough.
§  When you consider what 20% ethanol would taste like.
§  When you label things in your home fridge with the date you opened them using a sharpie.
§  When you wear latex gloves and a surgical gown so that you don’t contaminate the mice.
§  When you end your emails with “good luck with your research” instead of best regards.
§  When you stir your coffee with sterile (or nonsterile, depends on how hard core you are) pipet.
§  When you wish you had Parafilm for use in the kitchen (hmm, kitchen and lab obviously have a lot in common).
§  When you leave the soup ‘overnight’ to make it taste better.
§  When you put the cake in the oven to incubate for an hour.
§  When you get excited about sex life of yeast.
§  When you have had parties and used conical tubes to hold shots.
§  When you think the PCR song is kind of catchy.
§  When you’ve used kimwipes as tissues.
§  When you've used, "I'd like to get into your genes" as a pickup line.
§  When you say your back is aching because you have been in the hood all day.
§  When you begin to think in microliters instead of the normal, larger system.
§  When you've suppressed the urge to shoot pipette tips across the room.
§  It feels like Christmas when the department gets new equipment.
§  When you wear more latex than porn stars.
§  When you begin to think that L broth smells like chicken soup.
§  When you step back to admire your gels.
§  When you develop a preference for certain brands of pipettes.

Read Part I here.

Share your ideas in comments, maybe we can make part III of this post.


Sunday, December 11, 2011


Wanna share a funny joke/fact/news/cartoon?

Send me an email ( and I will post it here.

Don't be afraid to email me, I don't bite.

                                                                                                                                           Foto: K.

And the part II of You know you're a biologist post will be up tomorrow.


Saturday, December 10, 2011

Guess what - Challenge no. 2

Thanks for all the responses to the last week's riddle. You' re awesome and all of you were right.:-)

This one is hopefully a little harder (and a really tough one is coming next Saturday <evil laugh>).

Without further ado, tell me whats on the photo.

Foto: Mojca

You can check out the previous challenge here.

And as usual, the answer will be posted here next weekend.

Update! Sorry for my late update, but I was totally busy in the last few days because Im moving back to Slovenia. Yes, my work in USA is done, Im finally going back home.

So, none really guessed what is on the photo, some of you were close.

It was Erlenmeyer flask in the sink full of dry ice.


Thursday, December 8, 2011

20 Strange Papers

... probably from the minds of sexually frustrated grad students

My only thought after watching this: why doesn’t she have a vagina?


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Pancake Organelles - Now That's a Dedication!

Can you recognize them:-) The last one is DNA.

Z., thanks for these:-) Im sure they were delicious.


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Weekends in the lab

Weekends in the lab are always a little weird. 

This Saturday I decided to work on some PCRs and while listening to my favorite band on my iPod I walked towards the ice machine to get a bucket of ice.

There it is, at the end of the hallway, sitting next to the nitrogen tank.

I open the lid, ready to grab some ice and my hand stops mid-air. WHAT the ...!?

Close up.

Foto: Mojca

Needles to say that this totally made my day:-) Also, true story:-)


Its My Life!

Ph. Diddy is in da lab!

Acknowledgements: This video is inspired by all the dedicated everyday-heroes-of-science. We recognize your passion and admire your perseverance!

Thanks to D. for sending me the link. 


Saturday, December 3, 2011

Guess what - Challenge no. 1

Anybody wants to play a little game?
 Every Saturday I will show you a photo of something (un)usual from the lab. Your task is to figure out what it is. The first who gets it right is the king of the lab:-)

Lets start with something easy today:-) So, whats on the photo?

Foto: Mojca
Answer will be posted here next week.

Update: Yes, you are right it is a Coomassie stained dried out PAGE gel. Congrats!
PS. Frozen in liquid nitrogen? Interesting idea:-)


Another one about safety

Not really lab related but so cool.

(I dont remember the source, just google it if you are interested:-))


Friday, December 2, 2011

Life Decisions

Well, thats my opinion. What is yours?

And since we are talking about decisions to go to grad school - some useful reading:-)


Thursday, December 1, 2011


Programmed cell death - HeLa cells expressing GFP targeted to the Golgi apparatus (yellow) are stained to reveal the distribution of microtubules (red) and cell nuclei (blue).

PS. When will my ICC photos look like this?