Confessions of a (former) Lab Rat

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12 posts · 16,214 views

Raising being quoted out of context to an art form: 'awesome, but not always right'. Drinks well with scientists.

Richard Grant
12 posts

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  • June 17, 2010
  • 08:18 AM
  • 1,909 views

On all sorts of wrong

by Richard Grant in Confessions of a (former) Lab Rat

Just in case you haven't seen it elsewhere, here's a quick one. A tweet from mjrobbins (also at the Lay Scientist) left me quite unable to work, this morning. I was seriously angered and sickened. Whatever your views on female...... Read more »

  • June 3, 2010
  • 05:03 AM
  • 675 views

On coupling

by Richard Grant in Confessions of a (former) Lab Rat

No, not that sort of coupling. I was writing up today's Faculty Dailies, catching up on (yet) another paper about how ribosomes control the rate of transcription. As has been known for decades, bacterial transcription and translation are tightly coupled....... Read more »

  • May 21, 2010
  • 10:28 AM
  • 1,791 views

On synthesis

by Richard Grant in Confessions of a (former) Lab Rat

Oh my God, we're all going to die, exclaimed the Daily Mail today. Well, we are all going to die some day, but not because of the paper from the J. Craig Venter Institute, published in Science. I'm having a...... Read more »

Gibson, D., Glass, J., Lartigue, C., Noskov, V., Chuang, R., Algire, M., Benders, G., Montague, M., Ma, L., Moodie, M.... (2010) Creation of a Bacterial Cell Controlled by a Chemically Synthesized Genome. Science. DOI: 10.1126/science.1190719  

  • April 25, 2010
  • 01:48 PM
  • 1,764 views

On unfortunate juxtapositions

by Richard Grant in Confessions of a (former) Lab Rat

There's an Italian cafe/deli round the corner. It's a quiet place, which seems to suit the proprietors well in a Black Books-sort of way (although without the personality defects): they open when they feel like it and there are...... Read more »

  • December 9, 2009
  • 07:02 AM
  • 909 views

On Public Relations

by Richard Grant in Confessions of a (former) Lab Rat


Regular listeners will remember the Science Online London gathering back in August. The day before, Mendeley hosted a pre-conference ‘fringe’ event, organized by Jenny. It turned out to be quite a wild evening, and there is video evidence of shenanigans.
One thing I remember clearly (some of you might be surprised I remember anything from that evening, but anyway) is David Colquhoun getting a tad rabid about PR. The gist was that science doesn’t need PR, it’s a w........ Read more »

  • June 22, 2009
  • 11:34 AM
  • 932 views

On article-level metrics and other animals

by Richard Grant in Confessions of a (former) Lab Rat

What I wanted to talk about yesterday, before I got distracted, was a mix of things that came out of last Monday’s ALPSP meeting, a paper in PLoS One and this whole assessment schtick that we’ve got going on.

We know, don’t we, that the Impact Factor as a measure of an individual scientist’s productivity is deeply flawed. Some might go as far as to say it’s flawed fundamentally and should be ditched forthwith: after all it is prone to gaming, unduly skewed by revie........ Read more »

  • June 5, 2009
  • 06:27 PM
  • 2,057 views

On chemistry

by Richard Grant in Confessions of a (former) Lab Rat

One of my enduring memories of Oxford is sitting in the Chemistry School lecture theatre while a long-haired, leather-jacketed lecturer covered the blackboards in chalky organic reactions (the first time ever I heard about S~N~2 reactions; and a whole heap other stuff I have since forgotten) non-stop for an hour. One of the advantages of taking Biochemistry, instead of something less hardcore, say, is that I got to learn real science instead of just squishy biological stuff, which might surprise........ Read more »

  • June 2, 2009
  • 05:24 PM
  • 965 views

On speed dating

by Richard Grant in Confessions of a (former) Lab Rat

Does a 7% change mean anything?... Read more »

Finkel, E. J. . (2009) Role reversal undermines speed-dating theories. Psychol. Sci.

  • October 21, 2008
  • 12:00 AM
  • 1,970 views

Little Wing

by Richard Grant in Confessions of a (former) Lab Rat

Cutting wings off butterflies... Read more »

  • September 10, 2008
  • 12:00 AM
  • 956 views

From the Department of "Hot damn but that's cool"

by Richard Grant in Confessions of a (former) Lab Rat

How heating and cooling in bags of lipid could have generated the first 'replicative' genome.... Read more »

S. S. Mansy, & J. W. Szostak. (2008) Thermostability of model protocell membranes. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 105(36), 13351-13355. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0805086105  

  • April 3, 2008
  • 12:00 AM
  • 1,122 views

My spaghetti takes up more room than yours

by Richard Grant in Confessions of a (former) Lab Rat

The moving story of how we finally published the finding that amoeboid cell motility is driven by simple gel expansion effects, or, I yearn to learn how the worm sperm turns... Read more »

L. Miao, O. Vanderlinde, J. Liu, R. P. Grant, A. Wouterse, K. Shimabukuro, A. Philipse, M. Stewart, & T. M. Roberts. (2008) The role of filament-packing dynamics in powering amoeboid cell motility. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 105(14), 5390-5395. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0708416105  

  • December 7, 2007
  • 12:00 AM
  • 1,164 views

Complete control

by Richard Grant in Confessions of a (former) Lab Rat

A rather splendid structure of the N-terminal domain of Nab2, an RNA export 'gate-keeper'.... Read more »

R GRANT, N MARSHALL, J YANG, M FASKEN, S KELLY, M HARREMAN, D NEUHAUS, A CORBETT, & M STEWART. (2008) Structure of the N-Terminal Mlp1-Binding Domain of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae mRNA-Binding Protein, Nab2. Journal of Molecular Biology, 376(4), 1048-1059. DOI: 10.1016/j.jmb.2007.11.087  

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