Are life scientists ready for preprints?

Are life scientists ready for preprints?

One of the major fears that stalk every life scientist along his/her career is research/publication scooping. This fear drives many scientists and students to paranoia behavior, limiting discussion with other colleagues (even in the same lab) and presentation of solely published work at conferences, all for the fear of scooping. Will the life scientists eventually follow the path of Mathematics, Astronomy and other accurate sciences widely using various preprints servers? It might happen, though it will require a revolutionary concept, such as suggested below. Keep on reading…

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The CRISPR phenomenon

Cas9, the DNA editor of the CRISPR system. Graphics by Jennifer Doudna/UC Berkeley

“The science of today is the technology of tomorrow” Edward Teller

Scientific progress is the end result of current and past research. Not many scientific discoveries in history have singularly influenced the human kind, especially those that their 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 another discovery associated with rapid technological progression and which inspires so many  scientists world wide.

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10 items you must have when working and commuting

Commuting and working

A century ago, most people worked at their home proximity, most of their day was centered on labor and less on traveling. Today, with the expanding globalization culture and the availability of fast transportation means, many people commute tens and even over hundred kilometers from their home to their place of work. However, fast as transportation is right now, between one to three hours can be wasted due to commuting. Assuming that the average person works ~9 hours a day, this means that at least 10% of our daily time is literally wasted.  In this post I will give tips and ideas how to efficiently use your commuting time to getting things done, whether these are related to the personal or professional aspects of your life.

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Getting the most of the new iPhone operating system: using mobile iOS 7 in the lab

Apple iOS 7

Almost 48 hours post the official release of the brand new iOS 7, and the world wild web is buzzing and bustling with tweets, “how to” articles, complaints and also praises for the face lift apple hinted toward some months ago. From my own experience, and from other millions of iPhone users, it is clear that the 7 is not presenting a revolution in comparison to its past sibling, keeping to the “close box” concept yet delivering a system which is quite robust. Even so, several features (some easily identified others not so) can be a plus for a scientist at their bench (or at their desks). I will go over some of these with the hope that it will make you do more science at the bench with your mobile.

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Crystallography for beginners – part 6b – what to do when the protein doesn’t crystallize? Lysine Methylation

MALDI-TOF analysis of methylated protein

In the previous post I have discussed how limited proteolysis aids in protein’s fold boundaries determination and identification of the minimal crystallizeable fragments or domains. An important factor controlling protein crystallization is surface contact arrays between one molecule to another. Under most circumstances crystallographers can’t know which residue participates in surface interaction and whether this modification will aid in crystallization at all. For this reason lysine methylation, initially developed for isotope labeling of proteins, is a purely empirical method that is another avenue to check when protein doesn’t crystallize.

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Crystallography for beginners – part 6a – what to do when the protein doesn’t crystallize? introduction to Limited proteolysis

Limited proteolysis - from Guttman et al 2013 PLOS ONE

Limited proteolysis – identifying core domains

I will start my “Protein crystallography rescue strategies” series with a rational biochemical approach to determine the boundaries of domains.

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Crystallography for beginners – part 6 – what to do when the protein doesn’t crystallize?

In previous posts I have discussed methods to grow protein crystals and how to monitor their growth. Yet, in many cases the first screen(s) trials will not yield any protein crystals. In such a case, what strategies one should explore on the path for protein crystals? In this and later posts I will discuss these rescue strategies and how they can help in improving your chance to obtain the sought protein crystal.

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