Thursday, 28 March 2013

A bug's love life

Many thanks to the students who introduced me to the reproductive cycle of bees yesterday. Male bees (drones), who develop from unfertilized eggs are essentially good for nothing. They don't forage, they can't feed themselves, they don't even have a stinger. They're tolerated just so they can try to mate with a queen bee during her nuptial flight; when that happens, they provide sperm that the queen will retain and use during her 4-5 year long life to fertilize her eggs. (More than a dozen males can provide the raw material during such a flight). Unfortunately for the poor guys, their genital organs are ripped off during the process, and the content of their abdomen is spilled (a bit like what happens when a female bee stings).

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Monday, 18 March 2013

Grime and punishment

Most lab coats should be burned after a grad student is done with them... So many stains of silver nitrate, ethdium bromide, bromophenol and Coomassie blues... Either that, or they should be kept as holy relics; they carry, after all, a lot of history!

Friday, 15 March 2013

Long-winded P.I.s

Who hasn't had a P.I. like that? At some point, my co-workers and I would set up a timer (say, with a one hour delay) when the boss asked us to come to his office... just so we'd have an excuse to go back to work after at most 60 minutes. ("Gee, sorry, I have an incubation point that requires my immediate attention"!) Not to say that's necessarily a bad thing... There's nothing as motivating as a boss who really loves what they're doing. But man, do they love telling you about it!!!