The Science of Funny

The Science of Funny

This morning as I logged on to WordPress I was pleasantly surprised to find David Brin’s blog “Contrary Brin” as one of the freshly pressed featured blogs of the day. In this particular post, David Brin puts together a fabulous collection of science-related comic strips that can be enjoyed by anyone of any age and of any field of study.

To my fellow lab techs:

Do yourself a favor. Put down the pipetman, ignore the never ending ear-piercing beep of the -80C freezer alarm (I swear it’s just a tease), take a deep breath and read these comics! Even a hardworking scientist deserves a good laugh once in a while.

Here was one of my favorites from Abstruse Goose, titled “World View.”

Not too far off for most of you, is it? Be sure to check out David’s blog to view the rest of his favorite collection of science comic strips!

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Posted by on June 7, 2011 in Uncategorized


Mills-EOSA Science Symposium, 2011

Student outreach and science education are two very important components of our work at Mills CBST.  We believe that it is absolutely critical to influence students at a young age to pursue a science education.  However, it is not always the case that every high school has the resources to give students the opportunity to participate in exciting and engaging scientific experiments, thus encouraging them to pursue a higher education in science and technology.  Thankfully, there are science teachers like Ms. Claire Shorall and Dr. Susan Spiller who are committed to changing this in East Oakland School of the Arts (EOSA).

On May 24th, 2011 students from our local outreach school EOSA, and members of Mills CBST came together for the first annual Mills-EOSA Science Symposium.  To begin the symposium, Marco Molinaro from UC Davis CBST kindly gave our students words of advice as a scientist and science educator.  Brenda Salantes, who was working from the road on her way to the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, was also included in a virtual Skype chat with her students.  Using technology, we were able to show students how Mills CBST’s network goes beyond the EOSA classroom.  Shortly after these chats, the symposium began.

This year we had the privilege of hosting 38 guests including EOSA’s young scientists, teachers, and Mills College scientists in the Vera Long Conference Room on Mills Campus in Oakland, CA.  The theme of the Mills-EOSA Science Symposium was the physiology of the vascular system and heart, chosen by EOSA’s very own Physiology teacher, Ms Claire Shorall.

Ten groups of students worked diligently over several months to develop their science projects with the help of Ms. Shorall, and Mills CBST research associates Brenda Salantes and Rosa Meza-Acevedo.  Each group presented their science projects in a poster session while three groups were chosen to lead with a power point presentation.  The judges included research scientists from Dr. Spiller and Dr. Young’s laboratory groups.  This year’s awardees for the three best posters were as follows:

1st Place

Raymond Tavita and Ikeeya Robinson

“Monster Energy Drinks vs. Heart Rate”

2nd Place

Ibrahim Abdallah, Shante Cruz, Ana Fong and Angel Butler

“Killer $0.69 Noodles”

3rd Place
Chelsea Lyons

 “Musical Heart Beats”

The event was a great success!  Congratulations to all symposium participants from EOSA, and special thanks to all those below who have made this year’s event possible.  We are looking forward to seeing folks again next year!


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Special Thanks to…

Mills College and Mills CBST

National Science Foundation

Marco Molinaro science educator from UC Davis CBST

Mohammed Haghighi & Lakeshore Café  (Oakland, CA) for the wonderful fruit platter donation

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Posted by on June 6, 2011 in Uncategorized


SDS Page Gel Tutorial (English & Spanish)

Mills CBST has created a tutorial on how to make and use SDS PAGE Gels.  SDS PAGE Gels are a useful way to analyze your proteins.  This video was filmed at Mills College’s Chevron Research Laboratory.  Please feel free to share it with students and friends!

SDS Page Gel Final Video from Mills CBST on Vimeo.

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Posted by on June 1, 2011 in Uncategorized


SDS Page Gels Video Tutorial….the FUN version!

Check back in with us for the full tutorial..coming soon!

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Posted by on May 26, 2011 in Uncategorized


PREP Participating Institutions – National Institute of General Medical Sciences


Are you interested in pursuing a Ph.D. in science?  Are you a minority student? Have you graduated within the past 36 months?  If so, PREP (Post-Baccalaureate Research Education Program), funded by the National Institute of Health (NIH) and National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), might be the right program for you.

PREP was established in order to encourage underrepresented minorities who hold a recent biomedically-relevant baccalaureate degree to pursue a research doctorate.  Several research universities around the country have received R25 grants from the NIGMS, allowing them to accept between 4 to 12 students for 1 to 2 years of participation in PREP.  The PREP scholars’ responsibilities are similar to that of a Ph.D. student, in that they participate in laboratory research (70% of the time), take graduate courses, participate in scientific conferences, and work closely with university professors and students.  Some institutions also provide GRE prep courses, further helping students in becoming strong Ph.D. candidates.  All students receive stipends while participating.

To find out which universities are accepting applications for PREP click on the map below:

Check in with Brenda via email for updates about the program!

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Posted by on May 19, 2011 in Uncategorized


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“Bad Project” Music Video, VMA nominee 2011???

Ever wonder what it would be like if your lab suddenly transformed into a super awesome Lady Gaga music video?  Postdocs at the Zheng Lab at Baylor College of Medicine did, and put their creativity on full blast as they sang and dance to their own parody of “Bad Romance,” aka “Bad Project.”  Thanks to UT Southwestern for sharing this video, and to the Zheng Lab for belting out exactly what we feel from time to time at the bench!

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Posted by on May 16, 2011 in Uncategorized


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TTT Conference

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Posted by on May 4, 2011 in Uncategorized