Promega Connections: The Year in Review

Your Promega Connections bloggers had a great time bringing you cool science stories, technical tips and assorted other reading material this year, and we want to say a big “Thank you!”  to all of our readers for your time, your comments, and your reblogs.

Here are some of the highlights from 2012.

I can doodle people!
I can doodle people!
In January Kelly blogged about The Making of a Science App, describing the work to create the Cell Signaling iPad app that we released last year. An update is forthcoming early in 2013 (GPCRs!), and we continue to improve our iPad, iPhone and Android apps as well as our web tools for scientists. If you haven’t played with them, check them out. They are all free. Cats, dogs and their humans have found Kari’s blog post about catnip intriguing as well.

At the end of January and into February, several of us attended our first ScienceOnline “unconference”, and we blogged about it. Science Scribing will be a part of this year’s conference as well, and I can’t wait.

R&D Scientist and blogger Karen Reece shared a series of networking tips for scientists, including this post on tips and tricks for online social networks, and our human resources blogger, Becca Terdich, started her series on the biggest blunders of job searching.

file0001519340931Sara began March with a blog about the first flower that I usually see in my garden in the spring: dandelions, only she was blogging about their potential redeeming qualities. And Isobel announced the launch of our PCR protocols for Android. Kelly reviewed some exciting work in education describing how children, given just a little support from a “grandma cloud” and a computer, form self-organizing systems of learning. Finally in March blogger Amy Hendricksen celebrated the anniversary of the seminal paper on bisulfite conversions.

In April our favorite forensics blogger, Terri, blogged about the latest high-tech tool in crime fighting: toilet paper. Technical services scientist, Nives Kovacevic, wrote a compelling piece about nanoparticles and their beneficial uses, and Sara followed the plague with a bioluminescent reporter. Blogger Caroline Sober blogged about her standing desk, the first of several around here (at least four Promega Connections bloggers work at standing desks now).

In May Isobel blogged about Methods for Quantitating DNA Yield and Concentration—more tips to help you in the lab. Blogger Kari wrote about brown fat, the fat you wish you had.

22159-2268-CR-WC-NanolucWebNavImage280x140In June we announced NanoLuc™ Luciferase, the new, extra small, extra bright luciferase reporter from Promega. Remember, you heard it here first. Technical service scientist Anu Gopal wrote about the importance of a good night’s sleep for learning: more tips for success in the lab.

In July we introduced Quick Protocols for the iPad. Blogger Gary Kobs continued his proteomics posts with information about characterization of sumoylation modifications in cell free systems. Terri writes about some Bronze Age forensics this time.

August started out with a scary blog describing a smart algorithm that can use Twitter to predict when we get sick up to eight days in advance. And because we are all sleep-deprived writers, we have a second sleep-related blog: this time talking about the molecular connections between sleep deprivation and inflammation.

Could these be Bigfoot tracks?
Could these be Bigfoot tracks?
In September, Kelly wrote our first blog about the overuse of antibacterial hand sanitizers: Happy Birthday to You: Are Your Hands Clean? Nives provided another excellent “tech tip” blog about choosing reference genes.

As October and Fall rolled in, Becca waxed poetic about Squash, our corporate garden and even shared Promega’s Roasted Butternut Squash Soup recipe with our readers. In keeping with the October Halloween monster and her forensics bent, Terri blogged about Bigfoot. And, at the end of October we introduced our newest blogger: Maciek Smuga-Otto, who writes about the likeness of molecular biologists and computer programmers.

In November, we try to help you figure out how to chose the right reverse transcriptase for your project, and Karen writes a compelling post about gender bias in academic STEM careers. Maciek gives us an app developer’s tour of a cell-sorting lab.

Close up shot of the head of a FACS machine.
Close up shot of the head of a FACS machine.
Finally, in December, Sara takes us into the brave new world of dinosaur proteomics. Terri gives us our second head’s up post about antibacterial agents and allergies. Perhaps most exciting though, we have our first guest post from a student involved in #scistuchat.

So thanks again for coming with us on our Promega Connections journey, and here’s to a great 2013!

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Promega products are used by life scientists who are asking fundamental questions about biological processes and by scientists who are applying scientific knowledge to diagnose and treat diseases, discover new therapeutics, and use genetics and DNA testing for human identification. Originally, founded in 1978 in Madison, Wisconsin, USA, Promega has branches in 16 countries and more than 50 global distributors serving 100 countries.

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