Halloween Costumes: Retro Science Style

Your Promega Connections bloggers were sitting around reminiscing the other day, “Back when I was in the lab…”. Kind of like Thanksgiving Dinner among your elderly relatives, it wasn’t long before we were one-upping each other with horror stories from our days at the bench–stories that included escape artist rats, a leaky sequencing gel apparatus, and the iconic radioactively contaminated post doc.

We decided to turn that conversation, with a lot of help from our favorite science cartoonist Ed Himelblau, into retro Halloween costumes based on our memories of things we used to do in the lab that don’t seem like such a great idea now. Enjoy…and if you have a few retro horror science costume ideas of your own you would like to add, feel free to comment.

First up: Cesium Chloride Preps.

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Two-Sentence Scary Lab Stories

jackolantern_editYour bloggers at Promega Connections like Halloween. In the past we have reviewed our top scary blogs and provided lists of things to do with pumpkins and suggestions for what to do when you have too much leftover Halloween candy. This year we are jumping on the 2-sentence horror story bandwagon with a twist: the 2-sentence scary/funny lab story. Here are a few of our creations. If you have one of your own, leave it in the comments.

saveI had just finished writing the final chapter of my dissertation, when a pop up box appeared :“Are you sure you want to exit without saving changes”. Then the screen went blank. Continue reading

Science Stories for Halloween

In keeping with our tradition at Promega Connections, we have put together a “Halloween-themed” blog for you. This year we compiled a list of science-related stories that we felt had a certain spooky air about them. Enjoy! And, if you have other stories to add to this list, leave us a comment.

  • Zombie Bees: In January 2012, Andrew Core and colleagues published an article in PLOS ONE describing “zombie” honey bees. With the host of pathogens and pesticides that can harm honey bee colonies, loss of honey bee colonies and rapid declines of honey bee populations world wide, perhaps the worst news bee keepers could get is the description of a new bee zombie parasite. Continue reading

For Halloween: Top 10 Scariest Blogs from Promega Connections

We at Promega Connections have covered much that is weird and scary in science over the last few years. In honor of Halloween, celebrated in the United States on October 31, we summarize and link to the top 10 scariest blogs on Promega Connections.

  1. Zombie Ants This is a story of a parasitic fungus that infects ants, causing drastic changes in normal behaviors: the ants climb to astounding heights off the jungle floor (for an ant) and bite a leaf, triggering the growth of a fungal stalk and spore sac from their heads – ultimately killing the ant and enabling the spores to hitch a ride on the wind for better distribution.

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Top 10 Things to Do When You (or Your Kids) Have Too Much Halloween Candy

Halloween party with children wearing fancy costumes

 

10. Set a daily limit. (An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.) Allow X number of pieces of candy per day, then put the bag away, under lock and key.

9. Parental help (good for the child, not so good for the parent). In my childhood, though it was not apparent at the time, Dad was helping by eating some of the candy. Many Promega parents engage in this practice with their children now.

8. Burn more energy. Go for a run or walk or outside to play. For every X pieces of candy, a walk or bike ride around the block. Continue reading

Top Ten Uses for Pumpkin

In honor of Halloween, here is a Top Ten Uses of Pumpkin list for your enjoyment:

10. Means of transportation on the high seas or emergency flotation device (pumpkin boats; see the video).

9. Elementary Math Lessons. Determine circumference and radius. How much does a pumpkin weigh? Estimate the number of seeds. Check out pumpkin math ideas here.

8. Cholesterol-lowering snack. After ruthlessly scooping out the innards of a pumpkin, clean the seeds, bake them in the oven and enjoy your healthy snack. Pumpkin seeds contain phytosterols, compounds that that have been shown to reduce levels of LDL cholesterol, as well as magnesium, a mineral needed in the diet.

7. Physics Laboratory. Pumpkin Chuckin’ Contest (video). Continue reading