Are you interesting in working on the fore-front of biological control in a multidisciplinary project? Do you enjoy combining field work in greenhouses with experiments in the laboratory?
On the 12th of February it is International Darwin Day. A great day to remember what Charles Darwin did for Science in general and Biology in particular. Thanks to his research and dedication we have a much better understanding of why life is shaped as it is throughout history of time.
And what better way to celebrate this with a parody done by the brilliant artist A Capella Science in which he explains in the most awesome way the field of Evolutionary Developmental Biology.
By the way, check out the other videos he's made on for example Gravitational Waves or the history of Exoplanets.
Just before Christmas I received news that my ZonMW Enabling Technologies Hotel proposal called RENEW: Resequencing Nasonia to Enhance its Workability is getting subsidized!
Very soon the Netherlands Society for Evolutionary Biology will be a fact and we will celebrate this initiative with our first ever meeting on the 11th of April 2018 in Akousticum in Ede.
Does climate change spell doom for sea turtles only because of the way they determine their sex?
Recently, scientists discovered by accident that a small strip of Whatman no. 1 paper can capture nucleic acids rapidly from a crude mixture containing ground up tissue in a lysis buffer. The paper strip can then be quickly washed without releasing the nucleic acid. After these steps, the paper strip retains enough nucleic acids to be dipped into a PCR reaction mixture and be used for amplification (Zou et al. 2017).
A new genome tool has just become a bit easier to use in the lab with the publication of a knock-in CRISPR/Cas9 mouse. This tool allows researchers to easily edit the genome in specific locations so they can study the effect of a gene knockdown or alteration. Already, researchers were able to use this technique in vitro but now, a mouse strain has been made that can take this CRISPR/Cas9 system to the next level.
Ask any of my friends or colleagues and everybody will testify: I'm a gadget freak. So when a twitter post mentioned something called iPipet, I just had to delve into it as the "i" sounded gadgety and the "pipet" referred to laboratory equipment. So, what's it about?
Something different than research this time... I found a baby frog in my paludarium! This means that I have created the right circumstances not only for mating but also for the developing tadpoles. Until now I have found tadpoles deposited in plant jars and I took them out into a separate tank (see section Breeding), but this time a spotted a tiny frog on the rim of one of the plant jars! Apparently, the automated rain system works wonderfully in keeping the tank moist, and most importantly, maintaining a minimum water level in the bromelias. In addition, I also found two new tadpoles in a jar and I have transferred them to the breeding tank.
In the pictures below the baby frog. Isn't he cute?
The Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution (SMBE) is a society aimed at providing "facilities for association and communication among molecular evolutionists and to further the goals of molecular evolution, as well as its practitioners and teachers". They organize an annual conference each year in a different country, even on different continents were possible. Last time I went there, in 2010, it was organized in Lyon and after abstract submission I was invited to present my research. I even got a travel grant!