Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Communication Breakdown

A friend of mine is giving a departmental talk this week. An email was sent announcing their talk which had the title;

"Splicing factor, histone modification enzyme, and transcription factor that are required for transposon silencing in Drosophila goatees"

This was pretty exciting as I've never noticed that flies have goatees but perhaps this was an amazing mutation or the result of a splicing factor, histone modification enzyme and transcription factor working in conjunction to create a goatee?
Maybe it would look something like this?

Friday, 19 April 2013

Science Music

AlunaGeorge's "attracting flies". Funnily enough, I noticed this while changing my fly stocks. I should point out that Drosophila Melanogaster aren't attracted so much to the thing she is alluding too (well I've never tested the possibility in the lab to be honest). Unless she is accusing someone of yeast breath? Could be an alcoholic or bread addict I guess.

Anyway, it'd be a potential choking hazard if the subject of her song worked in my fly room.

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Science Music

This isn't really about science but I'm in the process of assaying Drosophila motility as they get older and whether my mutant is worse than the controls.

The assay looks a bit like this;

I'm sure that having seen the video you can appreciate that the following song has taken root in my mind and become a soundtrack to the climbing assay forever more.

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

The 5 second rule - tested.

The BBC made a nice little video "testing" whether the "5 second rule" had any merit. Here's the video (not sure if outside UK readers will be able to see it?)


Basically it's not a good idea as the food samples dropped on the floor for 5 seconds all had a lot of nasty bugs on them after culturing them overnight on bacteria friendly plates.

 Fortunately the "mum" points out that the cleanliness of your own floor is also an important factor.

There is one flaw with the experiment though as they don't have a true negative control - unless I'm misunderstanding their "0 second" test. Basically they need to put a sample of bread (or apple) that hasn't been dropped on the floor. It could well be that the culture results are from the food itself and not the floor. They could also do a floor imprint as well while they are at it. If there's as many cultures on the plate for the sample that never contacted the floor then the contamination is inherent in the food. In which case the 5 second rule still applies! There's still hope.

Still a commendable bit of everyday science on the BBC.