Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Showing off my science badges

I have to salute our Canadian brothers from UBC over at the science creative quarterly, which isn't so much a quarterly at all but a biweekly/daily thing. Anyways, not only have they found the truth (although gin is better than whiskey), but they've also started an elite club of overgrown science scouts. So I have decided to share my science exploits and badges with you...

The “has done science whilst under the influence” badge:
It's not my fault they give us free beer once a month at the departmental poster session, what do they think, that we will go home on a Friday night? TC is especially a blast whilst under the influence.

The “cloner” badge: One of my first science jobs was to clone the full human VE-Cadherin gene. Unfortunately I was within a company, and I didn't get to submit it to genbank.

The “I’ve set fire to stuff” badge (LEVEL IV): I was spreading bacteria over agar plates, the glass instrument dripped ethanol on my hand and it caught on fire. The glove literally melted on my hand, and some of it started to stick to my skin but no harm done.

The “knows how to collect semen from more than one species” badge: Well I've examined hundreds of epididymides (weird plural) and testes to look at sperm development an d infertility in rats and mice.

The “I’ve done science with no conceivable practical application” badge: Yeah that would describe most of my work in a nutshell.

The “world’s foremost expert on an obscure subject” badge: I think you could put all the people working on reproductive epigenetics in a large room. The subset studying the same gene family as me could fit in my tiny Japanese bachelor pad ... oh wait they are.

The “pharma shill” badge: I don't think pharmaceutical companies are evil or that they have the cure to cancer/AIDS, but are not sharing it. Alternative medicine can eat my western medicine fist.

The “has frozen stuff just to see what happens” badge (LEVEL III): The number of things I have stuck in liquid nitrogen out of curiosity would not fit in this page, including a mouse cadaver to simulate what would happen to my hand...

The “somewhat confused as to what scientific field I actually belong to” badge: I give a different answer every time ... reproductive biologist? Development? Epigenetics? Cancer? Professional blogger?

The “totally digs highly exothermic reactions” badge: I love making stuff explode. I have very fond memories of 11M magnesium sulfate.

The “I’ve touched human internal organs with my own hands” badge: Yep, I was holding a still warm human tumour just the other day.

The “science has forced me to seek medical attention” badge: Once I was cutting the flowers from transgenic canola plants in a disgustingly warm hothouse, with a hang over, and I slashed my own finger with a razor blade. I had to get the skin glued back on.

The “experienced with electrical shock” badge (LEVEL II): I've experimented with electric shocks on myself. The conclusion is that touching the water in a electrophoresis at 120V is safe, as long as you stay away from the electrode. But just take my word for it, don't try it and blame me.

The “sexing up science” badge: Right now I've got 6 cages of mating mice for the only purpose of studying how they get it on. In the past I've worked with zebrafish, trying to collect eggs as they were doing their thing, before they cannibalized them.

The “destroyer of quackery” badge: I've gotten threatened to be sued for libel, for calling the head of an alternative cancer "clinic" a quack on this blog (he was supposedly curing cancer with vitamins, at 5000$ a pop) .

The “I blog about science” badge: This one is easy.

The “talking science” badge: Ok, so I might have been accused of excess in that department.


Kevin Z said...

Awesome! Liquid nitrogen is so much much. As much fun as dry ice bombs or more.