Oct 26, 2022 12:00:00 PM       by Kin Leung

Vetting Your Sources: Confirming the Veracity of Reports and Data

Throughout graduate school and even now, I’ve relied on Wikipedia as a valuable resource for quick information. My mentors and teachers have cautioned me against actually citing Wikipedia articles, but often these articles will show up as top searches on Google, and their listed references lead to published scientific articles so I could always go back to the original source and see the data and conclusions for myself. The fact that Wikipedia is free and freely edited makes it prone to fictionalization, which reminds us of the importance of corroborating whatever we read with third-party sources and our own experiences.

 


Oct 12, 2022 12:00:00 PM       by Kin Leung

Your Essential Laboratory Research and Collaboration Toolkit

Many of you are well on your way through graduate school, itching to earn that precious PhD, while some are just starting out, getting ready to take your first midterms while preparing to choose your first research rotations. Regardless of where you are in your career, or even if you've already earned that doctorate and are on your way to a postdoc and beyond, ABclonal's blog series has put together some articles that can help you get through the day. Whether it is experimental troubleshooting or just trying to get along with your lab mates and PhD supervisor, here is a collection of previous blogs that should be of use to you. 

 


Aug 31, 2022 12:00:00 PM       by Kin Leung

Working Toward Sustainability in Laboratory Science

You may have stumbled upon many articles about the poor whales swallowing tons of plastic waste, flooding that is affecting communities and even national parks, or chemicals that are constantly threatening marine life. As the global temperature continues to increase, the ocean levels gradually rise, and life as we know it is threatened, it is almost like we are on our way to the apocalypse. However, humans do not have to accept this doomsday scenario! There are many things beyond our control that we will have to persuade our elected leaders to drastically change policies to conserve our natural resources, reduce pollution, and preserve biodiversity. But there are also many other things well within our control that we can do in the lab and at home to make a difference, since small actions will add up to significant positive change.

 


Aug 17, 2022 12:00:00 PM       by Kin Leung

How to Become a Great Scientific Mentor

If you are reading this, either having earned your first faculty position or about to embark on leading a huge project, congratulations! You have obviously demonstrated the creative problem solving and other skills needed to successfully carry out and complete a scientific study…but maybe you’re not confident in your ability to lead or mentor? I would argue that many experiences you have accumulated up to this point will help you become the best mentor you can be, so let’s get to it as you cultivate the next generation of great researchers!


Aug 10, 2022 12:00:00 PM       by Kin Leung

6 Lab Hacks to Make Your Life (Science) Easier

When I was in college, I enjoyed reading about Chindogu, which literally means “weird tool” in Japanese. The whole point of Chindogu was to make hilariously “unuseless” objects, somewhat like a tool that you might use, but wouldn’t actually buy because it was so absurd. An example of such absurdity is this Hay Fever Hat, and there are countless others that I would recommend you read and laugh about. Although Chindogu are essentially impractical devices meant for laughs, I got to thinking about how I MacGyver’d through graduate school in repurposing equipment and designing new ways to make my lab life easier even as our funding dwindled. Known affectionately as lab hacks, I’m sure you can find some of these on the internet, but I’ll share some of my favorites here.

 


Jul 29, 2022 12:00:00 PM       by Kin Leung

5 Steps to a Better PCR: A Troubleshooting and Optimization Guide

Ever since Kary Mullis (that crazy guy, may he rest in peace) officially invented the polymerase chain reaction (PCR), an entire generation of molecular biology has exploded across the globe as scientists use PCR for a number of applications, from measuring gene expression to forensics. While the textbook technique is relatively simple, as I (and many other fellow researchers) can attest to from experience, producing an ideal PCR is far more challenging due to multiple factors.