Casey McDonald

Science and stuff

November 2, 2011
by Casey McDonald
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Learning science through song

Kevin Ahern teaches Biochemistry and sings about it at Oregon State University.

The list of great science lessons turned to song is a long one. In fact, this could be one of my favorite subjects for this blog.

One of my favorite groups for their many contributions to fact based music, They Might Be Giants:

October 20, 2011
by Casey McDonald
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ePetri Dish-changing the way you do cell culture

For anyone who has ever dealt with cell cultures, this is an amazing idea.

Imagine, checking on your cells without taking anything out of an incubator.

Their use of the smart phone is really cool. Not exactly necessary but a great way to market their technology.

Also, the use of super resolution is way cool. It was cool to learn about, as I’ve had this discussion before…you know when you’re watching CSI, and they have a grainy picture of the bad guy and they zoom in and are able to resolve the picture for a perfectly resolved image? This is only sort of possible and greatly exaggerated.

Super resolution, basically, they use multilple images with lower resolution to compile a single highly resolved image…really cool.

October 17, 2011
by Casey McDonald
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Concussions and football

I was really excited to interview MacArthur Genius Dr. Kevin Guskiewicz for this article.

He’s a leader in the sports concussion debate.

I’m torn. I love football and big hits, but this is a major concern from pee wee to the pros.

Some sources I read regularly: The Concussion Blog and Gregg Easterbook’s Tuesday Morning Quarterback posts on

October 13, 2011
by Casey McDonald
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How should the NIH approach jobs in the coming years?

An article about about a task force about a committee about a panel about a….yawn.

Surprisingly, it did get some of the most heated facebook action I’ve see at BioTechniques.

The comments raise good questions, small projects or large multi-centered approaches? Do “-omics” require teams of researchers from around the world?

There’s certainly a pull in the other direction as personal genome machines promise to “democratize” genomic technologies allowing individual labs to do the work of large core facilities.

By funding bloated projects, awarding grants to the same researchers for decades, and so on, could the NIH be spiraling out of control like NASA?

September 23, 2011
by Casey McDonald
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Editing genes

Heavy stuff; just like using the “find and replace” function in Word, researchers are learning how to change a single gene in vivo, and even do it across the whole genome-like hitting “replace all”.