biotechnology

The HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology is a non-profit organization that opened it's doors in April, 2008. One of the great things about this institute is it's commitment to sharing biotech knowledge with the surrounding community.

For the general public, HudsonAlpha has a ongoing written series on biology topics called Biotech 101. Teachers will probably find this useful too. There's a great description of Copy Number Variation written by Dr. Neil Lamb, their ... Read more

I don't know if any DIY biologists are looking for projects, but I think engineering yeast with a gene to detect heavy metals might be a good DIY biology project and I have some ideas for how to do this.

What are the advantages of using yeast and working on this kind of problem?

  • This could have a socially beneficial result. Contamination of soils, water, and even toys with heavy metals like lead, arsenic, and others, is a growing problem
  • ... Read more

Last spring, in a coffee shop in Berkeley, I saw an amazing thing. It was a cup made from corn. The information on the cup says that it is made from corn, is environmentally sustainable, and 100% compostable.i-d4258bc4906a427034a658c6fdeee65b-corn_cup.jpg

My fellow ScienceBloggers have written several articles lately about corn in fast food ( ... Read more

Well, I had to test Scribd with something. Why not use a document on the Massachusetts Life Sciences Industry?

Scribd is sort of like the YouTube of electronic paper. I found Scribd from TomJoe's post about Life on Mars. His PowerPoint talk is really much more interesting than the life science document that I uploaded as a test, but since you're here anyway, you might as well take a look.

What does Scribd do?

It ... Read more

Why should professional scientists have all the fun?

i-ac01bf3290c4fd272ad38e404e606bc4-gfp_bacteria.pngResearchers have been engineering glowing cats, and selling glowing fish at pet stores. High school kids can do genetic engineering too, if they have the right equipment. And you can help them ... Read more

Students in the United States take many convoluted and unnecessarily complicated paths when it comes to finding careers in biotechnology. If Universities and community colleges worked together, an alternative path could benefit all parties; students, schools, industry, and the community.

The image below illustrates the current paths and the approximate time that each one takes.

A little over ten years ago, Dr. Elaine Johnson obtained funding from the National Science Foundation to start Bio-Link, an Advanced Technology Education center, focused on biotechnology. Since that time, Dr. Johnson has become a national leader in biotech education, enlisting the country's top educators and industry captains to ensure that community college students receive a quality education and the best preparation possible for entering the workforce.

In this radio interview from Tech Nation, Dr. Johnson talks with Dr. Moira Gunn about ... Read more

"Why won't biotech companies hire people with Ph.D.s to be technicians?"

"I already have a Ph.D., how do I find a job?"

These were some of the questions that commenters left after my earlier posts (here, here and here) on biotechnology workforce shortages.

Unfortunately, for these students and post-docs, the shortfall of employees in the ... Read more

Workforce shortages are a growing problem in the biotech industry. Communities are concerned that a lack of trained workers will either keep companies away or cause companies to move. If companies do have to move, it's likely those jobs might be lost forever, never to return. According to Robert Reich, former U.S. secretary of labor, now a professor at UC-Berkeley, biotech companies that can't hire in the U.S. will recruit foreign workers or open research centers overseas (Luke Timmerman, Seattle PI). ... Read more

The other day, I wrote that I wanted to make things easier for my students by using the kinds of software that they were likely to have on their computers and the kinds that they are likely to see in the business and biotech world when they graduate from college.

More than one person told me that I should have my students install an entirely different operating system and download OpenOffice to do something that looks a whole lot harder in Open Office than it is in Microsoft Excel.

I guess they ... Read more