Science Blog: Tube-ular cell research

As I labeled my 180th microcentrifuge tube of the morning, I wondered what the scene looked like to anyone passing by. It might have resembled another one of those images of a person in a lab coat surrounded by unfamiliar lab equipment doing some sort of tedious task. I’d like to tell you the story of my own experience in research in my three years in science at Carleton to hopefully flesh out this picture a bit more. Over the past three years, I have learned a great deal about the fascinating biological processes that govern our lives. Two summer research grants have given me an opportunity to extend my knowledge beyond the classroom in an immunology lab. Immunology is […]

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Science Blog: Open the black box

As a third-year student in science, I often think back to what it means to be a scientist. The definition that I like to live by, is that a scientist is someone who gives a voice to the material world, in analyzing and explaining the phenomena that both surround us and comprise us. If we truly consider these words to define us in science, then I believe that we as scientists are not projecting our voices very well. The analogy of the “black box” is often used in science and technology to describe a system or object that can be understood in terms of what goes in and comes out.  There is no actual knowledge pertaining to what is inside […]

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Opinion: Save the bees, save the crops

In our attempts to satisfy the ever-growing demand for food, humans have developed methods that maximize yields on commercial farms. We’ve determined efficient solutions to common agricultural problems and have modernized the way we plant, maintain, and grow crops. However, with all of these new developments, it appears that one essential aspect of agriculture has been overlooked: bees. Wild and managed bees provide pollination services to a variety of crops worldwide. In fact, when the leading crops on the world market were studied, it was found that pollinator-dependent crops make up 35 per cent of the total global crop production, with fruits, vegetables, nuts, and stimulant crops—like coffee and cocoa—relying the most on pollinators. However, global bee populations have been […]

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Opinion: Get involved with research labs

If you’re an incoming undergraduate science student, this is the post for you. I’m a fourth-year student in the biochemistry and biotechnology combined honours program who has worked in a systems biology lab on campus since the early days of his degree, and I have some useful tips. In 2015, I was very lucky to receive a Dean’s Summer Research Internship from the Faculty of Science. Since then I’ve been returning to the same lab each summer thanks to funding from Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council and my supervisor. Thus, alongside my formal schooling during the fall and winter terms, I’ve received a hidden education — one you won’t experience unless you work in a lab (or in the field). In […]

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