Friday, March 20, 2009

If we're all going to hell in a handbasket...

I at least want to understand what's going on!

NPR (remember, me the tissue-culture-girl extraordinare) is how I'm keeping up with (and trying to understand) the financial crisis.

This American Life is an awesome show, and the Bad Bank episode is how I finally understood how banks work. Shameful, I'm working on a PhD at Yale and I didn't *really* understand how banks worked until now. Of course, genetics coursework doesn't really cover the banking system. I could have told you more about blood banks than money banks just a month ago! This American Life has done several other shows on the financial crisis, I just need to get around to listening to them.

The Planet Money people are brilliant. Down to earth, probing, pretty good about presenting lots of approaches and pro/cons to the situation. They podcast 3 times a week and Twitter/blog much more than that. The news reports don't tell me what I need know, and these guys do.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Dirty word, contamination.  But sure enough, my tissue culture cells - all the cell lines I started making in January - wound up with bacterial contamination.  Ugh.  What looked intially like cell debris was on closer examination tiny little bacteria, that made my cells trypsinize and move off their plates.

Five years, no contamination...I started doing tissue culture in June 2003.  It's been a loooooong time, so I guess I had it coming, but it's still kind of depressing.