All posts tagged: science writer

Couples Counselling for Zebrafish: How to Optimize Breeding Efficiency

Are you a scientist working with zebrafish? Are you having trouble making zebrafish couples mating? Are you tired of wasting your time staring at them swimming around, with no intention of spawning a single egg for your experiments? Read my article “COUPLES COUNSELLING FOR ZEBRAFISH: HOW TO OPTIMIZE BREEDING EFFICIENCY,” originally published on Bitesize Bio. It’s Sunday morning, the sun has just begun to rise, and you find yourself on the way to the lab (again!), sipping hot coffee and melancholically thinking of your abandoned bed. But something is different this time. Today, the freezing-cold wind blowing from behind is not the only motivation pushing you to sacrifice another weekend in the name of science. Today, you will perform the experiment that will boost your scientific career—you can bet on that!  And then lose. Only an hour later, indeed, a way less motivated version of yourself is staring hopelessly at a bunch of zebrafish couples lazily swimming around, with no intention of spawning a single egg for your “Nature” cover. If you work with zebrafish (Danio rerio) as …

All Like It Hot

Have you ever wondered how does temperature affect the taste of your coffee? I had just turned a page when suddenly a cool breeze blew on my cup of coffee and revived the flame of the candle that had been quietly dying on the table for hours. I turned my head; somebody had left without closing the front door behind them. I can’t abide my coffee getting cold; it is one of my rules. I’d rather pay the painful price of a scalded tongue than drink it cold. There is nothing left in a tepid coffee but bitterness. The aroma, the body, the flavor, the lingering aftertaste, all gone; just bitterness. And I am convinced that everyone gets more than enough bitterness for free in a lifetime. So I dog-eared my book, pulled the cuffs of my favorite sweater down over my hands, and walked towards the coffee house’s entrance to close the door.  It was at that moment I realized that the rain had stopped, and a soft, foggy light filtered through the half-opened door. It was the …

“I keep the positives of science into focus”: an interview with Prof. Marianne Bronner

As a member of the Women in Science network from CiM, I have recently interviewed Prof. Marianne Bronner, a professor of developmental biology at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). We discussed her point of view on issues like impostor’s syndrome, mentorship strategies, and the importance of motivating young female scientists by projecting the positive and fun aspects of a scientific career. You can read the full interview here: An interview with Prof. Marianne Bronner    

“What matters most in doing research is enjoying the process”: an interview with Prof. Anna Akhmanova

Prof. Anna Akhmanova, a professor of cell biology at Utrecht University, has recently given a talk as part of the lecture series ‘Pioneers in Cell Dynamics and Imaging’ organized by the Cells-in-Motion Cluster of Excellence (CiM) in Muenster, Germany. In that occasion, I had the pleasure to interview her and get to know her point of view on pros and cons of a career in academia, the greatest challenges of mentorship, and the role of women in science. You can read the interview here: An interview with Prof. Anna Akhmanova 

I want to know, have you ever smelled the rain?

Going for a walk? You better ask your nose if you should bring an umbrella along (A.K.A: What is the scientific explanation for the scent of a rainstorm?). The day had started without many expectations and then had turned into a Sunday afternoon dominated by black clouds that obscured both the sky as well as any hope of finding an explanation for my melancholy. Rainy days are never a good time for me to reason life out. Rain usually brings along a heavy, gloomy desire to do nothing but look up with my eyes and back with my mind. And on that day I knew rain was about to start; I could smell it… Wait a minute, could I?! Is it true that people can smell oncoming storms? And if yes, how is that possible? People who claim (me included) that they can smell the fresh, earthy aroma of an approaching rainstorm aren’t just imagining it. Storms produce distinctive odors that can be detected by human noses and are even stronger after a dry spell. More specifically, identifiable scents are …