Tag Archives: bread

Starting Grad School: Trust nobody

I received two pieces of advice early in my career as a grad student. The first came from a friend who had graduated at the same time as me (in Biochemistry, rather than Biology, which meant that she had an additional year of undergrad to her name) and had immediately started her PhD. “Ask questions. ALL THE TIME.” She told me. No matter how much of an idiot you feel like asking a question, you will feel a million times worse if you don’t ask, and then you screw up.

The other piece of advice came from a post-doc. When I started this blog I made myself one promise: that I would not talk about this post-doc. (Put it this way: stealing my data and throwing away my entire cDNA collection was the small fry). But regardless of the abysmal state of our working relationship, this post-doc bequeathed two very important things to me. Continue reading


Molecular Biology is like baking because … Part II

Over the years I seem to have acquired a reputation as a competent baker. My second set of Bristol housemates decided that I was really quite awesome in the kitchen because of my ability to – 30 minutes after someone said I really want some chocolate… (We lived a 20 minute walk over a rainy, windy, barren field from the nearest supermarket) – produce a plate of hot-from-the-oven damned-good-if-I-say-so-myself brownies. This is slightly hilarious given the clear link between lab and kitchen and my ineptitude at the bench, but is really down to one simple secret.

I’m good at baking because I have a small selection of recipes that work and I never ever deviate from them. Last weekend I tried a different brownie recipe for the first time in about 4 years (two recipes in fact). Utter disaster. Continue reading