Considering I just started this blog in October, I would say that there might still be a whiff of that new blog smell around here. As a newcomer to this community I have learned a lot and gotten a good amount of useful feedback from those with more experience in matters of blogging, teaching, being a PI and everything that comes along with that. I appreciate the comments and they have actually changed the way I approach what I post here. My initial intention was to chronicle my experiences with the hope that they would inform those who are now in the position I was a year ago. While I still try and do that, I also now use this forum to draw on the experiences of those who are further along in this process than myself.
With the new semester upon us, I think it's a good time to add another aspect to the blog and that is to talk a bit more about actual science. As I have begun to explore some (I wish I had the time to read further than I do) of the other sciencey blogs out there I've realized that the research programs of bloggers roughly reflects research biases in the US - that is to say that a large sector of the community works in biomed-type fields and of those who do not, many still use model organisms (human, mouse, fruit fly, yeast, Arabidopsis, etc.) in their experiments. Though a lot of people don't reveal their field, I get the impression that nearly all of the bio-bloggers are working on organisms that would be household names (alright, maybe in a geeky house, but still). That puts me in a niche market, I suppose.
Over the next couple of weeks I'm going to try and put a few coherent posts together on some of the interesting things going on outside model organism world. My motivation for doing this actually came from a manuscript I recently reviewed for a high-impact journal. The authors actually wrote the line "We have shown that xx holds true for the entire spectrum of eukaryotic diversity, from humans to yeast". This kind of shit drives me crazy and is the equivalent of saying "Last summer I drove all across the US, from Maine to New Jersey", but I have seen similar statements in a grant and two seminars. I have no idea if the posts in this series will actually attract any readers, but if I can get just one person to realize that eukaryotic diversity hasn't been neatly classified as Animal, Plant or Fungus since the 1950s (or earlier) or that the organisms we can see out our window represent the minority of eukaryotes, then I will be happy. At the very least, it will save my grad students from having to listen to my crazed rants when I come across statements like the one above.
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