Wired Science put up a fun gallery of wished for hybrid animals sketched by the Science Illustration program at CSU, Monterey Bay. Fun stuff!
Hi. My name’s Belle. And I’m a recovering postdoc.
Maybe you think it will never happen to you. You were a successful graduate student. You got along with your dissertation adviser and your committee members. Your project progressed, and when it was stalled, you had something else to work on. You worked, you published, you defended, and you moved to the postdoc position of your dreams.
Then one day–maybe three, six, nine months later–you wake up to find that the dream is a distant memory. You are tired, angry, bitter, depressed… You have turned into the disgruntledoc that you swore you’d never become.
Something to keep in mind this winter… Thank you Benchfly
Male scientists aren’t known for being the most ‘manly’ of men and it is my suspicion that it was not strictly an interest in human sexual selection that motivated this study…
The idea was simple, get a bunch of guys and take pictures of them as their facial hair progressed from ‘Baby Face’ to ‘Grizzly Adams’. Then have a bunch of people rate each image on attractiveness and other perceptions. Careful analysis of the results should tell the average guy the how much facial hair to grow to attract the average lady. It should likewise tell us stubbly-challenged researchers how disadvantaged we are, thereby helping us gauge on what level of desperation we need to operate.
The results? Not good for us baby-facers… The difference between Baby-Face and the Short Stubble ‘Sully’ look (RE: Dr. Quinn) was marginal in most cases, with the exception that more facial hair tended to correlate with higher masculinity across the board. Damn. More hair also trended with better perceived parenting skills, which makes some sense if you assume facial hair also trends with physical and mental maturity (it doesn’t).
On the ‘Attractivness’ scale the models over all scored dismally low. That’s what happens when you use yourself as a data point in your own project… However, assuming that the general ugliness of the models didn’t skew the study, it seems that ‘Heavy Stubble’ Wolf-man was rated the most attractive. So, the short stubble look that is so popular right now is off my at least 5 millimeters maybe 10, at least among the women studied (which may or may not have included the scientists’ Moms).
The bottom line? I’m glad that my beautiful bride hates facial hair of any kind. She’s an outlier, thank goodness. Otherwise I’d have to invest in a lot of Rogaine for my face and spend a lot more in razors than my current thrice weekly shave currently requires.
Thanks ScienceNow for reaffirming our fears
Those who follow my blog may have noticed a slow-down in post frequency. Truthfully I’ve been working on my writing, just not the creative kind. For my next career move I need to write a grant application based off of this paper. The deadline is in less than two weeks and I’m cramming to get it all together. I shouldn’t even be writing this, but I check my own site compulsively and am getting bored seeing the same image every time.
The original paper suggests that the spine transmits information in response to damage that affects regenerating tail shape. This is evidenced by how tail shape goes wrong when there are competing damage signals from the spine as depicted above. The implication here is that the information of tail and shape is actually generated and transmitted by the central nervous system (CNS). In my proposal we are planning to take control of the CNS signaling and see if we can control regenerating tail shape and understand how that information is transmitted.
Off the hook science FTW.
Here’s a ‘sceincy’ desktop background for you. The image is one I took if an immunofluorescent staining experiment I did on sectioned mouse kidney. The large roundish structure the middle called a glomerulus, its the blood filtering unit of the kidney. Sadly the project this experiment was done for failed… hard.
Your project will probably fail.
While discussing projects with my mentor some time ago, he shocked me by disclosing that typically the most arduous and hi-risk projects are given to the most inexperienced and least likely to succeed, i.e. graduate students. Why? Because the alternative is to give those projects to post-docs who have a lot more riding on their success in the lab. Apparently, as Grad-students we can ‘afford’ to fail…
Failure and risk are Continue reading