7 Random Things About A Meme Newbie

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Sandra Porter at Discovering Biology in a Digital World (excellent blog) has decided to tag Epigenetics News with a meme. With this being the first meme at the site, I should probably explain what a meme is. From Wikipedia:

A meme, as defined within memetic theory, constitutes a theoretical unit of cultural information, the building block of cultural evolution or diffusion that propagates from one mind to another analogously to the way in which a gene propagates from one organism to another as a unit of genetic information and of biological evolution.

Yes, that definition should explain everything for our audience at Epigenetics News.

If you’re still confused, a meme might be best described as the bloggers’ equivalent of an e-mail chain letter, perhaps with a little more purpose in extracting useful information from a number of people with shared interests.

With that said, here are the rules of this meme:

  1. Link to the person that tagged you andpost the rules on your blog.
  2. Share 7 random or weird things about yourself.
  3. Tag 7 random people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs.
  4. Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

Seven Random Things About Me

Random thing #1: Science was my worst subject in high school.

Random thing #2: I started writing this blog before I had taken an introductory genetics course.

Random thing #3: I have been employed as a lab research assistant, wheat genetics field crew, newspaper circulation district manager, computer technician, staff writer, senior news editor, and oyster picker.

Random thing #4: I have been paid to play video games.

Random thing #5: I don’t play video games much anymore, unless it’s with my 13 year-old stepson.

Random thing #6: I attended the University of Southern California for a semester in 1997.

Random thing #7: I was covering Macworld Expo San Francisco as a staff writer when the first iPod was introduced.

Tag 7 Other Bloggers

Sex Determination Research
Adventures in Ethics and Science
Eye on DNA
Omics! Omics!
ESI Blog


Win a DVD of NOVA’s Ghost in Your Genes

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This fall, PBS NOVA aired a special episode, “The Ghost in Your Genes“, featuring epigenetics. (This should not be confused with the “Ghost in Your Genes” by BBC Horizons aired in 2005.) The episode featured a number of epigenetics researchers and their work, including:

Now, you can have a chance to add NOVA’s Ghost in Your Genes to your DVD collection. Just sign up for the free Epigenetics News newsletter by the end of December to get an entry into this giveaway. At the end of December, one random newsletter subscriber will be chosen to receive a copy of the Ghost in Your Genes DVD. To subscribe to the newsletter, enter your e-mail address into the form at the top of the right sidebar, hit submit, then confirm your address by clicking on the link in the confirmation e-mail.

If you’re already a subscriber, then all you have to do is remain as a subscriber until the end of December.

The newsletter, sent out each Sunday, contains a summary of the posts over the past week. It’s a convenient way to keep up with the blog via e-mail.

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Science Links for December 8, 2007

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  • One of the postdocs here in the Skinner lab, Dr. Ramji Bhandari, has started a blog related to his area of expertise, Sex Determination Research. Ramji is new to blogging and decided to get his feet wet with a number of relevent abstracts, which will be a nice resource for those interested in sex determination.
  • Cautious forays into open science continue. Dr. Rosie Redfield of the University of British Columbia is a vocal supporter, and recently explained her philosophy in blogging about her current experiments and encouraging her lab members to do the same.
  • Also, Pedro Beltrao is testing the use of Google Code as a management system for conducting an open science experiment involving domain family expansion.

  • The Pump Handle, a blog that provides editorials and commentary on emerging trends and issues in public health, has started a new feature, Journal Scan, that provides explanations of research papers in easily understandable language. Anyone with an interest in public health can break down a paper and send it in for publication.
  • Seattle’s Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center is home to Steve Henikoff, who is profiled in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Dr. Henikoff is a Howard Hughes investigator and a leader in epigenetics research. The profile exmaines his entire life, from growing up in Chicago to developing (with wife Jorja) the BLOSUM protein alignment scoring matrix, while in the process delving into some of the science that Henikoff has helped push forward over the course of his career.