I'm an undergraduate biochemist with a love for all things microbial and a tendency to get overexcited about things that I can't actually see. I took the name 'Lab Rat' due to a spectacular imagination failure and because undergraduate lab-work is unpaid work and it seemed like a funny joke at the time. I've been blogging for almost two years now, which is rather a scary thought.
My first scientific love-affair was with histones and epigenetic gene control, which lasted about a month before I realised that the relationship was heading off into complicated territory where I didn't want to go. I next had a slightly longer affair with bacteriophages, which faded out when I started finding out more about bacteria. They fascinate me because a bacterial cell essentially has to do everything that a complete animal organism has to do; sense the environment, respond to threats, gather food, create energy, but all within the little world of a single cell. And while it's probably not possible to know everything that's going on within even a single bacterial species, it is easier to take a holistic view of the proceedings of the whole cell, rather than being wrapped up in a single pathway of a single cell or tissue type (which seems to be an unfortunate yet necessary approach to studying eukaryotic cells).
I use the blog for revision purposes, and as a desperate attempt to try and channel my writing into the direction of science. I write a lot. I also talk a lot. The two are probably connected.
When not enthusiastically rabbiting on about bacteria, or pipetting very small amounts of liquid into tiny containers, I spend my time reading Discworld and Shakespeare, scribbling stories that never see the light of day, and trying to work out what kind of music I really like (currently rather into Metal, recently had a Rock-and-Roll phase). I have a husband who is a Doctor and who remains charmed and baffled by my love of the little bugs that adversely affect all his patients.
Stoopid environmental action
1 hour ago in The Phytophactor