The Biochemist Blog

Finding the founding fathers of molecular biology

By Lisa Strittmatter, University of Cambridge, UK

My motivation to do a PhD at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge was driven by its place at the forefront of science. During my time here, I have come to realise how little I know about the origins of molecular biology. In 1957, the MRC institute was named ‘unit for Molecular Biology’. I decided it was high time to find out more and who better to narrate its history than its contemporary witnesses?

PhD reflections 2.0: let’s reboot

By Ralitsa Madsen, University of Cambridge

“Software Update. iOS 8.0 is ready to install. To install the update, make sure your iPhone is connected to its charger.”

Every iPhone user gets this notification on a regular basis. I am sure other smartphone systems have similar setups. Note how important it is that the hardware is charged. If it is not, the software can’t be installed. In fact, a completely dead battery means that not even the old software will be running.

Is academia for me?

By Megan Booth, University of Cambridge

If someone had asked me 18 months ago where I wanted to be in 10 or even 20 years in the future, my immediate reply would have been academia. As cheesy as it sounds, since I can remember, I have always wanted to be a scientist. My younger self imaged Nobel Prizes, ground breaking research and solving the world’s antibiotic crisis! Now, a year into my PhD, I can confidently say that I don’t want to follow a career in academia.

What would a year without antibiotics look like?

By Brendan Gilmore, Queen’s University Belfast

Grim? Certainly. Apocalyptic? Probably not. Antibiotics have been one of the most transformational discoveries in mankind’s history. Few drugs can make the impressive claims that antibiotics, which we have taken for granted, can. Antibiotics have slashed infant mortality and contributed to prolonging life and increasing life expectancy. Today antibiotics underpin the cornerstones of modern clinical medicine. Antibiotics save lives.