The Biochemist Blog

A day in the life of a stem cell PhD student

By Sophie Arthur, University of Southampton

Finishing your finals during undergrad is one of the most amazing feelings! The relief and complete lack of stress is a welcome release from being hunched over a desk for hours and days on end. But as you transition into graduand life and are awaiting that day you can wear that cap and gown, the same question keeps cropping up; ‘So, what are you going to do now?’

The rise and demise of antibiotics

By Rietie Venter, University of South Australia

In the 1940s the well-known British vet James Herriot administered the brand-new antibiotic penicillin to a sick animal and the amazing, speedy recovery that followed was in his words “like witnessing a miracle”. Barely 70 years later, I got an infection in a caesarean wound and I was terrified that these miracle drugs would not work anymore.

A battle on two fronts – coping with a PhD in the midst of mental illness

By Caroline Wood, University of Sheffield

It’s a bit ironic really that my PhD topic ended up being the parasitic plant Striga gesnerioides. This notorious weed cannot survive without a host, so as soon as it germinates it attaches itself to the roots of a susceptible victim. A plant rather similar, then, to the mental illness I have been struggling with for over six years now.