Archive for category Blog news

The MolBio Hut highlighted in the ASBMB website

First, we know… We haven’t been updating the blog as regularly as we would have wanted, but both Francisco and I are in our last part of our PhDs and time has been scarce. We have, however, a new Direct Connection post in the pipeline, and we  continuously update the “Around the Journals” RSS feed, so you can keep up with the best in molbio research. Further, in our Twitter accounts (@aemonten and @biohighlights), we are regularly posting fascinating molbio-related stuff.

Now, despite our reduce posting rhythm, we have been highlighted in the “ASBMB Today” website! ASBMB “is a monthly publication distributed to all members of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology“. In the section entitled “Biochemistry and molecular biology blogs in brief”, Aditi Das described our blog and posteda snazzy picture of Francisco.

Go take a look!

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“Around the Journals” gets a Twitter account!

Our fantastic tool, “Around the Journals“, in which we share recent fascinating articles in molecular biology, can new be followed on Twitter!

Just follow @biohighlights for the best research in the field.

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Blog about your research and get an Amazon Giftcard!

As you may already know, we’ve always wanted to have a place where molecular biologists can discuss science. That’s why we created MolBio Research Highlights first, and then, The MolBio Hut.

One thing we thought was a good idea, was the “Direct Connection” section in our blog, in which scientists can discuss their own recently published work. This is how we put it when we first launched it:

The “Direct Connection” section at “The MolBio Hut” includes blog posts discussing primary research articles in the field, but these posts are written by the authors themselves. This allows them to discuss the background, results and implications of their work with a wider audience and in a more relaxed format. We hope that this direct link between the authors and the scientific community (hence its name), promotes discussion and interaction with scientists in other fields.

We would like to promote this initiative by inviting grad students, postdocs and even PIs to write a short post discussing their recently published papers. The benefits of blogging are plenty and have been discussed elsewhere (see here, here and here for some thoughts about it), so what better way of getting into it than by discussing your own work?

Just to get things rolling, we will give contributors a 25 USD Amazon Giftcard and we will promote their posts and labs in the web for their research to get the widest dissemination possible (through Twitter, Researchblogging, etc).

By also posting the author’s contact info (twitter account, for example), we hope to create a network of molecular biologists.

So what are you waiting for? Have you recently published a paper in the (wide) field of molecular biology? Then write a short post about it, let people know about your research and its implications and get a giftcard out of it!

Drop me a line with your proposal. We look forward to your posts!

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Cancer Research Blog Carnival #48

Go check the 48th Edition of The Cancer Research Blog Carnival, posted yesterday over at Bayblab.

It features Francisco’s “Direct Connection” post discussing his paper on adult stem cells and cancer relapse, along with many other interesting posts on cancer research.

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Follow the author, not the blog

Bloggers can be itinerants, moving between different blogging platforms, blogging networks, etc. Ideally, as a blogger,  you would want to get to a place and settle down for good, but sometimes you just have to move, maybe because the blogging platform has become unstable, or because you disagree with changes in the philosophy of the blogging network, and so forth.

One big concern that arises due to these moves, is that of losing followers, the essential element of a blog’s success.

Followers have to be informed about the moves so that they can update their RSS feeds and keep receiving the news about their favorite bloggers, but constantly asking followers to do that can be problematic. Not all of them will do it at once and eventually forget to do it. Some may get the code wrong or some may even be too lazy to do it, so if you could find a way to simplify things for followers, then that’s definitely the way to go.

While browsing around the web for such a solution, I came across with Yahoo! Pipes:

Pipes is a powerful composition tool to aggregate, manipulate, and mashup content from around the web.

Like Unix pipes, simple commands can be combined together to create output that meets your needs:

combine many feeds into one, then sort, filter and translate it.
geocode your favorite feeds and browse the items on an interactive map.
power widgets/badges on your web site.
grab the output of any Pipes as RSS, JSON, KML, and other formats.

After playing a little with it, I realized that Yahoo! Pipes could be used to solve the “followers problem”.

You can create create a “generic RSS feed” and aggregate whatever feed you want into it through a pipe, so that the generic feed will display the info from all the RSS feeds you’ve combined into it.

In the figure, you can see I’ve aggregate the RSS info of my current blog, The MolBio Hut, into the pipe output.

I’ve called my generic output “Alejandro Montenegro-Montero”.

So, in the future, if I decide to switch to another blog (with another RSS feed), I can just go back to my pipe, add the new feed in the “Fetch Feed” module and voilá! The new info will be aggregated into the same pipe output, so that if people are subscribed to the “Alejandro Montenegro-Montero” feed, they will receive my blog updates, regardless of whether they knew or not about my move.

Further, if besides a blog, you have a Flickr or Youtube account, you can combine those RSS feeds with the one from your blog into a single one, so that people will be able to follow everything by adding a single RSS feed.

So, by combining everything into one place and giving followers only a single feed to follow, you can simplify things for everyone, and people will be able to follow the person they are interested in (even if he/she moves to another place online), rather than following their blog.

So go ahead and add my new (and only) RSS feed now! No matter where I go, you’ll always be able to get my latest blog updates.

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A new home and a new name

(Image credit)

After some problems with the Blogger platform, we decided to migrate to WordPress, which has been recommended to us for ages. The original blog, “MolBio Research Highlights” at Blogger will remain online.

At the same time, Francisco and I decided that the blog needed a new name which reflected more what we wanted to accomplish with the blog. Even though we still want it to be considered a place where people can find articles in the field of molecular biology we think of as being interesting (hence “research highlights”), we don’t feel the name of the blog reflected the other things we do here,  for instance, discussing scientific life.

We want the blog to be a place where people with shared interests can not only read about different aspects of molecular biology and the life of molecular biologists, but also participate. We want it to be a rendezvous point for people in the life sciences, and with this in mind, we decided on a new name: “The MolBio Hut”, a sort of  ‘shelter for molecular biologists’.

We hope the 4 people who follow us regularly (hello brothers and sisters!) will continue to support us and consider the move and the new name an improvement.

We want to take this opportunity to encourage people to submit their articles to the blog; we are particularly interested in blog posts discussing the primary literature. If you have published a paper recently, you can discuss your own as part of our “Direct Connection” section.  We are also interested in meeting reports and people discussing different aspects of the scientific life.

In any case, we hope the blog will continue to serve as an attractive source of interesting news, papers, tools and more from the fantastic field of molecular biology.

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