Some of the Science Exchange team recently went to AAAS – the American Association for the Advancement of Science. While there, I went to several sessions that talked about the composition of research teams and the dedication they have to have applying for grant after grant, and often times not hearing back for months at a time, only to then see those months of hopes dashed when they are denied funding.
The NIH reports that the average research grant success rate for fiscal year 2012 was 18%. Read the rest of this entry »
Photo by Jackson Solway features Fraser Tan (left), Bilal Mahmood (center), and Conria D’Souza (right).
This week Science Exchange was lucky enough to be part of Jackson Solway’s first ever job portrait! Jackson and his partner spent a day with our Science Solutions Manager, Fraser Tan, and documented what life on the Science Exchange team is like. We’re currently hiring for another Science Solutions Manager, so be sure to check out all the details at the link below!
Below is a quick peek into his fantastic article, read the rest here: http://sciex.co/jobportrait
Q: Fraser, what is most satisfying about this job?
FRASER: I am a scientist at heart, and here I’m at the forefront of changing science. That’s one of the reasons I considered the company in the first place. I derive a lot of satisfaction from knowing that what we do is really, really important, and from knowing that no one has ever done this before. We’re really charting new territory. That’s what brings me into work every day. The other part is the awesome people I work with! My teammates are fun and supportive, and we all believe very strongly in the mission of Science Exchange.
The Science Exchange team’s vision is the democratization of science where any researcher can access the expertise and equipment they need to perform their research in a quick and efficient way.
In January, WIRED wrote an article about the new Illumina HiSeq X Ten, the first system capable of sequencing the human genome for $1,000. The machine consists of ten concurrent sequencers capable of producing 1.8 terabases of data every 3 days. This means it can sequence up to 18,000 genomes per year.
WIRED cautioned that the system designed for population-scale research with a $10 million price tag would be affordable for only a few.
The post also listed the only 3 institutes who already have the system in place including the Broad Institute of MIT (Boston, MA), the Garvan Institute of Medical Research (Sydney, Australia), and Macrogen (South Korea).
Last week, the Garvan Institute’s Kinghorn Centre for Clinical Genomics listed their Illumina HiSeq X Ten on Science Exchange.
Our vision is coming true. This amazing technology that was previously ‘affordable for only a few’ is now available to all researchers.
You can visit the Kinghorn Centre’s Science Exchange storefront to access the Illumina HiSeq X Ten. It’s an exciting time to be a scientist!
Science Exchange employees all have a common goal – to improve the way science is done. But, we don’t all have the same scientific backgrounds. Some of us are biologists, some are computer scientists, and there’s even one geologist (me). In an effort to learn about the many experiments performed through Science Exchange, we have begun bi-weekly science fairs.
Our first science fair featured Customer Experience Manager Conria leading hands-on DNA extraction from SciEx employees!
All you need is gatorade, detergent, alcohol, and some test tubes (directions here) – it’s the perfect rainy day activity. Read the rest of this entry »
Shawn Carbonell, MD, PhD and wife Anne-Marie Carbonell, MD, OncoSynergy’s new VP of Clinical Development
This week I got to catch up with our user Shawn Carbonell and his biotech company OncoSynergy, who has made exciting progress in the 2 months since we last talked. They were honored with the Children’s Humanitarian Award from the Children’s Tumor Foundation at their annual Gala in New York City and have just announced they are the Social Media Sponsor of the 2014 Race for Hope for brain cancer research held in conjunction with Accelerate Brain Cancer Cure (ABC2) and the National Brain Tumor Society. However, perhaps most importantly, Shawn Carbonell’s wife, Anne-Marie Carbonell, has joined the OncoSynergy team as Vice President of Clinical Development.
To put it in his words, “When I found out she was single and was no longer in neurosurgery I made it my mission to both marry her and hire her. Last month both became reality.”
There are so many fascinating elements to Anne-Marie. Both Shawn and Anne-Marie successfully matched into neurosurgery residency only to find new career tracks; they’re now making the fight against brain cancer the family business. That’s only a small fraction of the incredible story, read the rest below! Read the rest of this entry »
In modern life, dissemination of information is largely digital. So the ability to quickly share that information is a necessity, especially for efficient research collaborations.
At Science Exchange, we receive feedback for site improvements daily and a consistent request was the file uploader. This was an opportunity to significantly upgrade a feature that would have a big impact on your experience and every order that goes through the site. Check out the changes!
1) Drag and Drop
Drag any file from your computer’s hard drive and drop it into the field to upload, or click the “Choose File” button and select your file that way.
Read the rest of this entry »
Marcus Welker collecting samples.
Marcus Welker is a 4th year PhD student at Dartmouth College studying salmon migration in the Northeast United States and southern Quebec, Canada. His hypotheses and methods are both surprising and fascinating – check out our interview below!
Q: What do you research?
A: I study salmon – in particular, I’m interested in how they migrate. Salmon are born in rivers, go out to the ocean or large lakes, and find their way back to the rivers where they were born. This has been known for 100’s of years, but in the last 50-60 years, people have tried to understand how they do it – what sensory mechanisms do they use and what is it about the environment that signals them home? – to improve hatchery practices habitat restoration and fisheries.
We believe that by smelling amino acids when they are in the river as juveniles they make this really powerful memory of the smell of the river (imprinting). Then they go to the ocean or lake and do their adult thing, get huge, and come back to their river of origin (homing), because they remember the smell of the amino acids and can discriminate their birth river from other rivers. Read the rest of this entry »
My Twitter profile.
Twitter is a magical beast. It can connect people anywhere in the world. It can make or break a brand. It can bring together scientists who might never otherwise meet IRL – in real life.
Many social media channels – Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, to name a few – accomplish all of those things as well, but each has its own use case, unintentional or designed.
Facebook – generally used for following brands, keeping up with friends and family, being a social resume where new friends can see what movies you have in common, RSVPing to events, etc.
Google+ – highly cerebral chats (if you know where to look) especially where science is concerned, establishing dominance in a field, showcasing your research comprehensively.
Pinterest – where science and art meet, a place to inspire young and old scientists alike by visually stunning research and nature images.
Twitter, however, seems to be an amalgamation of all the rest. Here are a few ways to use Twitter to your benefit.
1) Connect with people doing similar research
By using hashtags centered around research topics you’re either working on or interested in, you can follow along in the current conversations about those topics. Just search for the hashtag(s) you’re interested in and join the conversation. If you’re using a third-party client like Hootsuite or Tweetdeck, you can even save these searches for long-term interest. Read the rest of this entry »
The Science Exchange team (December 2013)
When I did my last team related post, we had just finished a whirlwind of hiring that expanded the Science Exchange team to nine stellar and diverse “athletes” (in the Jason Freedman sense of the word). Well, I’m proud to share that the team has continued to grow. Over the last six months, we’ve been fortunate enough to find one perfect candidate after another.
So, without further ado, meet the newest additions to the team:
- Conria D’Souza is the first Canadian to join the Science Exchange team. She is a perfect combination of social and scientific… making her an amazing fit for our Customer Development Manager position. Before she joined Science Exchange, she devoured everything that was ever written about us and maybe knew us better than we knew ourselves. After joining the team we discovered that Conria is also an amazing graphic artist… bonus! Read the rest of this entry »
Scientists, among most other professions, know that reputation is the key to a sustainable career. Every time you publish your latest research, you’re putting your life’s work out in the world for public consumption. Similarly, every time you order or perform an experimental service on Science Exchange, you are putting your name out there and saying, “this work represents who I am as a scientist,” and we think you should be rewarded for that.
So, Science Exchange has implemented new facility metrics! The reviews have changed and the way we display our metrics have changed – let’s go through them.
Every time a project is completed, both the requester and the provider have the opportunity to rate and review each other. Our previous system was a 1-5 star scale, and our data showed that the majority of the ratings fell on one end or the other. Therefore, we upgraded to the binary review system below. The percentage of positive ratings received are shown as a part of the search results and on each individual facility page.
There are two contributions for each review:
- The user can choose that yes, you would work with your project partner again, or no, you would not.
- A user can also leave a comment describing their experience working with their project partner. A requester’s comment is then viewable on their provider’s facility page, and a provider’s comment is then viewable on their requester’s profile page.
Our previous blog post on increasing provider search rank went into great detail about the importance of completing projects through Science Exchange and how they affect search rank. Each completed project on Science Exchange improves a provider’s rank, and those completed projects are now visible directly in the search results:
As a requester, you know immediately whether the facility has a proven track record of successfully completing projects on the site, and as a provider, you are able to showcase that track record of success.
Endorsements are ways to give merit to a facility if you haven’t yet worked with them on Science Exchange, but have worked with them outside of Science Exchange in the past.
Endorsements are also an easy way to bump facility search rankings. Share a facility link with whomever you wish, and they can endorse that facility at any time by visiting the page and clicking the blue “Endorse This Facility” button in the sidebar.
Future versions will include the ability to filter search results even further based on all these criteria.
We’re really excited about continuing to improve our metrics, implementing new ways to search for the experimental services you need, filtering providers based on your individual criteria, and giving service providers the opportunity to generate even more revenue and showcase their expertise. If you have any questions or feedback, please leave a comment below and we’ll be happy to chat!