Friday, 31 May 2013

Google Doodle Celebrating Julius Richard Petri's Birthday

Google Doodle from May 31st, 2013
                                                    Google Doodle from May 31st, 2013

If you haven't had a chance yet, head over to Google and check out today's Google Doodle! They have made the wise decision to celebrate Julius Richard Petri's 161st birthday - the inventor of the petri dish! I get so excited anytime I see something about microbiology feature in the news and for it to be featured on the front page of Google is amazing!

Hit the play button and you'll be able to see some cultures from household items and can click to learn more!


Wednesday, 15 May 2013

LabCon2013: Day Two

After the success of day one, I was looking forward to the start of day two.

We started with a plenary session on "Advocacy: Extreme Makeover edition" to learn about what the CSMLS is doing to help promote our profession as well as what we can do to help advocate in our provinces. It was a very interactive session including dancing (!) and breaking into small groups to create our own message and how we would achieve it.

Our group's idea focused on the looming shortage of MLTs in New Brunswick and also the job cuts to senior experienced techs. There needs to be a balance of new grads who can take over the more skilled positions and experts to train them. We wanted to create a campaign about bringing new grads to New Brunswick by offering some loan forgiveness by the government or an informational campaign. Unfortunately, we ran out of time to share our ideas but I think it really sparked something in a lot of members as I heard these discussions continuing throughout the day.

After this I headed to my first session on Flow Cytometry to learn about how it is being used in the lab. I do have some background in flow cytometry but it was great to listen to an expert talk about how it is used to discover chronic leukemias, hairy cell leukemia etc. It is a complicated procedure so I'll spare you with the details but I had fun looking at the case studies and realizing I know a lot of it!

Second session was "Defining our Next Generation of MLTs". I felt like I was cheating a bit since I am the next generation but I wanted to get a sense of what workplaces are looking for in a new grad before I head out into the field. There were a lot of great discussions and ideas flowing throughout the room and I enjoyed getting to know some of the experts currently working.

The night ended with the President's Reception in the Palm Room at the Fairmont Empress followed by a private tour of the Royal BC Museum. Such a creative and unique twist on a typical "reception"! I loved getting to see the beautiful exhibits while socializing. There was also a rumour that a few people might have set off some alarms trying attempting to ride this giant seal sculpture.... it may have crossed my mind as well. :o)



Saturday, 11 May 2013

LabCon2013: Day One

Day One of LabCon is complete! I am completely exhausted and jet lagged (yes, I know it is only a 3 hour time difference) but the day was so exciting and inspiring.

The day started off with a "first timers" orientation, which was great to know what to expect and meet other people in the same situation as myself. I also received a nice collection of badges to attach to my lanyard so people could easily identify me as a newbie :)

After this, was a light breakfast and time to browse the various exhibitors set up in the hall. As a student with limited exposure to some of the larger analyzers and POCT (point of care) devices, it was interesting to see what I can expect in the hospital and what is the latest in the field.

Today's theme seemed to revolve around leadership and what you can do to improve work place collaboration. I also attended a session on "Followership" and how being a good follower is just as important as a good leader. This is an upcoming hot topic is business as people are beginning to realize there are different types of followers and these followers are what make a leader "great". The session focused on these different types and how to adapt to their style and help them achieve their potential. There are numerous recently published books on it such as this one.

My final session of the day was to "Mind the Gap" on QC by Zoe Brooks from Many of us have experience using QC charts and analyzing the results but Zoe exposed many of the issues with current QC methods and how we can adapt and change them for the future. I think challenging rules and the "status quo" can be necessary to ensure things continue to grow and evolve.

The night ended with the Exhibitors reception with more time to spend speaking with exhibitors and fellow attendees while enjoying refreshments (and grabbing swag!) I'm hoping to go back and snag a mini eppendorf pipette pen tomorrow.

Tomorrow is a full day with 4 sessions as well as a plenary on Advocacy and the President's Reception at night!

Were you at LabCon? What was your favourite part of Day 1?


Thursday, 9 May 2013

Hillary Clinton at 2013 ASCP General Meeting

It was just announced that Hillary Rodham Clinton (Former Secretary of State/Former Senator/Text From Hillary) will be the Keynote Speaker at the 2013 American Society for Clinical Pathology annual meeting in Chicago from September 18th -21st.

I would LOVE to attend this conference, not only to see Hillary Clinton, but to take part in the discussion and educational sessions. It is quite costly ($599 for members, $999 for non-members) so it doesn't look like I will be making my dream a reality but I'd love to pass on the information to my readers! Let me know if any of you plan on attending in the comments.

More information is available on the ASCP website

Speaking of conferences, I'm off to LabCon2013 tomorrow in Victoria, BC! Stay tuned for updates and daily summaries by subscribing or adding me to your RSS feed.


Monday, 6 May 2013

News: Endogenous antibiotic discovered in the brain

Endogenous antibiotic discovered in the brain.
May 6, 2013 — Scientists from the Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine (LCSB) of the University of Luxembourg have discovered that immune cells in the brain can produce a substance that prevents bacterial growth: namely itaconic acid.

Scientists have possibly discovered a new antibiotic present in WBC in the brain. It's amazing what our body can do and that we are still discovering new parts to it every day.