Daily Archives: April 15, 2008

A Little Help Please

Dear Readers… I suspect that some of you may be electrophysiologists and that you may be able to help us out.  We dabble in whole cell patch clamp and are transitioning to doing gramicidin perforated patch for a project.  We’re having a very hard time getting it to work (whole cell is no problem for us).  We suspect that our gramicidin is the problem (we got it from Sigma G5002).  Does anyone know a quality source of gramicidin for perforated patch.  Company and part number would be helpful.  Also, if you have a detailed protocol we’d appreciate getting it by email (see the about page for my email).  Thanks in advance to anyone that can offer some advice.

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China changes on a dime…

A few weeks back we had a seminar speaker from a prominent Chinese University and I had the pleasure of meeting with him separately for about an hour. He was trained in the US (although originally from China) and had worked briefly at a major US University before deciding to go back to China to take his current position. We talked at length about his particular situation (he is quite happy to be back home) and about how many other Chinese scientists are making the similar decision to go back to their homeland to be part of China’s growing scientific research enterprise. I have to admit that I did not realize that this was occurring although a quick skim through the table of contents of any major journal will make it quite clear to any reader that the Chinese are making major advances in basic biological research within their nation. I say all this just to point out that China is changing in ways that many of us do not realize and, despite my disagreements with their human rights stances on Darfur and Tibet, it is impossible to ignore that China is rapidly becoming a research and engineering powerhouse fully capable of surpassing the US or any other nation in technological development. Continue reading