April 30th, 2007

10 simple rules

PLoS Computational Biology has some neat editorial articles at the moment. The current issue has "Ten simple rules for making successful oral presentations". They are general articles (not just for computational biologists)and might even apply to non-scientists.

Last months issue struck a personal chord with me.

"Ten Simple Rules for Collaborations"

Of course the problem is how to get pesky collaborators to do the same? :/

x-posted:_scientists_lab_gripes nicolachampagne

Atomic Absorption

I am working in a commercial R&D lab, and we are trying to create a method for AA analysis of Magnesium ions.

Our problems have started with the calibration curve. We're trying to get a nice flat curve from 0.1ppm to 1.0ppm, but the low end has been artificially high (not even twice what our blanks are reading). Glassware has been acid washed, samples have been reprepared, lanthanum oxide solutions have been added, matrix effects have been mimicked, and now we are beating our heads against the wall.

So, does anyone have any helpful hints about Magnesium analysis? I am new to the job, I haven't used AA in years, and this is way below the limits I have ever looked for with this method.