March – Beginning of spring

March is not only the first month of spring, but also the month when some really important scientific discoveries happened: Antoine Henri Becquerel discovered radioactivity, which led to his and Pierre and Marie Curie’s Nobel Prize in Physics in 1903; Dmitri Ivanovich Mendeleev presented his periodic table to the Russian Chemical Society; Alexander Graham Bell completed the first telephone call; and John Pemberton brewed Coca-Cola for the first time. All of these events had a huge impact on our daily lives. So be ready, keep an eye on the details and document everything. You never know what you will discover tomorrow.

Additionally, make sure that you follow the highest standards and that your work and data are reproducible. Irreproducibility and the importance of reproducibility have been highlighted on Nature blog and in the Journal of Nature (further reading: http://blogs.nature.com/news/2011/09/reliability_of_new_drug_target.html, http://www.nature.com/news/policy-nih-plans-to-enhance-reproducibility-1.14586, http://www.nature.com/nature/focus/reproducibility), which also expresses the importance of reproducibility in good science.

On the kick-off meeting of PathChooser project, Prof. Kenneth A. Dawson (project coordinator) emphasised the importance of honesty, transparency, quality and reproducibility in research and science. Furthermore, quality and reproducibility are also key words of our ITN. As part of the initial training program within PathChooser, each fellow will characterise nanoparticles and carry out a nanoparticle specific in vitro cell viability assay, in order to make sure that we are able to correctly disperse nanoparticles, do basic cell culturing, and most importantly, able to reproduce our and each other’s results. Of course, this is only the beginning…

PathChooser related activities of the month

On the 26th of March 2014, nearly 50 secondary school students from St. John’s College, De La Salle, Ballyfermot and Caritas College, Ballyfermot attended the Future Scientist event in the UCD O’Brien Centre for Science. As part of this event, Luciana Herda and I (UCD Marie Curie fellows) held a workshop about nanoscience. During this workshop we explained nanoscience and our work (http://www.pathchooser.eu/research/fellows-research-projects/) to the pupils, who also participated in quizzes and other nanoscience related activities in order to get a better understanding of this exciting field of research. This workshop was the first outreach activity of the PathChooser project.

Upcoming Marie Curie events

Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) holds its satellite event at ESOF 2014 in Copenhagen on 19-20 June 2014. The event is open to Marie Curie Fellows and alumni and focuses on transferable skills (http://ec.europa.eu/programmes/horizon2020/en/news/msca-satellite-event-esof-2014-conference).

Diána Hudecz

Centre for BioNano Interactions, University College Dublin

Posted in Fellows Updates