Sarah Robbins

About Sarah Robbins

Sarah Robbins is a human genetics Ph.D. student. Her skill at reading recipes has made her able to translate her talents from pies to PCR.

Posts by Sarah Robbins:

How to Beat the Third-Year Slump

How to Beat the Third-Year Slump

After their qualifying exams are over and most of their required coursework is completed, graduate students disperse back to their labs for the long haul. Most classes and exams occur in the first year or two of a Ph.D. program; afterward, students focus full-time on their independent studies and dedicate their time to pursuing their(...)

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CRISPR Gene Editing in Human Embryos Performed for the First Time Ever in the U.S.

CRISPR Gene Editing in Human Embryos Performed for the First Time Ever in the U.S.

For the first time ever, scientists in the United States have performed gene editing experiments using CRISPR-Cas9 in humans. CRISPR-Cas9 is a bacterial DNA editing system that researchers have harnessed to change the specific sequence of DNA, with precision down to a single letter of the DNA code. Many pilot studies have been done in(...)

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So You Want to Attend an Academic Conference…

So You Want to Attend an Academic Conference…

Academic conferences are an integral part of a graduate student’s training. They are not only a window into the life of a professor but also help you to connect with colleagues across the globe. Even better, you get to spend time outside of the lab with your lab mates while still learning new things about(...)

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Cellulite: Who, Why, and What Can Be Done

Cellulite: Who, Why, and What Can Be Done

It’s funny to note that many medical conditions are described using food analogies. For example, boxers are often diagnosed with “cauliflower ear”, a condition where the swollen ear resembles the folds of cauliflower; and birthmarks with a characteristic red color are referred to as “port wine stain.” Another example, cellulite, is often described as “orange(...)

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5 Tips for Preparing for your Ph.D. Candidacy Exam

5 Tips for Preparing for your Ph.D. Candidacy Exam

The oral exam. The candidacy exam. The comprehensive exam. There are many names for it, but all pre-doctoral graduate students come to fear it. At different universities, this pivotal exam happens at different points in your Ph.D. At Johns Hopkins, most students will take their candidacy exam after their main courses are finished, but before(...)

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The Butterfly Effect: Wing Research Method Shows Promise

The Butterfly Effect: Wing Research Method Shows Promise

From the flower on your front porch to your cousin’s lower back tattoo, butterflies are one of the most immediately recognizable insects due to their magnificent wings. Though I am no butterfly expert myself, I can distinguish a few species native to my area by their color patterns. Interestingly, wing patterns and coloration may be(...)

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Bugs Resistant to Drugs: What Can We Do?

Bugs Resistant to Drugs: What Can We Do?

In September 2016, a Nevada woman died of a bacterial infection. The woman, in her 70s, had been hospitalized previously in India due to a fracture of her right leg, which led to bone infections and more subsequent hospitalizations. During these infections, she almost certainly received antibiotics to help her recover, especially given that in(...)

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Gene Editing Under Fire

Gene Editing Under Fire

CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing is the hottest new technology being used by molecular biologists and geneticists around the world. The method, first developed in prokaryotes in a collaboration between Jennifer Doudna’s group at University of California, Berkeley and Emmanuelle Charpentier’s lab at the Pasteur Institute in June 2012, allows targeted editing of the genomes of living(...)

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Nobel Prize Winning Research May Lead to New Therapies for Cancer, Alzheimer’s

Nobel Prize Winning Research May Lead to New Therapies for Cancer, Alzheimer’s

Yoshinori Ohsumi of the University of Tokyo was recently awarded the 2016 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his work in mechanisms for autophagy. What is autophagy? From the Greek roots “auto,“ or self, and “phagia,” or eating, the word literally means self-eating. In cell biology, autophagy describes the way that cells recycle unneeded(...)

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Tasmanian Devils Evolve to Combat Contagious Cancer

Tasmanian Devils Evolve to Combat Contagious Cancer

Australia is home to some of the deadliest creatures on the planet, including venomous snakes, poisonous spiders and hungry sharks. The Tasmanian devil may not be toxic, but the species is known for its vicious behavior. The carnivorous marsupial may look cute and cuddly, but its sharp teeth can take down a kangaroo. Unfortunately, feasting(...)

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