Catherine (genegeek)

Thanks for stopping by.  I'll use this space to explore public perception of genetics and other cool molecular biology stuff. I finished by PhD in 2002 then realized during my PostDoc that I preferred learning and explaining new results to doing science. I'm now in a non-traditional career of teaching and outreach.

Take a Closer Look

I like to take a real, good, close-up look....more

Can you have success as a failure?

Why go to graduate school? To win a Nobel Prize one day? You like the work (me)? Someone has offered you a position (Paid to learn – great!)?...more

Why is it OK to be 'bad at math'?

Why is it socially acceptable to avoid simple math? We were out for dinner and at the next table, we heard one man say, ‘just tell me what I owe because I can’t do math’. The 10 year old with me was horrified and blurted out, ‘he can’t even do simple calculations?!? How embarrassing for him.’ She was amazed that he admitted this freely and she thought this man wouldn’t proudly announce that he couldn’t read....more

Am I a scientist? What is a scientist?

I have a PhD in Medical Genetics - but I no longer do wet lab research. Can I call myself a scientist?...more
You can work, study, and spend time with family!!

MAKESPACE in Vancouver - 3D printer for all?

I want a 3D printer - no real reason except they are cool. But the lack of a reason makes me think that I'd get a very expensive toy that I'd use a few times - but still would be awesome. If I just had a lot of spare cash... See below for some cool things that could be done.But now I have a chance to use a 3D printer if one of my workspaces gets a grant for a MAKESPACE. Their goal is to create a MAKESPACE Fabrication Laboratory that will provide the tools to design and build anything you can dream. The lab would be open to the community and will hopefully become a hub of dialogue and creativity. Doesn't that sound great? If you are willing to help, please vote for the project!So, what can you do with a 3D printer? (just one of the things that will be in the proposed Makespace)...more
3D printing is so amazing to me. Who knows, maybe every home will have a 3D printer someday and ...more


Solving mysteries is fun – or at least looks fun when I watch on TV. I use solving a crime as the way to talk about the process of science. The participants have to evaluate the evidence and come up with a plausible explanation. When I want to drive the point home, I don’t give the solution because there is no big textbook where you can check that the results of your science experiments are right. ...more

Twitter 101: join the amazing online conference

Have you signed up for twitter but then weren't sure what to do? ...more

How do you date a pregnancy?

It was recently reported that Arizona had changed its abortion law to be the most restrictive – but it hadn’t. It had just joined other states in making the limit 20 weeks gestational age. This description of pregnancy dates is the accepted convention – but many articles picked up on that initial two weeks of nothingness in gestational age and confused it with embryological age....more