Monday, 23 December 2013

Readings to be done over the Christmas Break

HAHAHA.. congratulation to myself. Found myself tossed into the middle of a big project after my glorious holiday trip to Shanghai ( I MISS CHINA, WILL DEFINITELY BLOG ABOUT THAT WHEN I HAVE TIME).

I don't know whether I should be happy or sad to be honest. Now that I am first authoring this "thing", I better get things done on the fast track, though that was easier said than done. Snapped up some journal articles to read while I slough my work through this Christmas in the lab =.= What to do, lab rat must get the job done anyway.

Just a selected few of the papers to read and understand this whole "thing".

Good luck to me. I think I am pretty much booked and stretched out all the way to my wedding photoshoot in Taiwan this coming March.

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Surge and reach for the sky

On a fine Saturday, all I wanted to do is to go the lab, read my papers, conduct my experiments and find solace in the chaotic life of a researcher.

Monday, 16 September 2013


Totally paying the price for being a slacker. Will not let this happens anymore from now onwards.

Friday, 6 September 2013

COMEX 2013 and 4TB Seagate

Finally, after purging all the evil spendthrift in me for the past 9 months, finally it is time we get a new toy (actually it is really a necessity) for 2013! Am thinking of getting a 4TB Seagate for all my storage needs. Glorious!

Monday, 2 September 2013


Can't believe that it's already September. It has been 8 months. While it is an enjoyable session, with lots of praises and new skills learnt, I admit the whole effort lacks focus. Too many parallels going on and I have yet to close any yet. Papers better be churn out fast, cause I'm really running out of time!

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Extremely pure DNA extraction.

So our lab was dealing with shit loads of DNA work. I mean like ... err.... 20 terrabyte of DNA sequences? Yup. So when it comes to extracting high quality DNA, skills and experience is really what it takes. So you don't end up with 20TB of rubbish data.

Having work with these DNA extraction over the past few months. I think I should start writing about some basics of DNA extraction here. Specially from animal tissues (different tissues, different methods. Think bone vs muscles), plants, gram-positive bacteria and even random stuffs (think soil, think carpet, think CSI:NEW YORK!)

The most important think is about how you want to manipulate the DNA physically! Yeah not chemically because you just want to make them mix around and then purify them, removing other stuffs that will inhibit your downstream analysis. Also I think I will talk about how to transport DNA. For example, sending DNA from one lab to another to different countries requires special care. After all, remember, you are probably sending only a few drops of preciousness that will give you gigabytes of FASTQ files!

Friday, 9 August 2013

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Pilling up my warchest

Recently I started adopting a rather "low maintenance" life style and all I can say is I'm beginning to reap those golden seeds now :) Reading investments newsletter didn't really got me into investment, but they taught me very well in financial planning so far. Suffice to say, we are all in the war-chest building phase. Nobody can just jump on with a bucketful of gold, unless you are born with a silver spoon. But then again, those are not the money you earn yourself. You're simply sucking on to your mom and dad's financial teats. Just like a pair of attention freak, well endowed with cash twin brothers I have in my Facebook friend-list. Nothing respectable about those fellow, just admirable. OK enough babbling about jerks and rotten donkey dicks. I had a glorious week albeit a tiring one. Shall just enjoy my weekend, in the lab of course ;)

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Days without internet

There's a very exciting conference going on now with live video at but fml, no internet at home.

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Weird breed

I think I'm one of those weird breed. Well it's good to be weird. After all weird, freak, special, unique, rare and extraordinary points to the same thing but on different points of a positive tonegative  scale-bar, right?

Sunday, 7 July 2013

"The future doesn't belong to the faint hearted, it belongs to the brave"

"The future doesn't belong to the faint hearted, it belongs to the brave"

These words, by Ronald Reagen, are reminders that to be a pioneer, to be a discoverer, to be an explorer of the frontiers, be prepared to face failures. Use failure as power, as your steer. Good luck!

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Self-induced stress

Do you folks actually believe in the power of self-induced stress? Or perhaps if you put it in a more positive manner, self-driven self-empowerment? Yeah I'm one of those freak that likes to live in a stressful environment.

Life without stress/challenges are simply... too boring.

Monday, 17 June 2013

End of holiday season; start hunting for my first authorship.

It's been a happy May-June period. With happy moments at home and at Phuket+Singapore with the Tigress. Happy days, days we love, days we cherished.

Now that it's over, its really time to get fully bogged down on the bench and in front of the workstation to get the analysis done! Better fast than sorry, I don't want to be late in hitching up a PhD scholarship!  

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Good morning world

Wishing people a glorious day ahead. May your experiments be good and your pipette be accurate. 

Monday, 29 April 2013

Reading of the day

Better improve my cell cycle knowledge!

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Beautiful DNA with bit of RNA left

Beautiful things are coming out! This one should be good for BMC Genomics I guess? Or maybe a PLOS One? Who knows... All I want is a first author. One before I hit 25 if possible =)

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Frustration cycle

Just to remind myself not to fall into the "frustration N give up" trap again. Been there, done that, not again.

Thursday, 11 April 2013


I keep getting shit loads of primer dimer nowadays. Not really sure what's the reason behind this but I'm troubleshooting hard enough. From the pipette to the annealing temperature all seems fine! Very likely it's the problem of my primers but according to my colleagues their amplifications are just nice! Damn. Maybe I'll try some chelex today and see how does it go. Or else i'll have to try some new flanking strategies to get this gene out.

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Cracking the X-ray diffraction of DoubleHelix

Ever wondered how they deciphered the structure of the double helix based on one X-ray film? Don't you hate those lecturers for not even bothered to answer this question? Well here is the answer!

Well explained and described in plain language. Who wrote this? Watson of course =)

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

The daily walk back to home.

Everyday I leave the lab after 8.30pm or even more. My adrenaline rush only happens after dinner and ideas and motivations start picking up that time. If there's experiment, I'll quickly work them out. If there's none bench work I'll be discussing reviews and others with the fellows and post-docs. Thanks to these bunch (partly reaffirmed by how much they earn), I had the courage to continue this path. I'm not a risk taker. Those who knows me well, will understand that I draw my plans 15 years down the road and examined every single bad outcome. I have faith that this path is the correct path for me. One reason is I'm having an extremely happy time even with the long working hour.

Here's a photo of the path I walk every night (weekends too)

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Weekend Star Wars obsession

Whoops...! Sorry my Apple Fanboy and 501st Legion spirit is killing me!

Was thinking "Damn it! Monday is tomorrow!" until i realised that WOHOO LONG WEEKEND NEXT WEEK!


Monday, 11 March 2013

Every Morning Breakfast

My superb Cheese Omelette Breakfast every morning. Guess how much is it?

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Learning more about BAC and BAC Libraries

Using Bacterial Artificial Chromosome and constructing a BAC library. A great paper I would say, it allows the rapid decoding of the Human Genome Project and also helped identified many genes related to diseases. A quality publication as expected from any PNAS articles.

This paper is almost 20 years old but hey lecturers and profs simple don't teach you deep enough to understand the mechanics behind it. Well, many companies out there are willing to build you a library for the cost of US$ 20k, and that is the cheapest! YES!! Some in the States are offering library construction + sequencing for $100k!

With this PNAS paper as a background, some people have already mastered the techniques behind it, and are building companies doing research for many researchers around the world, for a price of course. In the world of post-genomic era, opportunities are everywhere. As my boss said to me "You just need to be 巧和精."

Saturday, 9 March 2013

De Burg Burger at Queensway

Had a bad week in lab this week but I'm glad that it ended well. All reactions went smoothly, enzymes were still strongly reactive and kicking, bioinformatics progress went well and I had great beer with burgers at De Burg! GLORIOUS PORK BURGERS!!

Thursday, 28 February 2013

1 Hour 47 Minutes.

Damn it. Just too busy in lab thanks to some administrative bullshitz.

It's now 5:50 and I have to wait for almost another 2 hours for my 5 polymerase chain reaction machines to end work.

Press on! Nvm! It shall be my third paper!

P/S tomorrow is going to be über exciting with the symposium going on. Some really good speakers and researchers are here so now I am rushing my work overtime so I can attend those talks tomorrow ;)

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Happy Outfield Day

Just had a great day going to the site and collect samples. Will be going in mid-March again. Really really enjoy doing this =) Can totally imagine myself working in this field for the next 7 years.

Meanwhile, the congress is happening next week! Damn and those samples that requires DNA extraction just arrives from Norway today! Coupled with the samples I collected today, I guess I'll have to work really really hard + overtime this week. Oh well.... I have always told myself this : Not now, then when ?! Haha. YUPZ!! Hopefully can get to know the big shots from Rockefeller as well. Honestly if I can join Rockefeller/collaborate with Rockefeller for my PhD studies it's going to be glorious =)

Oh well I have been following the AGBT Conference in the States over the weekend (resting on weekends = lose out to others). Am certainly impressed with how they are using NGS to do some amazing things. One thing I notice is the importance of bioinfomatics in this age of molecular biology/biology in general. Nowadays if you want to publish papers with high impact factor, you need huge sets of data. Look at Nature/Cell/Science nowadays, how many papers/articles have less than 5 authors ? With the huge amount of data generated by your lab, how do you interpret/analyse them? Nowdays, sample size matters. It matters greatly especially in an age where next generation sequencing is becoming a basicity, no longer a luxury. Thus, bioinformatics, I hope we can be great friends :)

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Saturday Night with journals but no beer

Ugh... like my worst Saturday night ever. Yes I have interesting journals on my laptop screen.. but where the hell is my beer =( NO BEER NO FUN!

Here are two of my Saturday night reads : One is about genomic instability caused by ribonucleotide in genomic DNA while another talks about the start of metogenomics

Friday, 22 February 2013

Second paper as co-author

2 months into this job and I'm already starting on my second paper as co-author. OMG hard works pay-off! Yay yay fight on!!!!!

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Arrogant Proud Stupidity

Recently I stalked a lot of friends from Malaysia (when I am taking a poo, i'm a busy man, 99% of my Facebook activity is done on a toilet bowl.)

I discovered a disturbing trend : Malaysian youngsters who have spend the bulk of their time in Malaysia tend to be arrogant, proud and short-sighted.

Many were emotional and very vocal on Facebook. Others were busy chasing branded stuffs. Many more think that they are some politicians. Well.. I guess I better not talk so much about these. The last time I tried to share the wonders of the outside world and how exciting it is and how much more we can learn from the outside world, I was labeled negatively. I grow up learning that knowledge must be spread and shared.

I guess in this context, it's better keep these for myself and turn wise on my own.

Monday, 18 February 2013

Grateful for my job

I just want to say that I am very very blessed to work with this group of geniuses. To learn from them is really a pleasure, not to mention the pay is pretty good among other job openings in this field =)

Right now I carried out my own projects without supervision from the top. Pretty much independent. Am working hard on my yet-to-publish paper and also researching for a new project to start on. Hopefully can publish in a journal with impact factor higher than 4 this year, and one with IF 10 and above within the next 3 years =) Hope to make connections with the big shots here and hopefully I can land myself a job in the states before I turn 30 haha!

Friday, 1 February 2013

This boredom

This boredom is enough to kill me. I need pork chop. Good one please.

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Grow up, kid.

Grow up, boy. TO be honest I'm happy to see your blatant remarks and postings on Facebook yet having no effect on my mood. It shows how high have I matured, and how low have you fallen by your ill-conjunctivitis that is slowly blinding you and consuming your wisdom.

 I sincerely urge all to be wise and matured when posting remarks on social media. You don't know what effect it may have on you on the long term, how many allies will you lose, how many opportunity will you miss out and how many friends will leave you. True power lies in you understanding the "cause and effect" of each posts on social media. Well sure you can tell yourself (and the whole world) that this is purely a view of your own. Well, don't forget that your friends and those around you judge you by your views, kid.

So, GROW UP, BOY. Grow some wisdom. Grow some intelligence. Grow some self-discipline. Don't make me laugh at you from this Southern Tiny Little Red Dot.

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Past and present.. A Saturday night in the NUS Science library.

Sitting here.. in one of my favourite spot in the Science library. I remember coming here almost every weekend on Saturday night, enjoying the peaceful and immerse myself in those inspiring journals and textbooks so chim that I literally googled every sentence I read. That was the past though... and it's amazing to know much much I've improved over the past 4 years. Now.. 4 years later, I'm back in the library, albeit leaving this wonderful school soon. No longer being that little kid from Malaysia that goes to the library every Saturday night. Now a working adult. Bracing the turbulent life of a researcher. Haha.. totally don't feel like reading anything. Just want to bask myself in this nostalgic reminiscing.

Friday, 18 January 2013

The next big thing

Working really really hard on the next big thing. Am happy that boss put high hopes on me. Am given access to the many resources. Better not slack and be a worm now. Not now.

Sunday, 13 January 2013

First week of work

A steep learning curve. I would say. Am more focused on cloning genes and transfection into plants. Suddenly I found myself in the realm of mass genome analysis, NSPs detection, microsatellites driven genotyping and finally, genetic breeding. Wow.. pretty crazy. I was so stressed yet driven at the same time. SO much so that I actually finished a whole textbook in this week! A feat I've never achieved in my university life. Well, at least within a week, I'm ready to rock and roll. Hopefully the post-doctorates (yeah my colleagues are all PhD. holders) are kind enough to teach me some bioinformatics skills. All I know is just BLAST, primer design, secondary structure prediction and tertiary structure prediction. Lame me. The coming weeks will be tough. The probiotics with anti-microbial activity scanning is super laborious. Not to mention the RNA extraction from both mock and infected fishes are quite cruel (as in i need to kill the damn fish and dig out their guts and livers and worst of all that tiny red dot called kidney). Well.. I keep telling myself that sacrifice a few for the salvation of many and the advancement of science is worth the while. OK shall push this onwards. No guilt.

Wednesday, 2 January 2013


Was thinking that I can start work today, but due to numerous bureaucratic issues I can't start. Damn sien. End up strolling in the marketplace, drinking kopi while gathering my thoughts.

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