Paper out!

Here is the Link!

I guess I should keep this going and write a little story for everybody about each of my manuscripts that some nice editors decide to accept.

This one here is about gene expression in whitefish embryos. Regarding the blog I wrote about the Aquatic Science paper, this could be interpreted as a continuation, a different perspective of our study system. Here we collected sperm and unfertilized eggs from whitefish that can be found in lake Geneva (Coregonus palaea). We fertilized the eggs in vitro and in a full-factorial breeding design. That means that we took the eggs of 4 females and the sperm of 4 males and then crossed them in all possible combinations. This gave us 16 little Tupperware buckets with freshly fertilized eggs. These we brought to the University where we have climate chambers at a constant temperature of 6.5° Celsius. All eggs were filled into individual wells with 2ml of standardized water. In their little microcosmos they grew and developed into embryos. At the late-eyed developmental stage when the blood circulation system is fully functional, we infected 13 replicates of each family with a nasty bacterial pathogen that can be found across many Swiss lakes and rivers Pseudomonas fluorescens. We also added some nutrients that these bacteria like. As a control we added only the nutrients without the pathogen to another 13 replicates of the same families. We already knew from previous studies that at this stage of development it matters who the father of the embryos was with regard to mortality and performance of the embryos under stress. Since the father only provided sperm and no paternal care, father effects can be interpreted as genetic effects. That means, he contributes genes to the embryos only. Once the embryo is old enough it starts expressing these genes and they have an impact on how it will perform under stress. However, what we did not know yet was which genes might be involved. So my goal for this study was to give these significant genetic effects a name.

Whitefish, an economically important fish species for the gastronomy in Switzerland

Whitefish, an economically important fish species for the gastronomy in Switzerland

my husband waiting for me outside the cold climate chamber

my husband waiting for me outside the cold climate chamber

Wells where embryos are raised.

Wells where embryos are raised.

Accordingly two days after treatment, we collected 3 embryos from each family and treatment and extracted all the gene expression products in their whole body, the so-called RNA. These are the gene products in all animals and plants that will be translated into proteins, which make up what we are. With the use of next-generation sequencing, we digitalized all this information. That means, that only messenger RNAs are filtered out, tagged according to which individual they belong to, pooled and then translated into letters. For this process we collaborated with a Swiss company in Geneva Fasteris. Months later, I received a huuuuuge text file that I could then use to satisfy my hunger for learning bioinformatics tools. With the help of a very friendly guy at Fasteris I found most overlapping sequences of text and aligned everything to a collection of longer text segments (contigs). These were then compared to an online reference of gene expression reads. The amount of data we produced was extremely big. Since I was only interested in genes that are differentially expressed between embryos in our treatment and control group, I decided to quantify the reads first and only compare the ones to a reference, that are also different between the two groups. Many of the reads did not result in a match, however, 1096 did and those could be characterized further. They told us which functional pathways are already active at this early stage of fish development and they gave us some insight into what defense mechanisms these embryos already have.

Whitefish embryos at the late-eyed developmental stage

Whitefish embryos at the late-eyed developmental stage

There is some background information to this paper. First, I must admit that I convinced my PhD supervisor to conduct this experiment because I wanted to get the chance to learn more about bioinformatics. I was the one responsible for the experimental treatment, the laboratory analysis of extracting RNA, and the one who did all the bioinformatics and data analyses. It was also the first manuscript that I wrote mostly on my own. It is not a very ground-breaking story. I would call it a lesson.

This project was always a side project during my PhD. We started with the fieldwork in 2010 when I just began my doctoral studies in Lausanne. The lab work was done in the end of 2011. I had serious troubles getting RNA of good quality from these embryos. We did not extract RNA directly but froze the embryos first for a couple of months at -80° Celsius. I would not recommend that to anybody. I was very busy working on different projects, some of them I considered my main projects at that time, and therefore this side project had to wait several times.

From the 16 families I managed to get a rather high amount of good quality RNA from 4 families. I made sure that I would have gene products from the same mother, crossed with 4 different fathers. I would say that this is the heart of this study. We could reduce variation in gene expression due to maternal effects. Different genotypes from the fathers were investigated against a constant background of the same mother. The whitefish external breeding system allowed us to control for host genotypes and contrast environment-induced changes in gene expression. I am discussing this strength of the study in the paper and encourage other scientists to use the same host system of fish with an external breeding system to investigate gene expression due to different treatments. It does not only present a way to reduce variation in expression due to maternal and environmental effects, it also provides the possibility to study gene expression in natural populations and their ecologically-relevant context.

FSI_blog2I also would like to add that it was very pleasant to work with Laurent Farinelli at Fasteris. He is one of the founders of the Illumina sequencing methodology and he had the balls to start his own company. Now he is collaborating on many very exciting projects and he delivers high quality data and an exceptional service. I enjoyed my few meetings in Geneva at his company.

To end the story of this paper I have to mention that I finally sent the extracted RNA for sequencing in summer 2012. I received the data during my maternity leave and already started playing with it. In 2013 I managed to assemble all reads. I had to digest quite a bit of theory about partly assembled gene expression reads (transcriptomes) and I learned how to use a high-performance computing system (clusters at the SIB). In 2014 I did the differential gene expression analysis and compared reads of interest to different online reference databanks. Here I could rely on the theory about differential gene expression in lung cancer datasets that I was exposed to during my internship at Novartis. This project would not have been possible without the help of several co-workers at UNIL, such as Oksana Riba, Kate Ridout, Paris Veltsos and my co-author Emily Clark. At this point I would like to thank them again for their help and advice.

At the moment I am supervising a Master student who is applying the same experimental set-up in grayling (Thymallus thymallus). He is looking at sex-specific gene expression of grayling embryos under estrogen stress. In this project we also did all the steps from fieldwork until bioinformatics ourselves. However, he can rely on several collaborators who are specialized in the different aspects of the project and as a Master student he concentrates on only one project at a time. I am very excited to see him advancing so fast.

Post for ESEB 15 Poster

Table 1: The influence of treatment, maternal, paternal, maternal x paternal effects, and bacterial diversity on brown trout embryo survival.

a = Five main logistic mixed effect models were compared to a reference model (in bold) to test if treatment ‘T’, dam ‘D’, sire ‘S’, and bacterial alpha diversity (phylogenetic distance, for its calculation see Material and methods) on the eggs explain a significant part of the variance in embryo mortality of brown trout. Alpha diversity was measured on the eggs before fertilization ‘A1’ or 14 days after treatment with nutrient broth ‘A2’. Two additional models were fitted to investigate the interaction of treatment with dam and sire effects. These models were fitted using the combined data of all three treatments (controls, nutrient broth at a dilution of 1:1000 and 1:500 in the wells).

b = The effects of the two different bacterial alpha diversity measures, random sire and random dam effects on embryo survival were also investigated within treatments.
survival_poster

Still tired

In the morning I get up early. This is so untypically me. Strong coffee needed. Riding my bike to the train station. Buying more coffee at Segafredo. Vegging out in the train to Lausanne. Fribourg is mysterious with all the fog and a golden autumn sun in the morning. Usually I work on my private defense in the train. My presentation is still too long.

I have experienced quite a bit of instability lately. After I handed in my thesis I did not experience a magic happiness as I had been expecting. On the contrary, I got extremely exhausted. I felt heavy and got pulled down. At the same time I was shaken by existential thoughts. Big questions about life. Feeling lonely and more intensively. Convinced that I have no future I started worrying about the people in Gaza, and in the end I mostly cried.  It is difficult to slow down if you have been driving in the sixth gear for too long.

It is good to write about it now. For several days I could not understand what is going on with me. I repeated often that everything is too much to me. It felt like a huge wave that was falling down on me. I suddenly realized that it had been too much. I finally reached a point in my life where I can truly say, I did too much. With all my honesty, it is hard to admit that I actually do have limits. It is no nice experience to feel your limit. That moment when you are enjoying a fast drive with your SAAB. Faster than ever. Totally hyper. And then the road bends and for a little second you lose control. This is how it feels like. During this little second something triggers a reaction, a little cut.

Now it heals. It feels like a wound that needs to heal. I will let it heal. I just handed in my PhD thesis and I am not allowed to take a step back and look at it with pride. While I was convinced during the last couple of days that I have no future and that I did not achieve anything, my husband and our daughter convinced me otherwise. My future started yesterday and I will have to cope with it. I discovered my limits and the people working with me need to respect them.

I do not expect that I am able to change much. I am 30 years old and the last 10 years I developed my own surviving strategies. However, I am hurting and I do not want this to happen again. Taking care of yourself is much more difficult for me than I would like to admit.

Here are some simple rules:

1)   Sleep enough. Take those fucking naps if you do not sleep at night.

2)   Try to eat healthy. Even if it has to be cute little calves and innocent fish.

3)   Stay away from nicotine.

4)   Do not think that you will stop drinking alcohol or coffee one day. It is too tempting and my brain got used to it.

5)   Given that I have an awesome husband and the cutest and smartest daughter in the world, I have to pull the emergency break at the moment when I come home and feel unable to enjoy them. My little family is the most precious thing I have in my life and I want to always prioritize them. They will give me the strength to endure injustice and immoral behaviors at work.

6)   I try to challenge myself and reach new goals every day at work. However, sometimes I realize that my contribution to science does not matter at all. Reminding myself about the feedback I get after presenting my work helps. I see my job as a way to learn how to solve problems and answer questions. While I feel pushed and forced in different directions right now, I should remember that one day I will be able to decide myself which problems I want to solve.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Appendix: When darkness falls and surrounds you, when you fall down, when you’re scared and you’re lost – be brave.

I am coming to hold you. When all your strength has gone and you feel wrong like your life has slipped away – follow me. You can follow me and I will not desert you now. I will keep you safe. You can trust me. I will protect you, my love.

Is there a glass ceiling for women in science?

While I am waiting for my dropbox to synchronize I will do a little brainstorm about women in science. Recently I discussed with Donny about the ‚glass ceiling‘.

 

What is the “glass ceiling”? – There appear to be two main bottlenecks for women in Science:

1)   Getting permanent positions

2)   Getting awards and invitations

 

Tasks where we are good at take us away from the final place. We seem to diverge away from the goal. That is mainly because we are good at it, because women say “yes” and are more cooperative than men in general. Also, women are asked more frequently than men. Because there still are fewer women than men it makes sense that women are asked more often, not only because of their gender.

 

–> We need to reveal these facts and make people in the individual departments aware of it.

 

Take home message:

A)   TRANSPARENCY

B)   VALIDATE WHAT YOU SAY YES TO

 

If you have already too many tasks and you are asked to take on more give a positive “no” as answer. Make your own work visible. Suggest another task that you can take over. Set time limits, re-evaluate, and help to find a replacement when the time limit is met. Allow other people to mess tasks up. Do not step in to help. Take over graduate school work. In the end of a PhD you can use “finishing up” as a good excuse not to take another task.

 

What remains an open question: What is your goal? You need to define your goal before you can evaluate what to say “yes” to. The tasks you need to do to become a full professor differ among universities, even among departments. In the UK, for example, there are criteria what you need to achieve in order to be able to step up.

 

Generally we evaluate people on their self-promotion. You need to think you are the best before you can get a position. This selects for alpha-males and we lose a lot of good researchers. There should be a place for any kind of character in science, as long as he or she is a brilliant researcher.

 

General take home messages:

–       ask people to nominate you for awards

–       define your goals

–       find a mentor

–       preferably at another university

–       email to people and start groups

–       be present

–       be seen

–       ask for stuff

–       volunteer at hosting symposia

–       build a network during grad school

–       be your own personality

Working from home

With my job I can work from home. The fact that this is possible makes me very happy. Usually it involves a great deal of self-discipline, organization and cooperation from husband and daughter or other family members. In my case it works out fine.

The following points are important to make it work:

 

1) trust your partner that he/she is able to watch your kid.

Even if you can hear your kid crying, screaming, yelling, complaining – it is your partner’s responsibility now.

–> the same applies to other family members / babysitters

 

2) find a room in your appartment where you can close the door and concentrate on your work

This might involve ‚Boze‘ noise-killing headphones. I put up several Campus maps of UC Davis and Stanford to motivate myself. I also put up some sand from Carmel and Seaside at Monterey. In the middle there is a little toy boat that my father carved. When I see that stuff it signals to my brain that it is time to work and give the responsibility for my daughter to somebody else.

 

3) Make sure that you have a functioning internet connection wherever you are

I end up using it all the time to get access to papers and look up how different R-scripts work.

 

4) If your babysitter or kid is sick, make sure that there is a corner in your working room where the kid can hang out and spend some hours on its own.

Linnea is totally fascinated by the following:

– cat food

– fish food

– cute baby dolls with cute faces that she can put down in a toy bed

– clothes to put on her dolls

– counting real money

– sorting playing cards

– sorting tablets for the dishwasher

– eating a joghurt on her own

– cleaning everything with a wet wash rag

– painting on herself and on the walls

 

Linnea plays in the background with her dolls and baby beds

Linnea plays in the background with her dolls and baby beds

From time to time she wants me to acknowledge her work and give her a hug. When I am too absorbed with my work she does not even try to approach me.

 

If she does not want to play on her own anymore make her useful to do some work for you.

 

5) When you get to a point where you are not productive anymore let yourself be distracted and do some housework

 

insulating the house

insulating the house

insulating 2 insulating 3

You are at home. Undone housework can be distracting. Do not fight against it. Little breaks from writing a manuscript can be very helpful to come up with new thoughts and ways for phrasing. Big projects such as insulating an old house or painting shutters are very rewarding projects to distract from work for a while. They make you feel useful and successful and this makes you work better when you are back working on research.

 

6) At home there is no 8h-days.

Working at nights is very efficient. It makes me feel good because I am at peace and I know that my family is happily asleep very close to me. Work whenever it is possible and you will anyway end up with more than 8h every day.

 

Photo booth – pictures from the last 18 months:

early working from home

early working from home

answering emails

answering emails

getting distracted

getting distracted

somebody woke up

somebody woke up

 

back in H-Town

Back in Houston, life is normal again. Lots of excitement in California. All three of us fell in love with that place. Today I looked at some ‚old‘ pending manuscripts and finished a discussion. It amazed me how free I felt in my mind. I could just sit down, think about what I want to write and then write it down. I guess this is a good strategy. Put it away for a while and then come back to it. Full of joy and good thoughts. Even all my collaborators had answered by the time we came back to Houston. I know I am very impatient.

Our second visit to Berkeley was very different. I met Stephanie Carlson and her whole group. They all took some time to talk to me and show me around. We had lunch all together and dinner with Séb and his family. Linnea was so super happy to see kids. She hugged Vadim again and again and I could not complain about some very Swiss Spaghetti. Ben showed us his favorite Baseball team and Linnea fell asleep…

Papa was soooo proud

Papa was soooo proud

SF skyline

SF skyline

Linnea fell in love with a donkey in downtown Berkeley

Linnea fell in love with a donkey in downtown Berkeley

Talking with Stephanie was the highlight. I felt immediately comfortable and my mind was open. Brainstorming. Thinking about cool projects and suggesting what I would love to do. Because I also care a lot about Davis and Jonathan I was totally overwhelmed when Stephanie suggested to collaborate with people in Davis because we do not have a wet lab at Berkeley. I am totally happy. There is even a train running from UC Davis to UC Berkeley.

UC Davis love

UC Davis love

The last day we had breakfast with Beni. I felt heavy from all these good discussions about science, possible projects and hearing what these nice and friendly people do for their research. UC Berkeley was overwhelming, and so was UC Davis, the human environment and all the natural beauties. California love. I will end this post with some more pics about the last days of our Cali trip.

 

Sleeping out in nowhere Napa

Sleeping out in nowhere Napa

For my post about the Big Sur you still need to be patient. I did not finish Kerouac’s book yet…

mysterious

California love

This post is a mix of English and German, partly about work and partly about family life.

Linnea und ich sind vor gut 2 Wochen nach Houston geflogen. Die Reise ging sehr gut. Nichts kann uns aus der Ruhe bringen wenn wir zwei alleine sind. Ein tiefes Gefühl der Verbundenheit gibt mir Mut. Im Flugzeug, auf dem Londoner Flughafen, in der langen Warteschlange in Houston. Nach mehr als 12h non-stop Reise mussten wir 3h in Houston in einer Schlange stehen und warten. Grenzwertig. Ich am Rande des Nervenzusammenbruchs, Linnea völlig cool. Auch das haben wir zusammen überstanden. Nachdem ich ihr mehr als 12h geholfen habe, eine angenehme Reise zu erleben hat sie am Schluss mir geholfen, diese Unannehmlichkeit auch noch zu überstehen.

Über dem Atlantik

Über dem Atlantik

In Houston lebten wir mit Donny’s Eltern. Viel Schlaf, kleine Ausflüge und Spielen im Garten füllten unsere Tage schnell aus. Ich konnte immer schlafen. Eine tiefe Müdigkeit hat mich immer wieder und wieder übermannt. Zu müde zum Lesen, zu müde zum Schreiben und noch müder, wenn ich an meine Doktorarbeit dachte. So habe ich das Vermieden und die ganze Zeit mit Linnea verbracht. Spielen, Essen und viel Schlafen. Als Donny in Houston ankam fühlte ich mich ausgeschlafen und frisch.

Hanging out at Scribner

Hanging out at Scribner

With Donny’s parents I had a good time. We lived together and I tried to fit in. They convinced me to do some small activities and made me forget about my worries. Houston is so far away from small Switzerland that I usually succeed. Simple activities and a lot of sleep help cool down the fire in me. When Donny arrived I was cool enough to go out again. Donny always wants to go see friends, buy stuff and enjoy a lot of music and concenrts in town. I was prepared. And that was what we did.

My white horse

My white horse

Der Flug quer durch Amerika von der Ostküste zur Westküste verlief extrem friedlich. 4h, 2h davon zurück in die Vergangenheit. Donny und Linnea haben gemalt, Geschichten erzählt, geschlafen. Ich war nervös. Viel zu nervös. Voller Erwartungen. Völlig ignorant, was Kalifornien wohl zu bieten hat.

Angekommen in San Francisco haben wir ein grosses Auto gemietet, in der Grösse eines Lausanne Universtität Busses, und sind direkt nach Berkeley gefahren. Das Auto sollte für die nächsten Tage unser Zuhause sein. In Berkeley haben wir sogleich Beni zum Zmittag getroffen und uns das Städtchen und den Campus angeschaut, zusammen mit Beni – unserem Guide. Der erste Eindruck von Berkeley hat mich so überwältigt, dass ich nur noch eins wollte: weg. Das altbekannte ich in mir, das am liebsten immer sofort wegrennt und sich versteckt. Zum Glück hat Donny für den Abend schon entschieden nach Sacramento zu fahren für ein Kings NBA Spiel.

For the next couple of nights we stayed in Davis and made day trips from there. I met Bree Rosenblum at Berkeley and we discussed research. Donny, Linnea and I saw Ben giving a talk about the most interesting results of his PhD time at Berkeley.

We hung out with some Berkeley grad students and I had some more time to give Berkeley another chance. This time I was much more relaxed and extremely happy to see Emilia Huerta-Sanchez again. She is cool. Unlike most of the other people I met there. But I am a snail and I retract too fast into my happy place when intimidated, so I can’t judge so well. Ben is definitely cool. His talk was fun and I am proud to see the chapters he completed.

Check out their website.

Ben’s website

his current group

his future group

Almost happy to leave Berkeley we spent another night in Davis. I must specifiy here that I am highly confused and take everything very seriously. Donny fell in love with Berkeley and he would tell this story totally differently. It made me feel sad to see him secretely suffer about my intimidations. He thinks it is about time I start selling myself.

My two beloved ones at Berkeley

My two beloved ones at Berkeley

The next morning at Davis with Jonathan Eisen. Huge campus. A building full of light, miSeq sequencers, PacBio sequencers, and friendly people. Jonathan took me out for lunch and sent Donny with Linnea to the playground. On the way he gave Linnea a little frog to play with. Then we talked science. I immediately fell in love with that place. Back in the office Jonathan introduced me to a few people in his group. Most of them spent this week in Florida where they were supposed to send some microbes into space and sample the space station. I talked about my boring salmon eggs and Jonathan caught fire. I was sad to leave a bit later and Donny was confused when he had me back. I had changed so suddenly and he could not understand why somebody would prefer Davis over Berkeley. I got the impression that I could have a lot of fun with Jonathan and his group. I think he would let me go wild doing my own research and support it well. I wanted to stay at Davis and check it out more but he put me in the car and drove me away. Far away.

Linnea was allowed to keep the frog from Jonathan!

Linnea was allowed to keep the frog from Jonathan!

Die letzten paar Tage haben wir Kalifornien voll ausgekostet. Zuerst haben wir Sam Crow gesucht. Jackson and seine Brüder. Stockton, Farmington, Lodi und Charming. Ein extremer Kontrast. Biker Bars, Frittiertes, Hektaren mit Farmland. Bauern, Hell’s Angels und andere grimmige Gesichter. Nicht gerade eine Gegend zum Verweilen. Trotzdem haben wir uns in die Biker Bar in Farmington gesetzt und ein paar Biere getrunken. Linnea hat derweil die Servietten und das Ketchup neu arrangiert.

Ridin‘ through this world
All alone
God takes your soul
You’re on your own
The crow flies straight
A perfect line
On the devil’s back
Until you die
This life is short
Baby that’s a fact
Better live it right
You ain’t comin‘ back
Gotta raise some hell
Before they take you down
Gotta live this life
Gotta look this world
In the eye
Gotta live this life
Till you die
You better have soul
Nothin‘ less
Cause when it’s business time
It’s life or death
The king is dead
But life goes on
Don’t lose your head
When a deal goes down
Better keep your eye
On the road ahead
Gotta live this life
Gotta look this world
In the eye
Gotta live this life
Till you die
Read more: Curtis Stigers & The Forest Rangers – This Life Lyrics | MetroLyrics

Nächstes Ziel: Monterey. Hungrig nach Ferien und nach schönen Orten die unsere Seelen nähren würden sind schnell weiter gefahren. Das Auto unser Heim. Und so habe ich mich in Kalifornien verliebt. Es ist schwierig, das in Worte zu fassen. Überwältigt von Eindrücken und bestätigt in meinem Wunsch, Forscherin zu bleiben, vielleicht mit Jonathan, habe ich mich völlig auf die Naturschönheiten eingelassen. Es wäre schade, noch mehr Zeilen mit Worten zu füllen. Ich zeige lieber ein paar schöne Fotos:

Unser fahrendes Zuhause:

Für Linnea und mich ist dies das erste Mal am Pazifischen Ozean! Linnea möchte alles untersuchen. Wenn wir unterwegs sind hat sie meistens ein anderes Ziel als wir und möchte Stunden mit kleinen Dingen am Boden verbringen.


Und jeden Abend haben wir uns irgendwo hingesetzt und zugeschaut, wie die Sonne im Meer versinkt. Zum Beispiel in Carmel. Oder Halfmoon Bay in der Nähe von Santa Cruz.


Now we are on the way back to Davis. We stopped quickly at Palo Alto. Donny is surprised and almost disappointed that I did not set up an appointment with anybody at Stanford. To make him smile again I brought him and Linnea to the Baseball fields where Rice beat Stanford. Let’s behave like tourists.

Tomorrow we will see Jonathan again. He will introduce his family to us, show us Davis a bit more and I hope we can chat some more about science.

Now I am also looking forward to go back to Berkeley and meet Stephanie Carlson soon and hang out with Sébastien. I am ready to give Berkeley another chance. I could not be more relaxed after the natural beauties I have seen during the last couple of days.

Pure California love. More about the Big Sur will follow later in my next post!

Pure California love. More about the Big Sur will follow later in my next post!

 

Caged

People might wonder why I write so often. Usually if I am working a lot on my research I do not show up on facebook, twitter, or my blog. Lately I had a lot of time to show up. This is not because I am in Houston, not because I am relaxed and Linnea likes to sleep a lot. No, this is because all three of my supervisors, MSc and both PhD, think it is nice to ignore my emails. First you might think you give people time. You accept that you are not high on their priority list. OK. I can live with that. After days and days I start wondering what that means. Once I wrote an essay about what is necessary to succeed in a fruitful collaboration.

PNASReportNSCLC

Instead of yelling around and bitching and telling people that they are wrong I will try now to summarize in a few points what I think would be a good working relationship between scientific collaborators:

1) Be transparent about your own schedule.

2) Set goals together that are feasible.

3) Set realistic deadlines to reach goals.

4) Meet regularly and discuss current state and if there were problems.

5) Find people to help you solve the problems.

6) Inform collaborators if you cannot reach goals or deadline.

7) Discuss your results regularly with others.

8) Punish people if they do not follow these points.

Points 1, 4, 6, 7, and 8 are not fulfilled in my case. This is extremely frustrating. It is great that points 2,3 and 5 seem to work out fine. These are the only points that I control fully.

I find scientific writing quite difficult and I would love to improve. Without a feedback this is weird. I could write several versions of a manuscript or a section and then get drunk or stoned, or just put them away for a while –  and then look at them again and decide which one I like the best? Or should I give them to my students to correct? Or send them to a retired researcher who is bored and totally amnesiac? Any suggestions?

2 Manuscripts ready, 4 months left to submit them. 2 Manuscripts data analysis almost done. So I guess I continue playing with qiime instead of improving my writing.

manuscript 4 - data analysis preview