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virion's Achievements

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  1. I think I was trying to help troubleshoot the problem without actually thinking about what was being done. Why sequence the RNA (cDNA)? If it's simply point mutations you're looking for, sequence the genome. Only reasons I can think of would be if it's an RNA virus you're sequencing, or if you're looking for splice site junctions or something. Mistakes in transcription happen, but they don't happen clonally. Meaning, a few copies of mutant protein could be made but not in a way that would affect the system you're interested in. You want to look at the genome. I'm not sure if even deep sequencing techniques would pick up single mRNA variants (would be neat, though), but Sanger sequencing would certainly be useless in this task.
  2. This probably isn't the best forum for technical questions, but oh well. Most of the cDNAs will not be full length. If you've just got a kit with random hexamer and oligodT primers, you'll have a mix of "all" cDNAs. But you could amplify selectively too if sequencing a single gene is your goal. If you need to amplify an entire gene, don't just use some random primers generated in the middle of the reading frame (was the web app doing it for qPCR?). As you seem to suggest, you'll only get the piece in the middle. 5000 kb is an extremely long PCR. There's no reason you can't just do it in pieces and sequence those. Unless you're using a polymerase like pfu or phusion, you're going to introduce mutations when amplifying, which would be counterproductive for your purposes.
  3. You should talk to the dean.
  4. True, though letters of recommendation can rank higher, in a way. It, along with your statement, validates the "research experience" which is otherwise just listed as a few lines on your CV.
  5. At least this contestant won't walk away empty handed.
  6. I am not sure I follow your situation. How many potential (or, in some cases, guaranteed?) awards are you speaking about. Perhaps I'm tired, but it sounds like: Accept award -> University award. Mid range $, Mid range prestige. Decline the above award -> Eligible for one of (and guaranteed not to get neither of): high prestige, high pay OR low pay, mid+ prestige. In the end, it's a summer project. Having any award to go along with it will look nice, and I'm not sure how much you need to worry about which one you get. I don't know much about summer research programs (I went the honors thesis and then technician route)I'd say unless one of these is going to really stand out to everyone in the field, I wouldn't be too concerned about how the admissions committee is going to respond to which exact award it is. Though it could very well look better coming from a source outside of your own university. In the end you should probably just do what you would do if you weren't applying for grad school. Do you think you stand a good chance for the better award if you turn down the university one? Enough so that it's worth the risk of losing $800? It sounds more and more like a game show, the more I think about it.
  7. I had this problem last year. Had a low (I forget how low, maybe 60%?) ecology and evolution score, but my molecular score (relevant) was 96%. I found out that they do see the subscores, so I sent it and (hopefully not obnoxiously) noted the subscore in my CV. My application season went well. Whether or not the score had any effect, I have no idea.
  8. Last year, my friend also applied to this program. He had a very similar application, with higher GRE scores. He got an interview, and is now in the program. He has since told me that there is a specific GRE score cutoff (I feel like he even told me roughly what it is, but I could be mis-remembering that), where they really don't look at applications with lower scores. I don't know if it's actually fully automated filtering, but probably only the applications which are truly exceptional in other areas outweigh this criterion.
  9. I'm a Pitt student and, while the scores aren't great, I say you should still apply if it's somewhere you want to go. I had a good application with one somewhat ugly flaw which fortunately didn't totally screw me over. Good recommendations will get you far. Edit: different program, though. UW had a very early wave of rejections last year, which bummed me out as it was the first thing I had heard back about. Fortunately I heard back from Pitt the next day. The rest were a somewhat longer wait.
  10. It's competitive, but not nearly as bad as med school (I don't know anything about psych). I feel that 15+ is way too much. I did 10, and it turned out to be just the right amount. In retrospect I would have probably dropped one reach (Ivy) that was no chance and, if I were honest with myself, I would have been miserable at. There was another that I declined the interview at, and would have only made sense if my application season was a complete bomb. But, of course, at the time I thought it could have been!
  11. Many people probably don't. If it's a PhD program, and all goes as planned, it will be some years before you probably really need your CV again. By then, it should be strong enough that lab rotation details seem like buffering. If one were to leave after 2 years with an MS, it might be more reasonable to put lab rotations on there when job searching, etc. An exception might be mentioning a technique (perhaps not some trivial kit, but maybe NMR, EM, etc. Expensive hardware that they don't want you breaking? )that you got a lot of experience with during a rotation, but not in your thesis work, that is relevant to the position you're applying for.
  12. I say ignore the non-research lab for the purpose of comparison, unless the salary difference is critical for you to get by (I figure you might not be asking if it were a deal breaker). Between the two research job possibilities, which will you get more out of? Generally, one would think the 40+ hour a week job would better prepare you for grad school than the 15 hour job, but there will be cases where that's not true. It's hard to get much done in a 10-15 hour work week. Will they just have you washing glassware and making media? What about at option #2? It can be helpful if you have experience in the same, or a similar field. But it's not necessary. If you mean cell bio vs. molecular bio, you will undoubtedly be using and learning molecular techniques in a cell biology lab. I wouldn't worry about any techniques you "miss out on" from option #1 setting you back in grad school. Everyone learns new techniques during rotations.
  13. I think you're right that few people will be familiar with the program specifically (I'm not familiar with the field and their typical admissions process). I would speculate that this kind of bulk screening would not be necessary for a program receiving fewer applications. I doubt the big programs do it because they're 'super elite'. It's more likely that they simply can't look at every application in detail.
  14. Google Drive is a really nice option as well. Works just like dropbox. And it's easy to share your files with any one that has a gmail account (everyone). 5 gb to start, and their paid upgrade plans are better than dropbox's. Google *also* has a plugin for MS Office which syncs your documents as you work on them in case your system crashes. Dropbox would still be better if you really max out your free storage by facebook spamming and such. I think I stopped at 5gb. (if this has been mentioned before in the thread, tl;dr)
  15. There are two basic formats to adviser selection. I'm not sure they're typically called "formats", maybe that's why you're confused. But I'm not sure what else to call them. The first is as you're describing, where you contact a PI in the application stage and they agree to take you on. The other, more common format is to choose ~3 labs to rotate in during your firsts year, and select an adviser prior to the start of your second year. In this case, you may want to contact PIs prior to application, but it is not a requirement. They might be more inclined to respond as you're not actually asking to be sponsored at that stage.
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