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Experimental design: Learn how to solve problems like a real scientist

Being a scientist is a little like being a detective. Scientists look at a problem or a dilemma, and then collect evidence to form a conclusion. Our society relies on scientists to be correct in their conclusions. For example, every year scientists develop a new flu shot to protect us from getting sick. To do …

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How to study for AP Biology: Mitosis and meiosis

Mitosis and meiosis are two of the most commonly misunderstood topics on the AP Biology exam. This complete review guide will give you a crash course in mitosis and meiosis stages, and highlight the key differences between the mitosis and meiosis. It will also teach you how to study through suggested review exercises.   If …

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Cell culture: The immortal cells of Henrietta Lacks

In February 1951, the first human cells were successfully cultivated in a laboratory. These cells were called HeLa cells, named after Henrietta Lacks, an African-American woman native to the state of Virginia. She suffered from incurable cervical cancer, and when she passed away at age 31, her cells were used – without her consent – …

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Labster Recommends: The 18 most inspiring and life-changing movies we have seen

Being a student is all about learning. But learning comes in many shapes and sizes, and some things we just can’t learn from a textbook. Often we need to learn from experience. Whether it’s the experiences we have from living life, travelling the world, meeting new people, or perhaps we’re able to learn from other …

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Biosafety: Learn how to stay safe around dangerous pathogens

Remember that TV show called 24, where Jack Bauer had 24 hours to stop the release of a deadly virus that could potentially wipe out the human race? Although the TV show was perhaps a little over-hollywood-ized, deadly viruses and hazardous bacteria are in fact a threat in the real world. If you’ve ever wondered …

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Meet the axolotl

Axolotls are not only cute and fun to look at, they’re also a vital part of developmental, regeneration and evolutionary research. But after being driven to near extinction from their natural habitat, Mexico City, these creatures are now found more in labs than anywhere else. Recently, researchers gained access to the full genome sequence of …

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Note-taking methods: Find the method that works for you

There are two types of people: those who take notes, and those who don’t. It’s tempting to say that the people who do take notes are the ones who end up learning more, remembering more and who find it easier to recall what they’ve learned when they’re writing their exams. But that isn’t necessarily the …

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Lab safety rules: the 5 things you need to remember when working in a lab

Are you ready to work in a real lab? To stay safe in the lab, you have to remember a number of important lab safety rules to ensure that you come out in one, healthy piece. Review the 5 points below in order to get a handle on the basics, and then try out our …

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CAR T-cell therapy: Teaching an old immune system new tricks to fight cancer

For many years, the main types of cancer treatment have been surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. But now, with the emergence of new types of cancer therapies, that may be about to change. CAR T-cell therapy, a type of immunotherapy that can be used to treat cancer by strengthening the patient’s immune system so that it …

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Labster Recommends: 13 books every student should read

If you’re a student and you hear the words high school curriculum, you probably think about your huge calculus textbook, or the carefully selected history book that your teacher assigned to you to ensure that you are up to speed on everything that’s happened in the past. Of course these books are important, but what …

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5 benefits of online learning

Over the course of the past few decades, so many of the tasks we carry out on a daily basis have been made available online. We can talk to our friends and family online, we can order our groceries and meals online, most of us can carry out our work online, we can watch movies …

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Should we set students up for failure?

When was the last time you succeeded at something and shared that success with your friends, family or significant other? Perhaps you got a new job or got a good grade on a paper? Now think again: When was the last time you failed at something and shared that failure with your friends, family or …

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How science teachers can use storytelling

First, in case you missed it, read part 1 of this storytelling article where we share everything you need to know about storytelling in education and why it works. If you’ve already read it, let’s continue our story:   There are probably few students out there who haven’t stopped to think: “Why do I need to learn …

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Why storytelling is important in education

I’d like to share a story with you. It’s a story about stories. About how stories came to be, how they work, why oranges make it easier for us to remember things, what role cortisol and oxytocin play in this little tale, and why all of that matters to you. And also why Downton Abbey is …

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Train Your Brain: Labster’s ultimate guide to improving your memory

How does your brain learn best, and how do you utilize that information to get focused, increase the amount of information that goes into your brain, and keep it from escaping again? Are you studying for a test, trying to memorize a presentation, or merely trying to improve your memory and learning skills? – If …

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Train Your Brain #1: Find your learning style

First things first. In order to be able to improve your learning, you need to know what type of learner you are. Are you a visual, auditory or kinesthetic (touch/feeling) type of learner? Once you’ve uncovered that, we can move on to finding the best way for you to take in new information. In addition to …

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Train Your Brain #2: How to memorize things

The next step of our Train Your Brain guide (find part 1 here) is to teach you how to quickly and effectively memorize all the important information that you are going to receive in the future.   That includes both the information in this guide and, perhaps more importantly, the flood of information that you …

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Train Your Brain #3: Acquiring new information

Many students spend a lot of their time reading material that they are never going to actually use – ourselves included. So in this part (find part 1 here and part 2 here), we’ll focus on showing you how you can learn to focus your reading on the material that really matters. You’ll learn how …

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Train Your Brain #4: Boost your concentration

To make sure you are prepared for effective learning, your environment, mental state and energy levels all need to be in the best conditions. So in part 4 of our Train Your Brain guide (see part 1, part 2, or part 3), we’ll cover the tricks with the biggest impact and smallest effort required from …

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Train Your Brain #5: How to prioritize your time

Learning to manage your time will make you capable of focusing your efforts and eliminating any unimportant tasks. In this part (see part 1, part 2, part 3 or part 4) you will learn the most important time management skills that will help you excel in just about any area of your life, and especially in your …

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Why gamification in the classroom is such a good idea (and what Labster is doing about it)

The stats aren’t good. Science just isn’t interesting enough. Or actually, it’s not science that’s boring, it’s science classes. About 80% of students say that they like science and find it interesting. However, less than half of those students say that they enjoy the science classes that are offered at their schools.   Unfortunately for …

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How to improve your grades without studying more

Although studying will take you a long way in the mission of getting good grades, there are a couple of life hacks (scientifically proven ones, in fact) that will enhance your learning without you having to study more. These 4 methods will take you a lot further, with only a little bit of extra time …

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The holy grail of virtual reality: A complete suspension of disbelief

Virtual reality (VR) is the tech-topic of 2016, and it is no secret that we here at Labster are pretty excited about VR. However, if we are to successfully introduce VR into education and training we need to know how to create VR simulations that unlock new ways of learning.

Cramming for exams: is it worth it?

To cram, or not to cram? That is the question most students ask themselves when headed towards final exams. In case you’re one of them, we have the answer for you: Don’t do it. Why? Because all research indicates that it’s a terrible idea, and that you may in fact end up knowing less than you started out …

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How to run an awesome learnathon

Cramming in as much information as possible in a limited amount of time may not sound like the best way to learn important subjects. But there is a new teaching method that is gaining momentum and inspiring people to do just that. They’re called “learnathons”, and they’re a fun new way of teaching students certain subjects. Learnathons …

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The 5 coolest scientists you should be following today

Unlike famous athletes and celebrities, it’s hard to know which scientists to follow because they just don’t get the same amount of coverage in the media. So the Labster team put their minds together and came up with the 5 coolest scientists in the game today. The following list includes some of the most respected …

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Pluripotent Stem Cell Culture image

Two Big Ways STEM Students Can Take Their Education into Their Own Hands

For STEM students who are frustrated with the old school textbook and test curricula at their schools, there are increasingly more new and engaging tools thanks to the advances in technology. In addition, there are good habits you can develop as a student to ensure that you are continuously in a curious, learning mindset regardless of what is …

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5 ways for students to stay focused and avoid distractions

Today it is harder than ever for students to stay focused during class or in the library. Smartphones and social media have made it almost impossible to avoid distractions. Arguably, multitasking has become the norm. Research has shown that distractions can be incredibly costly. In fact, it can take a person up to 23 minutes to get …

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Crime Scene Investigation detective

What CSI can teach students about DNA sequencing

When CSI: Crime Scene Investigation first premiered in 2000 on CBS, it was an immediate smash hit. In the years since it has been named the most watched show in the world five times with a worldwide audience of 73.8 million viewers. Fans love the show’s mix of drama, mystery, and dark humor, which prompted …

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DNA profiling

The 5 Best Resources for Acing Your DNA Sequencing Classes

In today’s Class Tips, we dive right into how DNA technology is constantly advancing the science of DNA sequencing, requiring life science students to remain on the leading edge of subject. But students have limited access to the technology and labs that are necessary to master such a complex topic. Most students only hear about the …

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Old-school DIY biology: Home Brewing

You may have heard the buzzword flying around: Do-It-Yourself Biology. But what does it mean? Is it a movement reserved for self-proclaimed biology “geeks” playing with test tubes in their basements? The truth is, although DIY bio seems to be a new thing, forms of the practice have actually been around for hundreds of years…we’re …

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Engineering Organ Regeneration and Stem Cells

The second part of our series on programming cells. What if, as a baby, your intestines didn’t work? While normally a life-threatening condition, scientists hope that in the future, bioengineering could save you. Of Mice and Men: Tissue Engineering Tissue engineering has already achieved wonders, but scientists in bioengineering and biotechnology have their sights set …

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Programming cells like computer code

The word itself says it all: biotechnology is a marriage of biology and technology. One of the newest initiatives committed to unprecedented intersections of both is happening within the arena of cell programming. Companies like Clotho and Genome Compiler develop programs that write, synthesize and engineer synthetic biological systems by likening genetic code to computer …

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Is parasitic mind control only for sci-fi films? Nope – it’s biology!

If the film The Happening and its mind-controlling neurotoxin terrified you, you definitely wouldn’t want to be a Danish shore crab or a jungle insect. In the jungle, ants and other insects can become infected by a parasitic fungus that possesses their mind, disorients them and makes them climb to a high place so that …

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