10 Hot Tips To Make Your Lab Data Look Spooky For Halloween

Originally published on the satire science journal website DNAtured

Think your regular data isn’t scary enough for Halloween? Try these tips to put the “ahhhh!” in your analysis!

1. Ghostian Curves

Casper is no longer the cutest ghost in town! Draw eyes on a Gaussian distribution curve to make yourself a spooky lil’ ghost.

Gaussian distribution with eyes so it looks like a little ghost, saying Boo!

2. Haunted P-Values

You think a p-value of 0.08 is scarily insignificant? Turn your calculator upside down for another scare: BOO

A sketch of an upside-down calculator so 0.08 looks like it spells Boo

3. Zombie Survival Curves

Night of the living dead? Night of the living rats! Turn those survival curves upside down – or back up – by summoning your test subjects black to life with some Michael Jackson in the background!

Two survival curves, one climbs upward.,

4. Witching Hour Gel Electrophoresis

Want some Wicked-ly good pictures? Add a splash of green fluorescent protein to make your image light up like slimy goo!

A fluorescent microscopy image that looks like a skull
Photo by @heysciencesam

5. Bloody Western Blots

Messed up your assay and now you have a smeared Western blot? No problem! It looks just like smeared blood! The horror!

as sketch of a western blot

6. Coffin Plots

Don’t ever let anyone say your box plots are boring… Get your spook on and turn them into coffins!

a box plot, but instead of boxes, there are coffins

7. Scary scatter plots

Need more spooky plots? Turn your scatter plots into any scary shape: a witch’s hat, a jack o’ lantern, a spider web, or a bat! All you need to do is get rid of those terrifying outliers!

scatter plot shaped like a bat

8. Beastly n-Values

666 summons the devil, so if you have three experimental conditions, make sure your sample number is n=6 for each!

666 in fiery font

9. Black & Orange Graphs

As a last resort, colour code your excel sheet with some spooky colors, we recommend methyl orange. As if using excel for data handling isn’t scary enough, you monster!

a random graph in orange and black

10. Dangerous Data Storage Systems

And if nothing else works, live on the edge with the scariest lab data of all: stored on an old, barely functional computer that runs on Windows 94 and hasn’t been backed up in decades! 

a picture of a old computer with the windows 95 starting screen

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