NCBI ROFL: Hello, world! (again)

By ncbi rofl | January 12, 2010 9:00 am

ncbi roflPlease allow us to introduce ourselves…

We’re two PhD students in Molecular and Cell Biology at UC Berkeley.  Back in March of aught-nine, we started a little blog called “NCBI ROFL” in which we posted real scientific articles with funny subjects from the PubMed database (which is housed by the National Center for Biotechnology information, aka NCBI).

Initially, our fans were mostly grad students. But over time, our following grew, and now we are happy to be joining the Discoblog family. If you’re not familiar with us, here are a few of our most-loved posts:

Accidental condom inhalation.

Does garlic protect against vampires? An experimental study.

Finding the frequency of Fido’s farts.

Harry Potter and the curse of headache.

A woman’s history of vaginal orgasm is discernible from her walk.

Hungry for more? Explore our post archives. And for even more info, check out or FAQs.

We’re still accepting submissions! Please email with funny articles!

  • ARJ

    hmmm… I don’t think anything bad can come of this (but you’re still probably wise to withhold your identities).

  • DarkSapiens

    Are you planning to add an RSS feed soon? :)

  • CP

    As DarkSapiens pointed out, there doesn’t seem to be an RSS feed….

    Is the only way to subscribe to NCBI ROFL to also subscribe to the rest of DiscoBlog?

    Because that…would…really…suck.

    If that’s true, let us know who to complain to.

  • skeptiksnarf

    what does Ncbi Rofl mean?

  • LightPhoenix

    NCBI is the organization that runs PubMed, one of the biggest websites to access scientific papers in biology (and other subjects).

    ROFL means “rolling on the floor laughing.”

  • Dan!

    So, my question is…did you ever add this to your CV, or not? I’d say now that you’ve been picked up by Discover, its kind of a big deal.

    I’m trying to decide weather my blog is science-y enough for it to be to be relevant. I can equally see it helping or hindering my chances.

  • Kyle

    Welcome to the Hive Overmind as the Bad Astronomer calls it. Looking forward to following you.

  • Weakly

    Let me see if I understand this. You provide an abstract of a research paper, without comment or context, and below that an *image* of the text I just read, which links to… the abstract I just read. And reading any more requires a PubMed membership.

    I’m trying to image a blog more worthless and bereft of content, but I can’t.

  • Marga

    You don’t need comment or context, the NCBI ROFL papers are totally self-explanatory in my opinion. There is no such thing as PubMed membership, the vast majority of people reading this blog have institutional access to the papers. Brilliant blog, I love it.

  • ZZ

    I don’t like how most of the features of this blog are social scientific studies. This is a perfect example of how people from the “hard” sciences denigrate the “soft” or social sciences. Social science is not a joke, but seeing as you are “ROFL” says a lot. And I agree, no comment or context makes this blog rather dull.

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    I cannot assume that we should be showing off loincloths made of dingo skin, much better than we have been known to see. Whilst we realize it might be priced sorting out, it might be tremendous.

  • Jen B

    @Marga – not all of us are in school or professional life anymore. I am at home raising my 3 little people, which I find important but not exactly intellectually stimulating. I found this blog on my iPad PulseNews, which makes it quite far-reaching. All this to say that, while the blog articles certainly are complete (and entertaining) as they are, even those of us non-scientists would enjoy the full text. OK, back to the fun…

  • CR

    Unfortunately, it just doesn’t happen that way;  PubMed works the way it works, and for someone to provide the full text of an article (that professional/student types can access through their institution, but non-scientists, as you put it, would have to pay for) is, I’m totally sure, some kind of copyright violation.  Not something I’d do on a public blog!

    That said, maybe investigate the situation at your local library – I imagine they have access to online databases of journals, the same as the university libraries do, and you may be able to read full articles through them.

  • JonFrum

    No, social science is a joke. A small joke, but a joke none the less.


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About ncbi rofl

NCBI ROFL is the brainchild of two Molecular and Cell Biology graduate students at UC Berkeley and features real research articles from the PubMed database (which is housed by the National Center for Biotechnology information, aka NCBI) that they find amusing (ROFL is a commonly-used internet acronym for "rolling on the floor, laughing"). Follow us on twitter: @ncbirofl


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