Reflecting on 2018 – what was popular online last year?

Written by Abigail Sawyer

Take a look at our top content from 2018, and find out how you can become more involved with the BioTechniques online community in 2019.

2018 was a great year for our social media following. The BioTechniques Facebook page grew enormously over the course of the year, from 5076 likes at the start of January to over 50,000 as of December. Our other social media channels have also enjoyed increasing numbers of followers, with users being more actively engaged.

With growing social media profiles comes growing visibility of our news content online, with our top viewed news piece reaching over 150,000 views. The top three viewed BioTechniques news pieces of 2018 are as follows:

  1. Gray hair and your immune system – feeling stressed or sick and going gray? Researchers have established a connection between genes responsible for hair color and the immune system.
  2. The fountain of youth – researchers at the University of Exeter (UK) find aging is reversed in human cells by novel compounds.
  3. What baby poop says about brain development – can dirty diapers predict cognitive development?

2018 also saw the introduction of online-only interview and opinion pieces. Of these, the top viewed opinion piece was written by Kent Peterson, CEO of Fluid Imaging Technologies (ME, USA), and titled “Single-use plastics: are they safe?” Peterson’s reflections on single-use plastics could not come at a more relevant time; however, his insight in this piece sheds light on a mostly-overlooked aspect of single-use devices. How can micro- or nanoparticles contaminate pharmaceuticals and what could be the effects for the provider and consumers?

The top-viewed interview was with Eric Kmiec, the director of the Christiana Care Gene Editing Institute (DE, USA), and titled “Everything you should know about CRISPR/Cas9.” Kmiec discusses the Institute’s educational initiatives regarding bringing CRISPR into high schools and shares some level-headedness and caution on the hype surrounding CRISPR.

If you are active on social media, be sure to follow and connect with us on Facebook (@BioTechniques), Twitter (@MyBioTechniques), Instagram (@mybiotechniques) and LinkedIn (BioTechniques). If you have any queries or feedback, please contact us on any of these channels or email [email protected].

We now look forward to the continuing growth of the BioTechniques online community in 2019, with our brand new website and the introduction of more online-only features – watch this space!

There are many opportunities to be featured both in the journal and on the website, whether in a written interview or opinion piece, a podcast or video, get in touch with Digital Editor, Abigail Sawyer ([email protected]) to find out more.