Displaying the most recent of 471 posts written by

Iddo

So what’s new with humans?

Man is the only animal that laughs and weeps, for he is the only animal that is struck with the difference between what things are and what they ought to be. — William Hazlitt We like to think that we are the only species capable of emotional self-awareness and therefore the only “animal that laughs […]

Oh, but to receive such a rejection letter!

It is with no inconsiderable degree of reluctance that I decline the offer of any Paper from you. I think, however, you will upon reconsideration of the subject be of opinion that I have no other alternative. The subjects you propose for a series of Mathematical and Metaphysical Essays are so very profound, that there […]

The genomics programming language

Genomics is a new and exciting programming language based on Brainfsck. Here are the commands: g Move pointer to the right. e Move pointer to the left. n Increment the cell at the pointer. o Decrement the cell at the pointer. m Jump forward past the matching i if the cell at the current pointer […]

Short bioinformatics hacks: reading mate-pairs from a fastq file

If you have a merged file of paired-end reads, here is a quick way to read them using Biopython: from Bio import SeqIO from itertools import izip_longest # Loop over pairs of reads readiter = SeqIO.parse(open(inpath), “fastq”) for rec1, rec2 in izip_longest(readiter, readiter): print rec1.id # do something with rec1 print rec2.id # do something […]

Brainf**k while waiting for a flight

Warning: NSFW language. Brainfuck is a Turing-complete programming language consisting of eight commands, each of which is represented as a single character. > Increment the pointer. < Decrement the pointer. + Increment the cell at the pointer. – Decrement the cell at the pointer. . Output the ASCII value of the cell at the pointer. […]

Music Monday: Whole Lotta Love

This excellent cover of “Whole Lotta Love” went viral last week. Michael Winslow of Police Academy fame gives his interpretation to the Led Zeppelin classic: And if that gave you a taste for the original, go here.

Rumors of The Scientist’s Demise Have Been Greatly Exaggerated

The Scientist is one of my favorite go-to destinations for keeping up with current biomedical research. That’s why I was rather sad when it was recently announced that The Scientist will be closing down. However, it seems like The Scientist will continue to be published after all:   NEW YORK, NY–(Marketwire – Oct 14, 2011) – […]

Not dead yet

  The Dead Body That Claims It Isn’t: I’m not dead. The Dead Collector: What? Large Man with Dead Body: Nothing. There’s your ninepence. The Dead Body That Claims It Isn’t: I’m not dead. The Dead Collector: ‘Ere, he says he’s not dead. Large Man with Dead Body: Yes he is. The Dead Body That […]

The Friedberg Lab is Recruiting Graduate Students

  The Friedberg Lab is recruiting graduate students, for both Master’s and Ph.D. WE ARE:  A dynamic young lab  interested in gene, gene cluster and genome evolution, understanding microbial communities and microbe-host interactions by metagenomic analyses, developing algorithms for understanding gene cluster evolution, and prediction of protein function from protein sequence and structure. YOU ARE: […]

Funny Science Friday: The IgNobels, Wall Street Journal

The IgNobel prizes were awarded this week. Yes, the Nobel prizes too, but the IgNobels are the really interesting ones. (For an thoughtful piece about why the Nobel Prizes in the sciences do not enhance or may even hurt scientific recognition, read Carl Zimmer’s piece at The Loom) . The IgNobel prizes are awarded annually for […]

Probably a good time to talk about pancreatic cancer

  Percent of pancreatic cancer patients diagnosed when the disease is still localized: 8 Their 5-year relative survival: 21.5% Percent of pancreatic cancer patients diagnosed when the disease has metastasized: 53 Their 5-year relative survival: 1.8% Mean survival rate after diagnosis: < 1 year Ranking in cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide: 4 Number of effective […]

Using phylogenetics to reconstruct a 59 million year old drug

Good news: Press Release 2011-10-03 The Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet has today decided that The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2011 shall be divided, with one half jointly to Bruce A. Beutler and Jules A. Hoffmann for their discoveries concerning the activation of innate immunity and the other half to Ralph M. Steinman […]

The power of science blogging

  Hats off to Jonathan Eisen for hosting this activity on his blog. (I’ll keep mine on, thank you. It’s raining cats and dogs here right now). A couple of weeks ago I posted a discussion about two papers that challenged the ortholog conjecture. Briefly, both papers stated that orthologs may not be such great […]

Music Monday: Koop

I found this rather addictive online game, Red. Of course, I only play it when I am, er, compiling. Um, yeah. That’s the ticket. The thing is, the game also has a great soundtrack, which introduced me to a band called Koop. Their music alternates between eerie ambient and big-band-ish. They may have a big-band […]

Microbial marketing

An original viral (or rather, fungal and bacterial) marketing campaign for the movie Contagion. Although the film tells the story of a fictional viral outbreak, the marketers of Warner Brothers Canada kept it in the realm of microbiology by teaming up with 25 microbiologists and creating what is probably the first agar-plated billboard, which they […]