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The allure of the superficial

A new paper from my lab and Patsy Babbitt’s lab in UCSF has recently been published  in  PLoS Computational Biology. It is something of a cautionary tale for quantitative biologists, especially  bioinformaticians and system biologists. Genomics has ushered biology into the  data rich sciences. Bioinformatics, developing alongside genomics, provided the tools necessary to decipher genomic […]

Automated Function Prediction: Submit your abstracts by Saturday

You have until Friday Saturday, April 20th to submit your abstracts to the Automated Function Prediction meeting, an ISMB 2013 Special Interest Group and CAFA: Critical Assessment of Function Annotations. Keynote speakers: Patricia Babbitt, University of California, San Francisco. Protein similarity networks: Identification of functional trends from the context of sequence similarity Alex Bateman, European Bioinformatics […]

Announcement: Automated Protein Function Prediction Meeting

The Automated Function Prediction, an ISMB 2013 Special Interest Group meeting and CAFA: Critical Assessment of Function Annotations. July 20, 2013, Berlin Keynote speakers Patricia Babbitt, University of California, San Francisco Alex Bateman, European Bioinformatics Institute Anna Tramontano, “La Sapienza” University, Rome. Key dates: April 20, 2013: Deadline for submitting extended abstracts posters & talks May […]

Critical Assessment of Genome Interpretation, 2013

From the organizers of CAGI 2013. I have been to the Critical Assessment in 2010 and 2011, and even participated as an assessor. It’s a fun meeting, and if your work involves prediction of phenotypes from genotypes, there is still time (just about) to accept some of the challenges. The Critical Assessment of Genome Interpretation […]

Life Stands on the shoulders of Giants (Viruses)

Back to ancient life, what exactly defines life, and where does life end and non-life begin. One of my favorite subjects, and one of which I am the least knowledgeable. Doesn’t stop me writing about it though. Viruses are… well… not really life. Or so says common wisdom. They have some elements of life: a […]

A bit more on writing bioinformatic research code

There has been a lot of discussion recently on this blog and others on the need for robust scientific software. Most of the discussion I have been involved in comes from bioinformaticians, because, well, I am one. There has been plenty of talk about code robustness, sharing, and replicability vs. reproduciblity. I do not want […]

Reproducible research software: some more thoughts

So there was a lot written over the blogosphere, twittersphere and what-have-you-sphere about the to publish code in scientific research. The latest volley was fired from a post at biostars.org from “JermDemo” which also mentioned my post on making accountable research software by forming a volunteer “Bioinformatics Testing Consortium”. (My post, not my idea). I won’t […]

DIGging into Images and Genomes

Our lab has a new project and website up. The project is BioDIG: Biological Database of Images and Genomes.  BioDIG lets you combine image data and genome data of, well, just about anything which you can make images and have a genome, or partial genomic information. You can upload your image, annotate (tag) parts of […]

Open Job: How did the Gulf Oil Spill Affect the Ocean’s Microbiome?

Well, we’re not sure. But if you would like to find out, and you are on the market for an exciting postdoc position, this is the best way to go about it: Postdoctoral Position in Laboratory of Jack A. Gilbert. http://www.bio.anl.gov/PI/gilbert.html http://pondside.uchicago.edu/ecol-evol/people/gilbert.html The Macondo wellhead oil leak, also known as the Deepwater Horizon oil spill […]

A Synopsis of Career Paths in Bioinformatics

My previous post on ROSALIND, a bioinformatics learning site, got picked up by the  Slashdot community. A discussion came up on careers in Bioinformatics, and the Slashdot user rockmulle made some interesting observations on career paths in bioinformatics, which I have copied here. While brief and therefore omitting many important details (research at a university […]

ROSALIND: an addictive bioinformatics learning site

  I just learned about this one: ROSALIND  is a really cool concept in learning bioinformatics. You are given problems of increasing difficulty to solve. Start with nucleotide counting (trivial) and end with genome assembly (not so trivial). To solve a problem, you download a sample data set, write your code and debug it. Once […]

Announcement: a Competition to Improve Wikipedia Entries in Computational Biology

Improve wikipedia entries in computational biology, and you too can win cash prizes, a free membership to International Society of Computational Biology, or a dinner date with an ISCB officer  of your choice! OK, maybe not the last one, but definitely the first two. The ISCB is announcing a competition to improve Wikipedia entries that have to […]

Short note on getting students busy

I recently read this post about lacunae in  Bioinformatics.  One complaint was: I know that documentation is a thankless task. But some parts of the Bio[Java|Perl|Python] libraries are described only as an API? This became apparent to me when I had to teach the libraries to students. What does this module do and why does it do […]

Should research code be released as part of the peer review process?

So there have been a few reactions to my latest post on accountable research software, including a Tweeter kerfuffle (again). Ever notice how people come out really aggressive on Twitter? Must the the necessity to compress ideas into 140chars. You can’t just write “Interesting point you make there, sir. Don’t you think that your laudable goal would […]

Can we make accountable research software?

Preamble: this post is inspired by a series of tweets that took place over the past couple of days. I am indebted to Luis Pedro Coelho (@LuisPedroCoelho) and to Robert Buels (@rbuels) for a stimulating, 140-char-at-a-time discussion. Finally, my thanks (and yours, hopefully) to Ben Temperton for initiating the Bioinformatics Testing Consortium. Science is messing around with […]