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Baby it’s cold outside

Most of the Earth’s surface is colder than the inside of your refrigerator. Deep sea temperatures are almost universally 2-4C. That’s already 73%  of the Earth’s surface. Then add to that the  polar regions, mountain ranges and permafrost and you have about 85% of the Earth’s surface constantly at refrigerator or freezer temperatures. While there […]

Not dead, overloaded

When the Moon is in the Seventh House, and Jupiter aligns with Mars, a bunch of people gather for their “Bioinformaticians anonymous” group therapy. There they metaphorically gather, commiserating about how bioinformatics is dead (or was it bioinformaticians?), just smells funny or suffers from identity theft, probably because it got drunk at the last ISMB, […]

Ten years of coding with the snake

Biopython is entering its 10th year; the unofficial birthday is on September, since that is when the mailing list started: September 1999. I stumbled onto that list mid-September, 1999. I believe the Python version was 1.5, I was still working on SGI Irix, and I was an 0.3 PhD candidate. Today I am coding with […]

Metagenomics Metadata and Metaanalysis

I am a co-organizer of this… see for yourself. Cutting edge metagenomics research, discussion of standards applications to genomics and metagenomics, all in beautiful Stockholm this summer. If you are coming to ISMB/ECCB 2009, consider coming to the M3 SIG. Link to announcement 1-page poster, because you really want to tack this to your departmental […]

Now this looks a lot better!

In any data-rich science, data visualization is of prime importance.  Finding ways to visually depict data is challenging, as we have opposing demands: we would like to see the data in the whole, but also be able to zoom in and analyze the details; we would like to know how the many details add up […]

My own post genomic moment

Maybe I am slow on the uptake, but I never quite liked the term “post genomic”, and I used it very sparingly. (Yes, I do have that term in one of my better cited papers, smack in the first sentence of the abstract, but I never liked that).  Perhaps because of all the associated abuse […]

Peace on Earth

Here is a little trick I performed as a first year grad student a while ago and which I would like to share. My PhD adviser, Hanah Margalit was supposed to give a talk at a  joint Israeli-Palestinian meeting. (Hopefully, such days will be back soon and permanently!) The audience was rather broad, and included […]

Every Man an Island, Pt. 2

(Continued from  part 1) Why we are islands In the previous post we have seen how  our bacterial population affects  our weight  and that by changing our dietary habits we can change the species composition in our guts. Also, we saw how a metagenomic analysis can lead to verifiable hypotheses: using a metagenomic analysis, Gordon’s […]

More on Microbial Sequencing

(Continued from “On Microbial Sequencing“). Well, it’s really been a great meeting. The biology of pathogens, parasites and symbionts is amazing. Historically, the microbes that chiefly interested us were one of those three: those that causes disease in humans, animals (focus on domesticated animals), plants (again, mostly domesticated). However, as we are (alas, too slowly) […]