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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 […]

Every Man an Island, Pt. 1

No man is an island, entire of itself — John Donne, Meditation XVII Scanning electron microscope images of B. thetaiotaomicron, a prominent human gut bacterium, and the intestine. From: Human Gut Hosts a Dynamically Evolving Microbial Ecosystem Gross L PLoS Biology Vol. 5, No. 7, e199 doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.0050199 Only one out of ten cells in our […]

Blog for Darwin

I just went to Shirley Wu’s blog and found this. Apparently February 12-15, 2009 there will be a Blog for Darwin blogswarm, in honor of his 200th birthday and 150th anniversary of the publication of On the Origin of Species (First time I hear this term, blogswarm; not sure if I like it). I wrote […]


They are very, VERY large (for intracellular particles, that is), there are hundreds of them most animal’s cells, and we don’t know what they are doing. Meet the vaults. Vaults are mysterious large ribonucleoprotein (protein and RNA) structures in the cell. Although three times larger than ribosomes, and present in many copies in the cell, […]

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) […]

Tardy Reading and Scientific Breakthroughs

A friend of mine who is also a scientist once told me: “the only time I read, is when I write”. What he meant was, that the only time he reads scientific literature, is when he writes his own papers, and needs to do the proper research to place his research in the context of […]

On Microbial Sequencing

This is the 9th year the NSF & USDA  hold  a workshop for their microbial sequencing program awardees. (Full disclosure: I am not one of them).  Most of the talks are by the awardees themselves, and there were some great talks. For me an interesting angle was it to see how software is being developed […]

Just “teach”

The celebrations of Darwin’s 200th birthday and 150 years for the publication of The Origin of the Species are in full swing. We are apes equipped with 10 digits on our forelimbs, which we use in just about everything we do. We like numbers that are multiples of 10; even better if they are 10 […]