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Sequencing the frog that can save lives

TL; DR:  The genome sequence of the North American Wood Frog will tell us a lot about the genetic control of freezing and reanimating whole organisms. My friend and colleague, Dr. Andor Kiss is crowdfunding this project. If you would like to help, please go to experiment.com. You will get acknowledged by name in the paper. To […]

Squeezing DNA

The state of biology today:   Our main problem is turning these DNA data into useful information. Finding genes and other functional genomic element, characterizing them, understanding their function and their impact on Life – all these are challenges that will remain with us for a long time, and which have revolutionized biology into the […]

The power of single-cell genomics: the mysterious SR1 bacteria have a unique genetic code

Thanks to Mitch Balish for calling my attention to this one. SR1 bacteria are not exactly a household name, even among microbiologists. They were first discovered in contaminated aquifers,  and since then they were found to be also in animal and insect guts, as well as in human mouths. They are even suspected of being […]

Some omics words we would like to see

Advertisomics: environmental sequencing aimed at obtaining popular press coverage with little or no scientific value. Samples obtained from an environment otherwise not of microbiological interest. “Hey, did you hear they swabbed  the car wheels in the building’s parking lot and found that the microbes all cluster by tire brand name?” Celebromics: sequencing the genome or […]

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 […]

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 […]

Repost: the New Natural History

Today is the last day of the 19th Lake Arrowhead Microbial Genomics meeting. A great meeting of everything good: science, atmosphere, people and location. Good tweeter coverage too, at #LAMG12 The many genomic characterization talks in the meeting reminded me of a post I wrote three years ago. I decided to repost it, and dedicate […]

ISMB 2012 Vignettes Pt. 3: Swag

Promotional materials are part of any conference. In scientific meetings, the swag usually comes from the booths of product promoters, science publishers, and scientific societies. It was a nice surprise to see a Federal funding agency, the US Department of Energy give away decks of cards. I’m a sucker for cards, so I took a […]

Crowdsourcing Genomics II: Unveiling HINdeR and Phrux

About this time last year, I posted about a new course I was going to teach, Phage Genomics. Briefly: Phage isolation, electron microscopy, DNA sequencing in the first semester, annotation and comparative genomics in the second. And I get to teach the bioinformatics bit: annotation and comparative genomics. Woo-hoo! The great thing about this course, […]

It’s a smORF world, after all?

Here is a study that looked for a type of genes that the authors felt was neglected by classic genomic annotation. The research shows how to employed concepts in molecular evolution to validate the existence of these genes. Some background: the first question we ask after assembling a genome is: “where are the genes”? Not […]

You. Want. This. Job.

NSF grant funded, woohoo! Now I am hiring a programmer. So if you want to be part of a dynamic, growing lab, do lots of interesting stuff and upgrade yourself from just a great bioinformatician to a super-bioinformatician, this job’s for you.  You’ll be working primarily on microbial genome evolution, including setting up a kick-butt […]

Dirty Genomics

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 […]

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 […]