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Top 5 in Bioinformatics

I recently applied for a Moore Foundation grant in Data Science for the biological sciences. As part of the pre-application, I was asked to choose the top 5 works in data science in my field. Not so sure about data science, so I picked what I think are the most influential works in Bioinformatics, which […]

Repost: the Scope(s) of Substance

This tweet from Neil Degrasse Tyson jolted me from a pleasant rest before tomorrow’s race:   …which led to the (in)famous Scopes Trial. On May 5, 1925 John Scopes was charged and subsequently tried, found guilty, and fined $100 for teaching Evolution, a violation of Tennessee’s Butler Act. The trial became a battleground for science […]

The Origin of Gender Symbols in Biology

A quick post for International Women’s Day: how did the gender symbols originate in biology? What do ♀ and ♂ actually stand for? The answer starts in antiquity, when planets and gods were almost synonymous. Religious rites (at least in Europe) were also associated with the working of metals. Thus, each heavenly body was associated with a […]

It was 20 years ago today

…Tim Berners-Lee taught the world to play.   Well, actually, he posted the following on the Usenet group alt.hypertext. For those of you who are too young to remember Usenet, think of it as a working version of Google+.  Scroll down to message 3, in which the first web-page server is announced.

Life on earth in 60 seconds

Gives a nice temporal perspective.

Leonardo da Vinci’s Resume

Marketing yourself is a process you go through many times. The job hunt comes to mind — but not only. Academia is rife with self-marketing: grant applications, promotion & tenure reports, attracting students to your courses and to your lab,  competing for conference lecture slots, giving a lecture. But not only academia, and not only […]

Newton’s birthday and crop diversity

Today is the 366th birthday of Sir Isaac Newton. Formulator of the three laws of motion, the theory of gravity, inventor of the first reflecting telescope, theory of color, calculus (with due credit to Gottfried Leibniz), the generalized binomial theorem, and president of the Royal Society. All which ties in directly to retail, and biodiversity. […]

A Romantic, Maybe too Romantic, Scientist

In the Hatena story about symbiosis, I posted the following picture drawn by Ernst Haeckel: Beautiful!  In this day and age of imaging, high resolution photography, and molecular graphics, we forget that scientific drawing was a skill as necessary to life scientists  as microscopic imaging, or molecular graphics is today.  Indeed, biology was very much […]