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The Warren L. DeLano Memorial Award for Computational Biosciences

Warren DeLano passed away suddenly and at a young age at his home Nov 3, 2009. He was the author of PyMol, a very popular molecular visualization program, and a strong advocate of open source software. The family of Warren Lyford DeLano has created a “In Memorium” page and blog. Also, a memorial award is […]

Finally: a Nobel prize for the ribosome structure

This has been a topic of discussion since I was in grad school: when will the Nobel prize for the structure of the ribosome be finally awarded? Well, it finally has. Ada Yonath, Thomas Steitz and Venkatraman Ramakrishnan received the Nobel for work that has spanned three decades and an equal number of continents.   […]

2009 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine

And the winners are…

Weekly poll: which category would you add to the Nobel prize?

Yup, it’s those two weeks again, when that prize is being announced.  Sadly, BsB probably will not get it this year. Might have something to so with there being no category for blogging. Prestige and controversy go hand in hand, mix in science and you have a concoction more explosive than the one Mr. Nobel […]

2009 Ig Nobel Prizes

A bit late in the day, but here are the Ig Nobel prize winners for 2009. Cut and pasted from Wikipedia. The prizes were awarded Thursday, Oct. 1, 2009 at Sanders Theater, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 2009 Veterinary medicine: Catherine Douglas and Peter Rowlinson of Newcastle University, UK, for showing that cows with names give […]

Science 2.0: things that work and things that don’t

Open Notebook What is it? Open Notebook means “no insider information” You lab notebook is on a wiki, out there for everyone to see. Negative results & all.  You share your research process with the world as you go along. There are many shades to this process: you may share some of your data, edit […]

Top five annoying questions at scientific meetings

5. Question: “You know, our group has been working on this for a long time, and we found that…” Really means: “How come you got invited to talk about this and not I?” 4. Question:  “Have you tried using Y instead of X?” Really means: “We are doing the same thing using Y, since we […]

The Seven Deadly Sins and Seven Heavenly Virtues of Scientific Websites

When I say here “scientific websites”, I am not referring to education sites, science blogs, or scientific journal web sites. I am talking about sites scientists use for their day to day research. Sites like Entrez, EBI, FlyBase, ExPasy, PDB etc. The sites I just mentioned I deem quite virtuous, but there are many sinful […]

Children’s science books: Bacteria Galore by Sunday at Four

Jonathan Eisen started something nice in his blog: a review of children’s science books. So I think I’ll follow suit, especially since my first review will combine two of Jonathan’s  faves:  Microbiology and Open Access.  The book is “Bacteria Galore by Sunday at Four” by Mel Rosenberg, a Professor of Microbiology at  Tel-Aviv University who […]

Ada Lovelace Day 2009. Women in Technology: Hypatia of Alexandria

Hypatia  (b. ~360CE  d. 415CE) was a mathematician, philosopher, astronomer and teacher in Roman Alexandria. She was also quite probably the last librarian of the famous Library of Alexandria. Note that at the time, the definition of Philosophy was much broader, and encompassed what we term today the natural and exact sciences; and yes, she […]

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, […]

Naturally Obsessed

A new documentary film follows life in a molecular biology lab in Columbia University over the course of three years. It looks very promising: the title is certainly something many of us identify with.

Are you stupid enough to work here?

Almost every time you read an interview with a scientist, the subject turns invariably to their sense of accomplishment and awe when they finally discover something new. Somehow, I never could quite identify with this sentiment entirely. Research is excruciatingly hard, laborious, frustrating and accomplishing anything always takes longer than I thought. I always keep […]