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My colleagues have come up will all kinds of interesting bloggy things to use as an excuse for Friday celebrations.

And, now, a new occupation for Friday afternoons. Gentleman (and Gentleladies) start your computers.

Fridays are the perfect day for a bit of digital biology.

We’ll begin with a BLAST
I should warn you. It could be dangerous.

A taste of digital biology could send you on a treacherous path where you need more and more data to satisfy your cravings for biological thrills.

Oh the adventure!! Navigating the stormy waters of unpredictable databases. Never knowing what exotic and unusual creatures might be uncovered by a quick search with a tiny bit of DNA.

Any hobby can escalate or decline. Some people spend thousands of dollars traveling the world in search of rare birds. Some digital biologists spend five to ten years in school and even (involuntary shudder!) end up working in places like biotech companies or research labs when they turn their hobbies into jobs.

But, just as bird watchers can begin with a single pair of eyes, digital biologists can begin with a single computer. [Warning, warning, shameless commercial plug! If you can use a CD-ROM, you can get some fun software and data on a CD and you don’t even need the internet.]

Oh, come on! It can’t be that easy, there must be something else that you need to get.

Okay, there is one thing you need.


I’ll be your tour guide. Come join the trip!

Here’s your first assignment:

1. Go to BLASTing through the kingdom of life.

2. Get a sequence and follow the directions in the Geospiza BLAST tutorial to identify your sequence.

Come back next Friday and we’ll discuss the results.

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Copyright Geospiza, Inc.


  1. #1 dave
    July 7, 2006

    Not sure if you saw this before. I wrote it a while back, but the results are kind of eery.

  2. #2 Sandra Porter
    July 7, 2006

    Oh Dave, that article is hysterical! I don’t know the proper acronym for rolling on the floor and laughing out loud, but if I did I would use it!!

    I haven’t seen anything this funny since the search for ELVIS and the discovery of the DEAD box!

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