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Archives for June, 2007

When we make primer sequences for an assay, two characteristics we’re concerned with are the specificity of the primers and the sensitivity. We can use blastn to evaluate whether or not our primers are likely to work.

X71396, U37840, AF242849, Z11977, K03291, AY568721, NM_113475, NM_001056982, NM_001048464, NM_001060543, NM_001060540, NM_001061783, NM_129923, NM_129922, NM_001067252, NM_001056384, NM_001053908, NM_001058687, NM_001059721, NM_001062013, NM_111344, NM_115302, NM_001056908, NM_112085

I’m seeing these things everywhere. Well, okay, maybe not everywhere. But I have seen lots of these in both Fairbanks and Anchorage. Is this a coincidence? This is a hand-sanitizer, with instructions on how to cough safely.

What happens when a biologist tries to talk with the IT group? Needless to say, they don’t speak the same language. Reposted from the archives. Imagine this. You’ve been sequencing DNA for a few years now, perhaps ESTs, or something else, and storing files on your local network. Your system administrator makes backup files for…

If we asked any biologist to pick the five most important techniques in biology, that list would certainly include PCR.  PCR stands for Polymerase Chain Reaction. It’s used everywhere. We use it to amplify DNA for cloning, we use it for diagnostic tests, for DNA sequencing, for identifying pathogens, for identifying our long-lost relatives (and…

Quoth Dr. Stemwedel, from Adventures in Science and Ethics. In the case of Universities and four-yr colleges, I completely agree. If you’re looking for job training, go to a community college. This post is in response to one of the comments from the other day. This commenter expressed frustration at having a completed a bioinformatics…

Know your biology! I get asked often about the type of bioinformatics training that students should get and whether it should be a special course or not. And I answer that I think teaching bioinformatics in the absence of biology is like teaching Microsoft Word in the absence of writing. There isn’t much point. tags:…

Do course evaluations have to be a popularity contest? Or can they be useful tools for improving a class? tags: teaching, student evaluations A few days ago, evolgen lamented that his students weren’t giving him useful information on their end-of-course evaluations. I’m not surprised. When I first started teaching, I was a given a copy…

Nodal point is hosting the eleventh issue of Bio::blogs with two special editions. The first special edition, at Bioinformatics Zen covers tips and tricks for bioinformatics. The second special edition is on personalized medicine and can be downloaded from here. Eye on DNA is hosting Gene Genie, a collection of posts about genetics and genes.…

How does grass grow in the extremely hot soils of Yellowstone National Park? Could a protein from a virus help plants handle global warming? Okay, that second sentence is wild speculation, but we will try to find the answer to our mystery by aligning our protein sequence to a sequence from a related structure. tags:…