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Sandra Porter

of Digital World Biology

Theo chocolate is situated in a neighborhood called Fremont, in the city of Seattle, in the former Redhook brewery. I used to consult for Redhook in my microbiology days, when I had access to a -80°C freezer and a proper microscope, so the building has a comfortable feel and some pleasant memories. These days the…

It’s been exciting to see the progress in getting the Theobroma cacao genome sequenced and off to the databases. But…. I’ve toured the Theo chocolate factory twice now, and there’s a crucial piece in the story that appears to be missing. photo by S. Porter 2010

This summer, Seattle’s weather has been cloudy and cold. Luckily, “cloud” has another meaning. For those of you wondering, what “cloudy” means, Eric Nilsson, from Insilicos, has a great article in Xconomy on Seattle and cloud computing. A quick description of cloud computing would is to think of computer hardware, that is, the servers and…

If you’re a high school or college student with an interest in biomedical sciences, or healthcare careers, the NIH has set up an electronic mentoring program to help you find a guide. The mentoring happens via email and students must be 16 yrs or older. The site claims the mentors are carefully screened. I’m not…

One of my hobbies lately has been to get either RNA seq or microarray data from GEO and do quick analyses. Not only is this fun, I can find good examples to use for teaching biology. One of these fun examples comes from some Arabidopsis data. In this experiment, some poor little seedlings were taken…

Last summer, I had the good fortune to attend a conference in Washington D.C. on Vision and Change in Undergraduate Biology education. There were lots of inspiring speeches, cool videos, and talks about building more student-centered classrooms and strategies for change. Surprisingly, many of the attendees seemed unaware that there is a group of instructors,…

Every June, an incredible event takes place. Biotechnology educators gather in Berkeley, California, from across the US, to discuss new trends in biotechnology education, learn from each other and share information about educating students for the biotechnology workforce. There are tours of local biotech companies like Genentech and local research institutes like the cancer center…

One of the many interesting sessions I attended at ScienceOnline 2010 (#scio10) covered the questions of trust and critical thinking. Sitting in the audience, I couldn’t help but think of a mash-up (like on Glee!) between this session the one on Fact checking. Granted, I know I’m a nitpicky scientist with an obsession for minutiae…

Have you ever wanted to volunteer your talents and help with fun projects like these: * Refurbish computers for schools * Teach students how to use popular software or online services * Build a database for a nonprofit * Help out in your school’s computer lab * Become an online mentor for students across the…

ScienceOnline 2010 was one of the most amazing meetings I’ve attended in a long time and it’s going to take some time to process it all, but in the mean time, it seems other bloggers (phylogenomics, CogSci, and Ed) have started one of those meme things and so, here goes.  At ScienceOnline 2010, I learned:…