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Category archives for teaching

One of the things that drives me crazy on occasion is nomenclature. Well, maybe not just nomenclature, it’s really the continual changes in the nomenclature, and the time it takes for those changes to ripple through various databases and get reconciled with other kinds of information. And the realization that sometimes this reconciliation may never…

The first lab mouse I touched had soft white fur and a light pink tail. It looked cute enough to snuggle and take home as a pet and I was smitten. I slipped my hand into the cage, thinking the mouse would respond like my pet gerbils or my brother’s pet rat. As my hand…

This the third part of case study where we see what happens when high school students clone and sequence genomic plant DNA. In this last part, we use the results from an automated comparison program to determine if the students cloned any genes at all and, if so, which genes were cloned. (You can also…

start all over again. MDRNA Inc., a Puget Sound area company formerly known as Nastech, announced on Monday that they’d be laying off 23 people including their president and chief business officer. This might not sound like a lot, but according to Joseph Tartakoff, from the Seattle PI, this brings the total number of layoffs…

What are you learning in school?

In part I, I wrote about my first semester of teaching on-line and talked about our challenges with technology. Blackboard had a database corruption event during finals week and I had all kinds of struggles with the Windows version of Microsoft Excel. Mike wrote and asked if I thought students should be working more with…

On-line courses were a still a new phenomenon when I was teaching full-time. Our school was pretty gung-ho about on-line education but many instructors were skeptical, some were still lamenting having to learn how to use a computer and losing the services that used to be provided by departmental secretaries. Other instructors simply distrusted the…

Students, teachers and scientists converge tommorrow morning from all around the Puget Sound region and elsewhere in Washington to share their experiences and talk about science. The students will present posters, science-themed music, art, drama, and many different types of projects that involved first-hand research and investigation. Scientists from the local biotech companies and research…

Bio-Link is accepting applications for this year’s National Summer Fellows forum, June 2-6th, in Berkeley, CA. You can get an application at www.bio-link.org I’ll be there, doing some kind of bioinformatics workshop. I’ll probably be talking about either metagenomics or comparing protein structures and drug resistance, but if you have topic requests, feel free to…

I’ve been writing quite a bit this week about my search for a cross platform spread sheet program that would support pivot tables and make pie graphs correctly. This all started because of a bug that my students encountered in Microsoft Excel, on Windows. I’m not personally motivated to look for something new, since Office…