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I had the good fortune on Thursday to hear a fascinating talk on deep transcriptome analysis by Chris Mason, Assistant Professor, at the Institute for Computational Biomedicine at Cornell University.  Several intriguing observations were presented during the talk.  I’ll present the key points first and then discuss the data. These data concern the human transcriptome,…

About mid-morning, my 16yr old daughter called me from school and asked me to help her get an interview transcript that was on her computer. Four years ago, when my older daughter was in high school, I would have printed that document and driven to the school to deliver it. Not today. Today, I found…

It’s been interesting to watch as microbiology’s own cold fusion debate has been raging. It began with an extraordinary claim about bacteria using arsenate as a replacement when phosphate concentrations are low (1).  It progressed when at least two scientist / bloggers ( here, and here) (not bloggers! the horrror! how uncivil!) gave public “journal…

Irony on the internet

Wired Campus shared an interesting story this morning about a career site for female science / engineering professionals. The site is called ASU CareerWISE and its mission is to help women with problem solving. I like the idea and I like that they built the site in Drupal, since I’ve become a big Drupal fan…

My heart sank as I stood on the Metro platform at the Zoo stop and watched the second completely full train pull away. All those stories of people in Japan pushing people into trains started to make sense. It seemed there was no other way to get on the train and getting the rally looked…

Funding raising drives come and go but the need to educate the coming generations in science and math never goes away. With your help, teachers can help their students. DonorsChoose.org is an online charity that connects individuals, like you, to classrooms in need. The average public school teacher spends $500 – $700 on classroom supplies…

We often hear talk these days about failure in leadership and gutless congress people. I understand wanting to keep out of the fray. Last year, I wrote about a reasonable proposal to help young people and unwittingly tapped into a strain of people out there with an amazing amount of hatred towards kids. That experience…

Jonathan Eisen (@phylogenomics) shared this wonderful Lady Gaga lab spoof on Twitter the other day. It rocks. And, it makes me wonder if my pals who’ve been thinking about getting students interested in careers by having scientists talk on camera might be going at this the wrong way. Sure, videos of scientists talking are totally…

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