March 2010

Space data lost to whale-oil shortage

March 26, 2010

New thermal map of Asia Nimbus II, 23 Sept 1966 The satellite soared over Earth in a polar orbit every 108 minutes, taking pictures of cloud cover and measuring heat radiated from the planet’s surface, and creating a photo mosaic of the globe 43 years ago. The resulting image is the oldest and most detailed […]

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Is 华大基因 doing science?
     (aka BGI)

March 18, 2010

华大基因BGI In a decade, the global Human Genome Project sequenced 3 billion DNA base pairs. Today, a single machine (the Illumina HiSeq™ 2000) can sequence 25 billion base pairs per day, and BGI (the Shenzhen company formerly known as the Beijing Genomics Institute) has purchased 128 of them. This puts BGI “on track to surpass […]

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Learning Bioinformatics

March 12, 2010

Bioinformatics is huge, growing, fast, and has a surprising range of applications to molecular systems engineering. Here’s a PLoS article: “A Quick Guide for Developing Effective Bioinformatics Programming Skills”. From the abstract: Successful adoption of these principals will serve both beginner and experienced bioinformaticians alike in career development and pursuit of professional and scientific goals.

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The molecular approach
to atomically precise fabrication

March 12, 2010

A few days ago, I wrote a brief sketch of the status and paths forward in the molecular approach to atomically precise fabrication. It offers a sampling, not a full picture:

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Ribo-Q1: Genetic manufacturing expanded

March 1, 2010

Unnatural amino acids compatible with ribosomes (circled: azide, alkyne, and biotin derivative) From Neumann et al., 2010 and Dougherty, 2000. All ribosomes read genetic data as three-letter words that encode 20 standard amino acids (give or take a few anomalies). This is equally true of the ribosomes in deep-sea bacteria living at 120°C, and the […]

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