Structured procrastination, 2 Dec 2012

By Grant Jacobs 03/12/2012

Another edition of my irregular structured procrastination reading lists – have fun exploring these. (Geekier ones nearer the end.)

Sci-fi movie

Geneticist Ricki Lewis offers a review of Jim, which she says is more compelling than GATTACA. The movie can be viewed on-line. (If you watch it, let me know what you think.)

Gene-based dating

You think gene-based dating in sci-fi? It’s already with us. See also this twitter conversation. (There’s also a service that matches dates by their dogs.)


Readers will know that I occasionally tackle vaccination issues, particularly the concerns expressed by some parents or anti-vaccine advocacy groups.

An excellent example of a graph illustrating this success of vaccines is presented by Mathew Herper at Forbes. It nicely illustrates the ability to knock back epidemics.

The Australian Academic of Science has put out a booklet, The Science of Immunisation: questions and answers, available online. (Free download.)

Science lab management advice

The HHMI has booklets of career advice for young (would-be) group leaders available on it’s website. (These will be mainly for those from the USA, but the general advice may serve those elsewhere.)

Scientific journals

New open-access journals PeerJ and eLife have stated that they will not insist on citations being in a particular format, as long as they are clear.

eLife has pointed out that most of their manuscripts will be accompanied by a decision letter from the reviewing editor. It’s a practice I’ve seen medical journals use and one I like. In some medical journals these include a summary of the paper’s conclusions and it’s strengths and weaknesses, along with the rationale for accepting the paper.


If you’re in this field, consider signing up to this Epigenetics Networking group. (Yes, I’m already a member.) They can also be found on twitter: @EpiExperts.


This post gives a great introduction to the git version control system. Although presented on an Apple OS X system, most of what is there should apply to other systems.


At The Inquirer, Lawrence Latif reports that nVidia says that most of the dramatic speed gains in using  GPGPU code were because of poor original code, rather than the GPGPUs. (This is not to say that there is no gain in using GPGPUs, but rather than once the original code is taken into account the claims of very large gains in speed look badly over-stated.)

For those wanting something more challenging than light reading, you could try this exploration of Bloom filters.

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