Code for life

The gossip test

Grant Jacobs Dec 16, 2009

Francis Crick’s book What Mad Pursuit recounts a test he had for what he should explore that he called “The gossip test”. Introspection plays an important role in science: you get to ask yourself why you are doing something. It’s part of that thing that Feynman famously described, the “not fooling yourself” thing. Read More

GMOs and the plants we eat: neither are "natural"

Grant Jacobs Dec 15, 2009

[caption id="attachment_818" align="alignright" width="341" caption="(Source: wikipedia.)"][/caption] Some say that genetically modified plants are a concern because they're genetically modified organisms (GMOs), that "natural" plants are safer. Yet what most people call "natural" foods are rare mutants that have been selected or have been artificially bred (or often both). They have much more dramatic … Read More

Next Generation Sequencing workshop

Grant Jacobs Dec 15, 2009

Otago University’s sequencing facility will be hosting a two-day workshop, The Researchers Guide to Next Generation Sequencing, February 11-12th 2010. Places are limited to 20 and cost only $NZ100. Applications close 7th January. Be in quick! More details about how to apply for the workshop on their website or their flyer (below). The flyer may … Read More

Science talks: 100 of the best

Grant Jacobs Dec 14, 2009

Sarah Russel on Best Colleges Online offers a list of 100 Incredible Lectures from the World’s Top Scientists collated from around the WWW. For something a little more elevated that your usual movie or documentary, you might listen to a Nobel laureate or leading researcher in brain function or a sneak peek at what the … Read More

The End of Chiropractic?

Grant Jacobs Dec 12, 2009

Science-based Medicine reviews a research paper in a chiropractic journal showing that a key chiropractic claim–treatment of subluxation–has no merit. What's new is this includes chiropractors rejecting this central claim of chiropractic treatment. Progress, perhaps? Some of you will know that I have previously written about a local chiropractor's claims in advertisements. Read More

Banished from science writing. Words, that is.

Grant Jacobs Dec 10, 2009

Science writer Carl Zimmer has put up a permanent home for his list of words banned from good science writing. A battle for wordsmiths. May well-crafted verbal claymores ring and shields hold true to the onslaught… Among those banished from the pages of good science writing are: ‘Holy Grail’. (What? No one true quest?) ‘Paradigm shift’. Read More

Retrospective–The mythology of bioinformatics

Grant Jacobs Dec 09, 2009

The earlier period of eukaryote genome projects mythologised bioinformatics, viewing it as predominantly data management and IT-based methodology. Following from my previous post on this topic, I show my thoughts on this seven years ago. Below I have republished an article I wrote in 2002, a year after I started my freelance consultancy (BioinfoTools), … Read More