James and the Giant Corn Genetics: Studying the Source Code of Nature

September 8, 2009

Biologist First Dates

Filed under: Uncategorized — James @ 10:05 pm

I’ve actually had this come up on a first date once. Though I didn’t actually draw the squares. (Real biologists can do three trait Punnett Squares in their heads.)

September 1, 2009

Posting in twos

Filed under: Uncategorized — James @ 6:31 pm

Seems to be becoming a habit:

Olivia Judson, one of the best people are making biology exciting for the general public (I can’t recommend her book enough) has a new article up on nytimes on genomes and asking the question, what genome ¬†would you choose to sequence if you could. Probably won’t tell you much you didn’t already know, but it’s a warm fuzzy feeling none the less.

From the title “The Fantasy Genome Project” I was all ready to advocate for the dragon genome! After all it’s a hexapod vertebrate , which is awesome even without considering that dragons are cool!

Assorted Updates

Filed under: Campus Life — James @ 5:27 pm

So it’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve updated. In that time I’ve:

Been back to Iowa for a few days where I feasted on giant hamburgers and saw a friend’s new house and kitten and another friend’s duplex. Enough to make a guy feel like he’s falling behind.

Bought and assembled a bicycle! The hardest part was setting the brakes properly. Since then I’ve been building up from a fifteen foot ride, to about 1.7 miles up a very slight incline and back again. Keep in mind I hadn’t ridden a bike since I got my drivers license back in 2001. That’s eight years, a major fraction of my life.

Had class start out here. It doesn’t really impact me much except there are a lot more people on campus.

Relatedly, the new first year students arrived. A smaller group than my year, they all seem frighteningly competent. At least three, possibly four, of the five new plant grads already have experience programming. They went to more prestigious schools. They’re way better about picking the best professors to rotate with than my class was when we just started out. I wish them all the best of luck.

Inherited an awesome new workstation in lab. Quad-core-dual-processor for a total of eight cores, dual monitors, running Ubuntu (of course), and I finally has a reason to use digital blasphemy’s multi-screen resolutions. Means I’m having to learn more about multithreading my scripts to take advantage of the power have available.

Still working on my post of basic genetics.

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