30 October 2006

The Thin Pill -- Wired

Interesting article on how medicines are labelled and targeted

Issue 14.10 - October 2006
WIRED magazine
The Thin Pill
FOR PATIENTS, disease puts a name to an affliction. It answers that question we all face at one time or another: What's the matter with me? If there is a clear and precise explanation for what's wrong, then surely there is an equally clear way to get better.....

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21 October 2006

A limited universe of membrane protein families and folds -- Prot Sci

Yang Liu et al. part II

Protein Sci. 2006 Jul;15(7):1723-34. 
A limited universe of membrane protein families and folds.
Oberai A, Ihm Y, Kim S, Bowie JU.

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20 October 2006

Cyberface: New Technology That Captures the Soul -- NY Times

Thought this was an interesting fusion of science and art -- biophysicists go to Hollywood.  Got to check out the video.

Cyberface: New Technology That Captures the Soul
Published: October 15, 2006
THERE’S nothing particularly remarkable about the near-empty offices of Image Metrics in downtown Santa Monica, loft-style cubicles with a dartboard at the end of the hallway. A few polite British executives tiptoe about, quietly demonstrating the company’s new technology....

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18 October 2006

Structural biology: proteins flex to function -- Nature

Nice cartoon of protein motions, related to order-disorder transitions. Might be useful in expanding classification.

Nature. 2005 Nov 3;438(7064):36-7.
Structural biology: proteins flex to function.

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17 October 2006


Zoho might be nice in a similar way to Google Spreadsheet.

12 October 2006

A Letter in response to "Inspired by the Cell, With Mitochondrial

Here's the letter I wrote in response to this article (which was never published):
I read with great interest the recent article in Science Times about the new biomedical research center in China with architecture inspired by the cell. It's a great thing having man-made creations inspired by fundamental molecular and cellular architecture. It's ironic that this hasn't happened to a greater degree. Many of the shapes in scientific structures are particularly interesting. Good examples would be the famous double helix of DNA and lipid bilayer of the cell membrane. Moreover, a key aspect of post-modern architecture is referring to and playing with evocative shapes and forms borrowed from non-architectural contexts. Thus, the irony in why famous pieces of post-modern architecture -- such as the AT&T building in New York, which makes reference to a grandfather clock or a Chippendale highboy -- seem to ignore the fundamental designs of nature.

FINDINGS; Inspired by the Cell, With Mitochondrial Pools
Article Tools Sponsored By
Published: September 12, 2006
The blob is coming to Chengdu. A biomedical research institute in Chengdu,
China, is planning to show true commitment to scientific principles by erecting
an innovative building inspired by cells. Bulges on the surface are meeting
rooms and are intended to represent the proteins embedded in a cell membrane.
The interior pools, shaped like mitochondria, border on the surreal....

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10 October 2006

Connecting the Dots -- Am. Sci.

Nice social network analogies. In particular, discussion of Granovetter paper relates nicely to ‘socio-affinity’ index in Gavin et al. (2006) [http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v440/n7084/abs/nature04532.html]

September-October 2006
Connecting the Dots
Can the tools of graph theory and social-network studies unravel the next big plot?
Brian Hayes
In the five years since that wrenching Tuesday morning when hijacked aircraft sliced into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, Americans have been living with a new undercurrent of worry and mistrust. Naturally, there's fear of further attacks. But there's also concern that measures taken to forestall such attacks could erode traditional rights and liberties. In recent months, controversy has erupted over reports that government agencies are monitoring Internet and telephone communications as well as financial transactions. Some of the surveillance programs are said to be sifting through gigantic data sets, scanning for patterns that might reveal criminal intent or activity....
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09 October 2006


A baby named for a nucleic acid -- http://adenine.org/
Based on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adenine , there are many potential
derivative names here: AMP, Deoxyadenosine, &c.

04 October 2006

Scenic Routes Bike Routes -- NY Magazine

Thought this was interesting... includes bike trip to Bear Mountain and a route through DUMBO.

Brooklyn Waterfront
Approximately 24 miles
1. Start at City Hall. Head across Park Row onto the bridge.
2. Take first right off the bridge onto Tillary Street.
3. Left on Cadman Plaza West, quick right on Clark Street. Left on Henry Street, down about a mile.
4. Right on Sackett Street, three blocks.
5. Left on Van Brunt Street, down to the end.
6. Walk bike at Beard Street Warehouse.
7. Go back up Van Brunt Street a block, then left on Van Dyke Street to the end.
8. Take sidewalk to avoid cobblestones.
9. Walk bike down Valentino Pier. Exit on Coffey Street, two blocks.
10. Left on Van Brunt Street.
11. Right on Union Street, quick left on Columbia Street.
12. Right on Congress Street, two blocks.
13. Left on Hicks Street, parallel to highway.
14. Left on Montague Street, to the Promenade.
15. Right on Promenade, walk bike to end.
16. Left on Columbia Heights, down the hill to Fulton Landing.
17. First left on Water Street, two blocks against traffic.
18. Left on Washington Street, quick right on Plymouth Street.
19. Enter park on left for a block, under the Manhattan Bridge.
20. Left back onto Plymouth Street.
21. Right on Hudson Avenue, then merge onto Navy Street for a block.
22. Right on Sands Street, down toward Manhattan Bridge.
23. Follow signs to the bridge entrance across the street on the left.
24. Coast down to the Manhattan exit, cross onto Canal Street.
25. Take Canal Street down to the Broadway subway station.

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03 October 2006

Which Was Painted by a Child? -- NY Times

Stumbled on this old article... the pictures are very evocative. It really does call into question what is art.

Which Was Painted by a Child?
Published: October 3, 2004
A 4-YEAR-OLD in Binghamton, N.Y., whose splattery paintings have been selling for $6,000, is the latest child to raise the question: What is art?
The painter is Marla Olmstead. Her preferred medium is acrylic on canvas. She gives titles like "Dinosaur" to cheerful smears of blue and red with dark squiggles on top. Her break came at 3 when a family friend hung her art in a local coffee shop. Now collectors are lapping it up....

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And if You Liked the Movie, a Netflix Contest May Reward You Handsomely -- NY Times

Might be nice to download this huge dataset for comparison in some mining applications.

And if You Liked the Movie, a Netflix Contest May Reward You Handsomely
Published: October 2, 2006
Netflix, the popular online movie rental service, is planning to award $1 million to the first person who can improve the accuracy of movie recommendations based on personal preferences. To win the prize, which is to be announced today, a contestant will have to devise a system that is more accurate than the company’s current recommendation system by at least 10 percent. And to improve the quality of research, Netflix is making available to the public 100 million of its customers’ movie ratings, a database the company says is the largest of its kind ever released....

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