Tag Archive for 'misha angrist'

Friday Links

Nature ran an excellent story on the rise of genetic hobbyist-bloggers, featuring our own Joe Pickrell’s discovery of his Jewish heritage as well as the impressive efforts of bloggers Dienekes and David Wesolowski to explore human ancestry using publicly available large-scale genetic data, which finishes with a comparison by George Church between genomics blogging and the early days of social networks:

Church argues that better access to high-quality data could help this kind of informal bioinformatics to flourish, enabling computer-savvy people to make important contributions to genomics, just as they have with online businesses such as Facebook. “It didn’t take that much training to become a social-networking entrepreneur. You just had to be a good coder,” he says. With bioinformatics, “I think we’re in a similar position.”

Ion Torrent logoDNA sequencing news this week was dominated by the commercial launch of the fancy new machine from Ion Torrent and the announcement of $1 million prizes for home-brew improvements to the work-flow, throughput and accuracy of the embryonic platform.┬áNick Loman cast a skeptical eye over the output from the Ion Torrent PR machine, and particularly the competition, asking “Is this helping democratise sequencing, or is it a cynical tactic to get cheap R&D?” At the other end of the cynicism-naivete spectrum, Harvard molecular biologist Gary Ruvkun pondered sending an Ion Torrent to Mars to sequence the (hypothetical) DNA sprinkled across its dusty terrain.

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