Discovering Biology in a Digital World™

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Posts from ScienceBlogs, 2006 to 2017, can be found in the archive.

Cytochrome C oxidase is a molecule that none of us air-breathing creatures can live without. It's also really interesting. This protein complex is a dimer of two smaller complexes. Each of the smaller complexes contains 13 different proteins and two heme groups.

Oxidized Cytochrome C Oxidase. Each protein chain is colored differently.
Arrows point to the active site in subunit I.

The two heme groups are both part of the cytochrome c oxidase subunit I protein. The DNA sequence of this protein is used for many types of DNA barcoding.

The two heme groups in Cytochrome C ... Read more

Learn how to identify biomolecules quickly by playing games with Biochemi cards. Read more

We created the structure collection feature in Molecule World because I knew it would be useful in teaching my courses. A request from the Weisman Art Museum at the University of Minnesota taught us structure collections could be useful in other ways, too.

The Weisman Art Museum collaborated with neuroscientists at the University of Minnesota and Ricardo Martinez Murillo, a neuroscientist in Spain, to produce the traveling Beautiful Brain exhibit featuring the drawings of Santiago Ramón y Cajal. Cajal is considered the father ... Read more

Infographic: BCRs vs TCRs

BCRs (antibodies) and TCRs (T cell receptors) are the recognition molecules of our immune system; the molecules they bind are called antigens. BCRs and TCRs are similar in many ways, but their differences form the core of how self and non-self are recognized. Read more

Amino Rummy

Digital World Biology (DWB) has released three new kinds of card decks inspired by the essential units of proteins: the amino acids. The card deck, Amino Rummy,™ has a biological twist. Read more

Immuno-Bioinformatics Infographic

Immuno-bioinformatics is a fast growing subdiscipline of immuno-biotechnology. New technologies like immune-profiling and targeted cancer therapies are leading to job growth and demands for new skills and knowledge in biomanufacturing, quality systems, informatics, and cancer biology.

Read more
Molecule in Space
Singularity: the point at which a function takes an infinite value.

"Eew!" Is how high performance computing (HPC) admins react to Docker, according to Dr. Vanessa Saurus when she described the motivation for developing Singularity [1] at the Cyverse Container Camp . Like Docker, Singularity allows one to package programs and their dependencies in ways that they can be run as virtual instances with low overhead. Singularity improves on Docker to make it possible to run containers in HPC environments such as super computers.

Why ... Read more

Container on a train

Containerization technologies like Docker are designed to solve challenges associated with installing and running complex software such as bioinformatics pipelines and web servers. Docker will change the world ... maybe. While clearly powerful and enabling, the magic of Docker can also be an overpromise. To understand why, you need to understand the “ The Law of Leaky Abstractions .”

Read more
Stefan Green zip-lines though a volcano

Want to incorporate microbiome and metagenomics research into your lab or teaching? Sign up for the ABRF 2018 microbiome and metagenomics workshop. It may not teach you to zip-line through fire, but you will learn how to generate and manage a fire hose worth of data from microbiome projects. Read more

Celebrate DNA Day 2018 by making science art with molecular models of DNA. Read more

Infrared Cacti
Saguaro National Park - Tucson AZ

The technological Singularity is the moment beyond which "technological progress will become incomprehensibly rapid and complicated [1].” Hmmm. That sounds like bioinformatics.

Surviving the Singularity requires reducing complexity. This was the topic of a recent three-day Cyverse Container Camp hosted at the University of Arizona, Tucson AZ. I attended the camp as part of Digital World Biology's ... Read more

Infrared of Ballard Locks entrance

Infrared (IR) photography creates pictures in a whole new light. When I first experimented with infrared in the late 70's early 80's it was with black and white infrared film using a dark red Wratten 89b IR filter. It was okay, but not great. Digital cameras change that by opening the experience to easy experimentation to explore color and black and white.

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