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

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 another ... 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

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 effort to design ... Read more

getting the images was the hardest part

A lot of our colleagues are interested in bioinformatics and data science. While it is clear that bioinformatics is important, even essential, in modern biology research, there is the question about the levels of programming and computer skills needed for different jobs. I'm not going to answer that question here. Instead I'm going to focus on one end of the problem, that is, how is a bioinformatician similar to a data scientist? I'll illustrate the kinds of skills that are needed for this role by sharing my recent experience of how we moved the Discovering Biology in a Digital World (DWB ... Read more

Todd M. Smith [1,2], Sandra Porter [1,2], Linnea Fletcher [2,3] 1. Digital World Biology (DWB), 2. Bio-Link, 3. Austin Community College (ACC) Students graduating from college in the 21st century need to be skilled in using a computer. Through several experiences including Austin Community College’s (ACC’s) interactions with industry, DWB’s experience, and combined participation in efforts such as the Network for Integrating Bioinformatics into Life Sciences Education (NIBLSE), it is clear students need to be more aware of how computing is used in the life sciences and the role that ... Read more
In our series on why $1000 genomes cost $2000, I raised the issue that the $1000 genome is a value based on simplistic calculations that do not account for the costs of confirming the results. Next, I discussed how errors are a natural occurrence of the many processing steps required to sequence DNA and why results need to be verified. In this and follow-on posts, I ... Read more
What do you call a biologist who uses bioinformatics tools to do research, but doesn't program? You don't know? Neither does anyone else. The names we use People who practice biology are known by many names, so many, that the number of names almost reflects the diversity of biology itself. Sometimes we describe biologists by the subject they study. Thus, we have biologists from anatomists to zoologists, and everything in between: addiction researchers ... Read more
I often get questions about bioinformatics, bioinformatics jobs and career paths. Most of the questions reflect a general sense of confusion between creating bioinformatics resources and using them. Bioinformatics is unique in this sense. No one confuses writing a package like Photoshop with being a photographer, yet for some odd reason, people seem to expect this of biologists. In the same respect, even the programmers and database administrators who work in bioinformatics, are unfairly assumed to have had graduate level training in biology. In many ways, it's easiest to understand ... Read more