web resources

David Ng from The World's Fair has made this wonderful video on public speaking. Or shall we say the funnier side of public speaking? I really enjoyed it! ... Read more
The Periodic Table of Videos from the University of Nottingham has 118 short YouTube clips about the elements. Wired Campus recommended the Sodium clip (below). I liked it, too. It's not quite as funny as Mentos in Diet Coke, and but it's still cute and the narrator has a haircut like Gene Wilder in Young Frankenstein. ... Read more
Pfizer has pledged to donate up to $10,000 to the cause of science education, through Donorschoose.org, but only if enough of you, dear readers go to Big Think: Think Science Now and vote for your favorite video. If you're not familiar with Pfizer, they're a pretty well-known drug company. You probably read about one of their products every time you delete messages from your e-mail in-box. You don't even have to watch the videos, just vote. I strongly ... Read more
I'm in Berkeley right now at the annual Bio-Link Summer Fellows forum. We're getting to hear talks from people in the biotech industry, listen to enthusiastic instructors describe their biotech programs and ideas, and try out new educational materials. Yesterday, two speakers (Damon Tighe and Jason Baumohl) from the Joint Genome Institute in Walnut Creek, CA, gave a fun talk about DNA sequencing and sequence assembly. They also showed some very nice Flash animations, made by Damon Tighe, at the JGI, that illustrate how DNA sequencing is done ... Read more
A little over ten years ago, Dr. Elaine Johnson obtained funding from the National Science Foundation to start Bio-Link, an Advanced Technology Education center, focused on biotechnology. Since that time, Dr. Johnson has become a national leader in biotech education, enlisting the country's top educators and industry captains to ensure that community college students receive a quality education and the best preparation possible for entering the workforce. In this radio interview from Tech Nation, Dr. Johnson talks with Dr. Moira Gunn about the ... Read more
One of my favorite web 2.0 technologies is the webinar. When you work at a company and not a University, with constant seminars, it gets a bit harder to hop on a bus and travel across town to learn about new things. Webinars are a good way to fill that gap. I grab my coffee cup, put on my headphones, and I get to listen to someone tell me about their work for an hour and show slides over the web. It's nice. Our company is even going to be involved in two webinars in the next two months. One of us is giving an Illumina webinar tomorrow ... Read more
You can find out. Blaine Bettinger, the Genetic Genealogist has a fun little quiz.Read more
Goodbye desktop, we're off to see the web. Both my students and I have been challenged this semester by the diversity of computer platforms, software versions, and unexpected bugs. Naturally, I turned to the world and my readers for help and suggestions. Some readers have suggested we could solve everything by using Linux. Others have ... Read more
I made this video (below the fold) to illustrate the steps involved in making a phylogenetic tree. The basic steps are to:
  1. Build a data set
  2. Align the sequences
  3. Make a tree
In the class that I'm teaching, we're making these trees in order to compare sequences from our metagenomics experiment with the multiple copies of 16S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) genes that we can find in single bacterial genomes. Bacteria contain between 2 to 13 copies of 16S rRNA genes and we' ... Read more
I read about this in Bio-IT World and had to go check it out. It's called the Genome Projector and it has to be the coolest genome browser I've ever seen. They have 320 bacterial genomes to play with. Naturally, I chose our friend E. coli. The little red pins in the picture below mark the positions of ribosomal RNA genes (It's not perfect, at least one of these genes is a ribosomal RNA methyltransferase and not a 16S ribosomal RNA.) ... Read more

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