Ward Cunningham – What If Bacteria Designed Computers?

There is a pattern of successful technological innovations I can summarize the following way: there is a nerd engineer who actually invents something and builds the first functional prototype, and there is a geeky enough yo who recognizes the value of the prototype and makes the bigger money/fame/other beneficiaries out of it by turning it… Continue reading Ward Cunningham – What If Bacteria Designed Computers?

Low budget, high tech: Microfluidics device out of a $50 plotter!

Building and using low budget but high tech devices at home is a main motivation behind hacking. A Harvard Chemistry Research Group now created a microchannel producing device using a Hewlett Packard 7550A Graphics Plotter (see some eBay prices) to perform a diagnostic protein assay with it amongst others. /See my SciFoo microfluidics coverage./ According… Continue reading Low budget, high tech: Microfluidics device out of a $50 plotter!

Mitowheel now helps you design PCR primers for mitochondrial DNA!

Gábor Zsurka, scientist and developer made another upgrade on our favorite human mitochondrial DNA visualization tool, MitoWheel: this time allele frequencies at polymorphic positions are included in the sequence bar in the form of a gray bar above or below a nucleotide representing the number of individuals carrying the SNP. This is really cool as… Continue reading Mitowheel now helps you design PCR primers for mitochondrial DNA!

Larry Page is 35 years old today: long live to live long enough!

I’ve always loved the following scene from LOTR, but I’ve always imagined that they are the words of a man who is in a healthy physiological condition due to a robust life extension technology and not due to a mystical ring: Bilbo: “Today is my one hundred and eleventh birthday!” Hobbits: “Happy birthday!” Bilbo: “Alas,… Continue reading Larry Page is 35 years old today: long live to live long enough!

Blow your Brain Explorer out with the Human Allen Brain Atlas!

At the SciFoo Camp last year at the Googleplex I suggested a little unconference session (ok, there were some slides ready on my MacBook) and one participant was Chinh Dang (another was this inventor) Technology Director of the Allen Institute for Brain Science who made a little intro to the work of the Institute to… Continue reading Blow your Brain Explorer out with the Human Allen Brain Atlas!

Kurzweil follow-up in life extension exhausted Wired

Last year I approached a powerful Wired editor with the following story pitch: “A full and deep but cool report on the current (scientific) life extension technologies, persons, battles, camps, grants, problems, perspectives.” His reply was a diplomatic and definite naysaying: “Thanks for the idea. Alas, we’ve done *way* too many stories on life-extension over… Continue reading Kurzweil follow-up in life extension exhausted Wired

Thesis live: Introduction, “contents” draft

From now on I start every “thesis live” post with the standard introduction: In the live thesis building blogxperiment I edit (digest, compile, write, rewrite, delete) my ongoing doctoral thesis in blog posts and put the parts together on thesis live. The title: The physiologic role of stem cells in tissues with different regenerative potential… Continue reading Thesis live: Introduction, “contents” draft

Warming up to write my thesis on the blog

Not much happened since my announcement on Editing my doctoral thesis on stem cells in a blog: Why not?. I went to the U.S. first and started doing research instead of finishing my PhD education. But now I am back in this “getting a PhD” business as in January I passed the prerequisite comprehensive stem… Continue reading Warming up to write my thesis on the blog

Life extension people are happy: keep living, please!

I found this picture of Aubrey de Grey with his book Ending Aging on his head at the BIL conference in Quinn Norton‘s Flickr Stream. Quinn Norton is a bodyhacker technophiliac journalist photographer. Robust, healthy lifespan extension can easily be interpreted as an extreme body-, life- and biohack so no wonder that more and more… Continue reading Life extension people are happy: keep living, please!

What is Genentech CEO Art Levinson doing for biotech as a Google board member?

The title question is my million (not billion yet) dollar question for this year. Arthur Levinson is a board member of Google (Apple too) and in his leftover time he is the CEO of the most successful biotech company so far, that’s Genentech. I would be curious to hear about his biotech-related activity as a… Continue reading What is Genentech CEO Art Levinson doing for biotech as a Google board member?

Peer blogging the question marks of the Warda-Han paper’s peer review

The Warda-Han paper was retracted from journal Proteomics exactly one month ago unofficially due to its “mighty creator explanation” (covered here first)/officially due to its heavy plagiarism (flashmobbed so efficiently by the Pharyngula commenters). Yet we are still very short about the details of what happened during the pseudo peer review of the paper. So… Continue reading Peer blogging the question marks of the Warda-Han paper’s peer review

Biotech DIY for aging/life extension research: the double future?

“The best way to predict the future is to invent it.” – said Alan Kay, computer legend in 1971. Recently I had a comment dialogue with Chris on whether state-supported research or industrial business enterprises can (or should) lead to big progress in robust and healthy life extension technologies. Besides the government and corporation coin… Continue reading Biotech DIY for aging/life extension research: the double future?

Mitowheel upgrade: phylogenetics in motion

Gábor Zsurka has built some killer functions into Mitowheel, the human mitochondrial DNA visualization tool: – compare GenBank‘s circa 3000 fully sequenced human mitochondrial genome to the revised Cambridge Reference Sequence mutation by mutation – by harnessing the power of the colorful group view and using the +, – mutation operators (see detailed introduction) you… Continue reading Mitowheel upgrade: phylogenetics in motion

PITTCON, 2008: bioDIY questions, RFVials, and Science’s new web hirings

As a local New Orleans face (my colleagues just call me Mitoman in the lab) I had the chance to just simply walk into the grandiose PITTCON exhibiton at the Ernest N Morial Convention Center‎ and I liked it. In addition to getting answers to some strictly lab related questions concerning filters and fuges (nevermind),… Continue reading PITTCON, 2008: bioDIY questions, RFVials, and Science’s new web hirings

First DIY RFID experience: Arduino controlled Parallax reader

In the last couple of weeks I became heavily interested in RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technology probably because the dangerous idea of all pervasive computing and the opportunities to build sg from the bottom-up. So here is a how-to to my first installed low frequency, read-only RFID system hopefully followed by a more juicy stuff… Continue reading First DIY RFID experience: Arduino controlled Parallax reader

The $20 life extension blogging challenge and change

Scott Wainner – an old timer, professional internet revenue generator and recent maximum healthy life extension advocate (the ideal target group) – wants you (in this case, me) to blog about life extension for $20 (first 100 bloggers only) and thereby also boosts his site’s traffic (I am sure there is a special marketing term… Continue reading The $20 life extension blogging challenge and change

The conditions of a mass biotech DIY movement

The idea of doing biological experiments with current biotechnological methods and conducting research projects at home is quite new. There are already many names in use referring to the same concept: bioDIY, home biology, biotech DIY, garage biology. We have a detailed case example which can be considered as the first registered, high profile biotech… Continue reading The conditions of a mass biotech DIY movement

Very well informed Stanley Bing on life extension

Huffington Post, Fortune’s Stanley Bing: The Next Big Thing? Please pay extra attention to the language here (especially transmogrification). Human genome schmutz: Nobody wants to get old or worse, appear old. And forget about dying. That’s the ultimate bummer. Genetic research has been held back recently by a series of disasters too terrible to mention… Continue reading Very well informed Stanley Bing on life extension

Biotechies at O’Reilly ETech, March 3 – 6, San Diego

The O’Reilly Emerging Technology Conference (ETech) is on and this year they had a growing number of biotech related sessions. Fellow SciFoo Campers like Hugh Rienhoff and Timo Hannay, Makers like Phil Torrone and Limor Fried, Brain Hackers like Ed Boyden are visiting and many more.

How much data is produced by a life scientist/day?

The current operational idea behind Google’s Palimpsest Project is to ship 3TB (terrabyte= 1.0995 x 1012 bytes) drive array (Linux RAID-5) for scientists, who upload their data and FedEx the hard drives back to Google. Google then make those data publicly available and manageable. This file transfer method was heavily criticized by Dai Davies in… Continue reading How much data is produced by a life scientist/day?