LavaAmp: cheapest pocket PCR thermocycler dreamed for DIY biologists

The LavaAmp is a portable PCR thermocycler that has the potential to become the default garage biology (home biology, bioDIY, DIYbio) tool once it hits the market. Think of Apple II for personal computing or MakerBot for 3D printing. The 1st LavaAmp prototype was shipped this week from Biodesic to Gahaga Biosciences and the process… Continue reading LavaAmp: cheapest pocket PCR thermocycler dreamed for DIY biologists

Aging-centric genetic health database in California: 100k people, ~65yrs, 700k SNPs, telomeres too

Kaiser Permanente alongside with UCSF plans for genetic analyses of an unprecedented 100,000 older Californians, the Technology Review writes in Massive Gene Database Planned in California The effort will make use of existing saliva samples taken from California patients, whose average age is 65. Their DNA will be analyzed for 700,000 genetic variations called single-nucleotide… Continue reading Aging-centric genetic health database in California: 100k people, ~65yrs, 700k SNPs, telomeres too

Sage Bionetworks Update: building an OA standard for human disease biology

Sage Bionetworks is a not-for-profit organization developing an open-access “pre-competitive” platform for networked and annotated models of human disease. It’s a huge and unparalleled bioinformatics enterprise: starting with an anonymous $5 million donation and soon making high throughput, large-scale human and mouse biological data (largely from Merck) available in the range that’s already in the… Continue reading Sage Bionetworks Update: building an OA standard for human disease biology

Top 10 PLoS Articles based on online usage

Big news at PLoS: today Mark Patterson announced on the PLoS blog that “As part of our ongoing article-level metrics program, we’re delighted to announce that all seven PLoS journals will now provide online usage data for published articles”. I downloaded the entire dataset and as a starter sorted it according to Combined Usage =… Continue reading Top 10 PLoS Articles based on online usage

Mapping neurons without glial cells ~ SNP genotyping w/o whole sequencing?

Nature’s Journal Club column is usually a good & always a short read providing exciting angles on scientific topics/papers from good researchers. Recently ‘neuroscientist’ Dave Featherstone argued for a broader approach to brain mapping by not restricting it only to the connectome between neurons. Neurons are making up less than 10% of the human brain… Continue reading Mapping neurons without glial cells ~ SNP genotyping w/o whole sequencing?

1st UK Maker Faire, Newcastle, March 2009, makers wanted!

The first Euro Maker Faire in Brussels was an evening event but now with the first UK Maker Faire makers have a chance to hang around for 2 days and develop or deepen their DIY skills similar to the original US events (we enjoyed Austin Maker Faire in 2007). Let me know if you’re interested.… Continue reading 1st UK Maker Faire, Newcastle, March 2009, makers wanted!