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!

Nature Insight: The complex trait of quantitative genetics

Nature’s newest issue has a Quantitative genetics supplement with 3 free access pieces included out which I find this review the most interesting: Reverse engineering the genotype–phenotype map with natural genetic variation by Matthew V. Rockman. There’s a lot information to digest and many patterns to understand in this background field in order to approach… Continue reading Nature Insight: The complex trait of quantitative genetics

Vadlo, the beta biomedical search engine wants to scale up!

forwarded, nonpersonal mail from Maya Kennard (you might get that email too): Resource link/Story suggestion for your website:Title: VADLO – Biomedical Search Engine Description: Vadlo is a search engine for the biology/biomedical scientists, educators, clinicians and reference librarians. References Also check the Daily cartoons! The idea is that we feed them with searches and links and… Continue reading Vadlo, the beta biomedical search engine wants to scale up!

Nature Personal Genomics Very Special

The newest Nature issue concentrates on personal genomics and its consequences via many types of articles some of them with free access. I only read 1 piece so far by Erika Check Hayden, who has the exclusive freedom at Nature to always pick the best stories and write on any of them, but being a… Continue reading Nature Personal Genomics Very Special

“blogs.nature.com v1 is live” and beyond

A new, completely rewritten, integrated nature.com website blogs.nature.com has been launched by the Natureplex people – informed his Twitter pals Euan Adie: Also, blogs.nature.com v1 is live! Tequila and donuts all round. Early n’ often release v2 coming on the 18th so get any bug reports in now. Suggest good science blogs that are not… Continue reading “blogs.nature.com v1 is live” and beyond

Golden day for 23andMe: Time’s 2008 Invention of the Year

This is a golden day for 23andMe despite all crisis worries: Mountain View, CA (PRWEB) October 30, 2008 — TIME Magazine announced today that the Personal Genome Service™ from 23andMe, Inc. has been named 2008’s Invention of the Year. 23andMe was chosen as the year’s most significant invention for its exceptional work in making personal… Continue reading Golden day for 23andMe: Time’s 2008 Invention of the Year

For your free information (FYFI): it’s Open Access Day!

October 14, 2008 is the world’s first Open Access Day and OA itself means free online access to peer-reviewed research articles. Although we have other, slower methods, like personal homepages, emails to authors, institutional repositories to get the same article we were unable to get via closed access journals, OA is the internet-savvy solution that… Continue reading For your free information (FYFI): it’s Open Access Day!

My body is my thesis: The 2009 AAAS Science Dance Contest

The 2009 AAAS Science Dance Contest is for hidden artists disguised as scientists, nerds and shameless self promoters who are tempted to dance their PhDs, upload it to YouTube and enjoy microcelebrity. A real thesis live, non-profit but for fun and a one and only chance to make a fool out of you. This is… Continue reading My body is my thesis: The 2009 AAAS Science Dance Contest

Green fluorescent protein wins the Chemistry Nobel Prize!

Green fluorescent protein (GFP) is something really familiar for many biologists, now it will be familiar for the whole world for a period via the Chemistry Nobel Prize: From the Nobel Press Release: The remarkable brightly glowing green fluorescent protein, GFP, was first observed in the beautiful jellyfish, Aequorea victoria in 1962. Since then, this… Continue reading Green fluorescent protein wins the Chemistry Nobel Prize!

HealthMap & data fusion: detailed Google Tech Talks intro

The Google Tech Talks channel on YouTube slowly but irresistibly became my private university in current tech trends. Here is a recent talk on the amazing HealthMap by its developers John Brownstein, Clark Freifeld, Mikaela Keller. According to the about page: HealthMap brings together disparate data sources to achieve a unified and comprehensive view of… Continue reading HealthMap & data fusion: detailed Google Tech Talks intro

2008 Nobel Prizes on Nobelprize.org: Live webcasts, feeds, Twitter, widgets

It’s Nobel time! Hands up: how many of you have checked so far the official website of the Nobel Foundation called Nobelprize.org? And please try to recall how you usually found out who won the particular Nobel prizes in the past years. This year the first announcement, for the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine,… Continue reading 2008 Nobel Prizes on Nobelprize.org: Live webcasts, feeds, Twitter, widgets

Mountain View – Budapest: 20 days to get my 23andMe profile!

I ordered my first commercial genetic profile from 23andMe on the 9th of September online, FedExed my 2 ml saliva from Budapest to 23andMe, Mountain View on the 12th of September. I got the results today. That said within 3 weeks since the birth of the idea I purchased more than 500 000 SNPs of… Continue reading Mountain View – Budapest: 20 days to get my 23andMe profile!

Science X2 signals: big pharmas, stem cells, mobile MRI

The Institute for the Future‘s X2 project is all about tracing future trends in science and technology As the steward of the Biomedical Sciences and Biotechnology Group I collect signals in these fields on which some forecasts can be based later on. Here are some issues I found future sensitive enough recently: GlaxoSmithKline collaborates with… Continue reading Science X2 signals: big pharmas, stem cells, mobile MRI

Even ugly handwriting can fit the informal nature of SciFoo

I had problems with my handwriting since elementary schools, or at least my teachers had continuous problems with it. Even during my university years I was asked sometimes to read out loud my essays, papers to them otherwise risking bad grades. Maybe it’s because I am a hidden right-handed using my left hand for writing… Continue reading Even ugly handwriting can fit the informal nature of SciFoo

Sergey Brin, Gly2019Ser & a real chance against Parkinson disease/aging!

It was already known that amongst the Google top people Sergey Brin is the one who is most interested in pushing biotechnology and the biomedical sciences: in his Stanford years he was interested in biology courses according to The Google Story, he married Anne Wojcicki (who graduted from biology at Yale), Google invested $4.4 million… Continue reading Sergey Brin, Gly2019Ser & a real chance against Parkinson disease/aging!

BioBarCamp: we have room for 55 plus Campers!

BioBarCamp is due in circa 3 weeks and we have now 45 BioBarCampers signed up on the list of attendees and our host the Institute For The Future has the capacity for around 55 more campers, roughly for 100 people in general. We already have a very valuable mix: researchers, biologists (grad, postdoc, PI), coders-engineers-bioinformaticians,… Continue reading BioBarCamp: we have room for 55 plus Campers!

Hourglass, a blog carnival devoted to the biology of aging

Finally Chris over at Ouroboros came up with the idea and the quick implementation of Hourglass, a blog carnival devoted to the biology of aging/biogerontology.  For some reason I am not an explicit supporter of blog carnivals – many of my posts were chosen by carnival editors but I never hosted one -, but Hourglass… Continue reading Hourglass, a blog carnival devoted to the biology of aging

The decellularized matrix hack: skipping many steps in tissue engineering

The concept of decellularizing complex organs in cadavers and reseeding the remaining matrix structure with differentiated, stem or progenitor cells, growing in a bioreactor and transplanting back to the organism could turn out to be a real technological shortcut in the field of tissue engineering. It is not a brand new story on the web,… Continue reading The decellularized matrix hack: skipping many steps in tissue engineering

Understanding Aging Conference is over but it is the end of the beginning

I try to cover some interesting, sciencey points on the conference in later posts, right now just a brief, subjective human- and strategy focused summary: Congrats to Aubrey de Grey and the team, everything went well and if finally a worldwide consensus is around the corner claiming that robust healthy lifespan extension is technologically possible… Continue reading Understanding Aging Conference is over but it is the end of the beginning

Halcyon Molecular: whole genome sequencing well under $1000?

Halcyon Molecular is a quite ambitious startup,  don’t you think? What we do: Halcyon Molecular is developing an ultra-low-cost DNA sequencing technology. Our single molecule approach does not require PCR amplification and will allow for megabase read lengths with simultaneous determination of methylation pattern. We aim to sequence entire human genomes de novo for well… Continue reading Halcyon Molecular: whole genome sequencing well under $1000?

Petabyte Age Wiredesque lesson on what science can learn from Google

I argued many times here that biology based biotechnology is the next information technology but in order to do so, biotech should harness good IT patterns and mimic its massive computing practices to handle the enormous amount of constantly accumulating data. Often this trend could be summarized in a simple way: keep your eye on… Continue reading Petabyte Age Wiredesque lesson on what science can learn from Google

Compare scientific websites with a new Google Trends layer!

I always had the feeling that the Natureplex (the web division of the Nature Publishing Group headed by Timo Hannay) is ahead of most scientific journal publishing conglomerate’s similar departments. Now with the help of a new Google Trends layer that compares websites in terms of traffic this impression was confirmed again without strict numbers.… Continue reading Compare scientific websites with a new Google Trends layer!

Understanding Aging Conference on FriendFeed!

The “Understanding Aging: Biomedical and Bioengineering Approaches” conference will be held from June 27-29, 2008 at UCLA organized by Aubrey de Grey, Irina Conboy and Amy Wagers. I like to call it UndertsEnding Aging in myself and I am excited to go to LA and meet new people also people from SENS3. Yesterday I created… Continue reading Understanding Aging Conference on FriendFeed!

Help Craig Newmark find a new hobby on Twitter!

Internet celebrities are not celebrities in a sense that you can easily communicate with them on services like Twitter (assuming the services are not down). There’s no such thing as an internet bodyguard except some firewalls in Windows. So this day I found Craig Newmark, Craigslist founder tweeting this: I suggested him a forward looking… Continue reading Help Craig Newmark find a new hobby on Twitter!

What path would you follow: Shumway or Barnard?

Monya Baker has an excellent Q&A with the authors of the recent Nature Insight: Regenerative Medicine over at The Niche blog. Ken Chien, the author of Regenerative medicine and human models of human disease – see earlier post – recalls the paradigmatic story of heart transplantation and the 2 main surgeons behind, Norman Shumway and… Continue reading What path would you follow: Shumway or Barnard?

Synthetic morphology: what kind of animal is that?

As far as I understand synthetic morphology = develompental biology +synthetic biology + tissue engineering + anatomy to create new cellular patterns. Jamie A. Davies: Synthetic morphology: prospects for engineered, self-constructing anatomies “This paper outlines prospects for applying the emerging techniques of synthetic biology to the field of anatomy, with the aim of programming cells… Continue reading Synthetic morphology: what kind of animal is that?

Problem: embryonic stem cell lines vary & iPS lines too

Finally I started to digest all the articles (usually on the streetcar on my way to work and home) from the recent Nature Insight: Regenerative Medicine and I try to pick up some stories for you (& interesting enough for me) from that, in case you are not lucky enough to have an available copy.… Continue reading Problem: embryonic stem cell lines vary & iPS lines too

The Science of Longevity at The World Science Festival, June 1, NYC

90 is the New 50: The Science of Longevity via Brandon Keim, Wired Science: Sunday, June 1, 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM,NYU – Kimmel Center for University Life Will it one day be possible to take a pill to stay young? How will an average life expectancy of beyond a hundred years affect society and… Continue reading The Science of Longevity at The World Science Festival, June 1, NYC