2009.10.23: This Week In Bioinformatics

This Week in Bioinformatics is a weekly snapshot of select developments, interesting tweets, and influential blog posts pertaining to biological databases, data visualization, and funding.


A “Facebook” for scientists nets $12.2M in funding
Network World reports that Cornell, the University of Florida, and a number of other institutions received $12.2M USD to create a social networking site for scientists. It remains to be seen how this endeavor will succeed while so many others have failed, or why this is even worth doing at a time when social networking sites from the private sector have already matured. Twitter, FaceBook, and FriendFeed, and Epernicus already have established communities of scientists. Moreover, the rise of do-it-yourself social networks like Ning make it easy for anyone to establish a social network.

I hope this project includes development of embeddable tools that can be used on other websites. These tools should also rely on things like FaceBook Connect, Google FriendConnect, and OpenID. If it’s just the creation of another social networking site — no matter how much it embraces the ideals of the semantic web — it won’t see significant uptake in the scientific community. It needs to be omnipresent across all various websites that scientists use on a daily basis.

See the related discussion on FriendFeed.

Link Love

Exploring My Genes
Grant Wood’s “Fantastic Voyage” blog, exploring his 23andMe genotyping results.

Geek Atlas
A guide to science hotspots around the global. A must for scientists who travel or travelers who science.

2009.10.16: This Week In Genomics and Bioinformatics

This Week in Genomics and Bioinformatics is a weekly snapshot of select developments, interesting tweets, and influential blog posts and literature.


Sage Bioinformatics receives an infusion of Cash
The not-for-profit Sage Bioinformatics receives a large donation, helping their mission to develop open access systems level tools and databases.

Lee Hood et al. launch Integrated Genomics
Lee Hood’s new venture, Integrated Genomics goes online with $30M in funding with a mission to develop personalized diagnostics for the early intervention of disease.

The Virus Pathogen Database cleans up
NIAID funds (US$15.7M) UT Southwestern & Northrop Grumman for Virus Pathogen Database. Here’s a press release from UT Southwestern. Of that $15.7M, $2.7M goes to UTSW, the rest to, I guess, Northrop Grumman. Who knew they were in the business of building biological databases?

Genome Canada’s founding President and CEO stepping down
Dr. Martin Godbout, Genome Canada’s President, stepping down after 10 years.

Google Wave takes to the high seas
Those few Twitter users who don’t yet have a Google Wave invite go berserk trying to track one down. The Twitterati social media spewers are agog or completely confused of what to do with Wave. After all, it’s obvious how to use social media for inane and ironic self-promotion about one’s expertise with social media. It’s not as easy to understand how to use a collaborative work tool unless one has actual content or data to work with.

Cameron Neylon (twitter) sees the light and writes in Nature about the promise of Google Wave for scientific communication.

Children’s impressions of scientists
Children’s pictures of scientists before and after visiting FermiLab.

Link Love

Better Posters
Just discovered Better Posters, a blog whose aim is to improve the quality of scientific posters. This is a topic near and dear that I’ve written on at The Wild Type.

Work and Travel
And on an entirely unrelated note, if you are an independent worker, check out Location Independent, a site with useful tips for those not tied to a cubicle.