Bizarro Perl problem

I just came across a fairly strange Perl issue:


protein => {
title => '%s release [%s]',
qq{formatdb_cmd => '-p T -t '%s' -i %s'},
filename => 'protein.fa',

Yes, there’s a typo, with the qq enclosing an entire hash entry. This doesn’t raise an error, but obviously obscures the hash entry!

Bioinformatics is dead! Long live bioinformatics!

A few years ago, my boss Lincoln Stein prognosticated the end of bioinformatics.

According to Google Trends he just might be onto something. Searches for bioinformatics have dropped in half in the past four years. C’est incroyable! Not surprisingly, the top-ten sites for searches for bioinformatics are all in India.

Gory details available by searching Google Trends for bioinformatics.

Interesting parallels in the trends between bioinformatics, molecular biology, proteomics, and C. elegans:

The role of social networking in biological databases

You’d have to be hiding under a rock to not know of social networking sites like FaceBook or MySpace.

But you might not be familiar with social networking tools like Ning which let anyone set up their own social network.

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about what role social networking might play in biological databases.

Can we use these tools to foster communication between researchers? What about using them to connect researchers collaborating on large projects who are geographically distributed?