My journey from bench scientist to bioinformatician began with archaeal genomes. So I was somewhat startled to read The catalytic mechanism for aerobic formation of methane by bacteria, in which we learn about the “ocean-dwelling bacterium Nitrosopumilus maritimus“.
So was Jonathan Eisen of course and you should go and read why. Every top hit in a Web search for that organism tells us that Nitrosopumilus maritimus is an archaeon.
Looking forward to a rapid correction and apology from Nature.
Title edited from “phylogeny” to “taxonomy” at the insistence of @BioinfoTools ;)
I imagine that most people, when asked “do you think that independent confirmation of research findings is important?” would answer “yes”. I also imagine, when told that in most cases this is not possible, that those people might be concerned or perhaps incredulous. However, this really is the case, which is why I spend much of my working life in a state of concern and incredulity.
Over the years, many articles have been written on how to improve this state of affairs by adopting best practices, collectively-termed reproducible research. One of the latest is an editorial in Nature. I’ve pulled out a few quotes for discussion.
Read the rest…
I generally skip over “From the Blogosphere”, a (mostly) weekly-summary of one or two blog posts in Nature’s “Authors” section (here is the latest). Why? Well, I’ve always suspected that the title is rather misleading. Now, I have the hard numbers to prove it.
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Just a brief note: the title of this post is taken from the cover of today’s Nature. It contains several very good feature articles on the challenges of dealing with peta- (and more) byte size datasets, grouped under the heading “Big data”.
Nature contents Sep 4 2008.
Nature News Big Data special.
By far the best of the articles is The future of biocuration: it offers practical recommendations, as opposed to the “gee whizz, what a lot of data” approach. Not least of which: “curators, researchers, academic institutions and funding agencies should, in the next ten years, increase the visibility and support of scientific curation as a professional career.”
Almost as good are Wikiomics, which tackles the lack of participation issue and Welcome to the petacentre, in which Boing-Boing’s Cory Doctorow explores, amongst other places, the Sanger Institute data centre.
So far as I can tell from the Nature News link, these articles are freely-available.
Who isn’t fascinated by the strangest of mammals, the platypus? It has fur and lactates, like a mammal. It has a bill and webbed feet, like a bird. It lays eggs and produces venom, like a reptile. It finds prey using electroreception, like sharks. The platypus is so weird that when first described, many scientists assumed that it was a hoax.
To celebrate the publication of the draft platypus genome, here’s a brief guide to this wondrous creature.
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