23 and me – yes, me – part 1

Until recently, I was not even aware that there is a DNA day. Nor can I tell you exactly when and where I noticed that 23andMe, the personal genomics company, launched a sale to celebrate the day – I imagine it flashed by on Twitter or FriendFeed. I can tell you that like many others I decided that finally, I could justify the expense, signed up (with around 15 minutes to spare – thanks to the 17 hour Sydney/California time difference) and I’m now waiting for sample arrival and processing.

I thought it might be interesting to blog the experience and provided that I don’t discover anything disturbing, I’ll share some of my data here. Related posts will be tagged with “23andme” and here is part 1 which covers sign-up, delivery, sample collection and return.
Read the rest…

Temporary blogging hiatus

I’m now immersed in the process of moving from Brisbane to Sydney (with no new accommodation as yet), in preparation for my new role at CSIRO starting March 2.

Consequently, it will be quiet here for at least a couple of weeks. I’ll be sending the occasional tweet and the odd item to FriendFeed, but nothing substantial until home internet is up and running again.

Anniversary #2

Managed to fly through my blog anniversary.

August 2 marks two years here at wordpress.com. Stats as of now: 677 posts, 10 pages, 49 categories, 255 tags, 1,128 approved comments and 67,184 spam comments (!).

Blogging has really dropped off in the past few months, but I have some ideas about that. Stay tuned, thanks for reading and commenting.

Well, everyone else was doing it

wordle Everyone seems to be having fun with Wordle. Except for me, until I realised that all my machines were cursed with something named “icedtea-gcjwebplugin”, as opposed to the Sun java plugin. Problem solved.

So there it is. But for the prominent “bioinformatics”, you’d never guess I was a biologist, would you. I do believe that this is telling me something.


In yet another moment of BBGM synchronicity, I started to think about lifestreaming and its applications as Deepak wrote about it. My inspiration was the recent article 35 ways to stream your life.

I’ve tried (and you can find me at):

  • Mugshot – aggregates a limited number of sources, doesn’t seem to update properly from del.icio.us, has conversation features (quips, comments)
  • FriendFeed – nice look and feel, a limited number of sources, has conversation features (comments, ratings)
  • Profilactic – by far my favourite in terms of look/feel and sources (you can add anything that has a feed) but no conversations as yet

Lifestreams are fun. I don’t expect anyone to care about what I just played on last.fm (and likewise), but these are all ways of broadcasting yourself and making connections. Read Deepak’s post for some thoughts on how this might apply to science.

Here’s a crazy idea – the workstream:

  • Neil parsed SwissProt entry Q38897 using parser script swiss2features.pl
  • Bob calculated all intersubunit contacts in PDB entry 2jdq using CCP4 package contact


That’s me for the year

So 2007 jumps the buffers and careers through the back wall of the station.

I’m heading south to Sydney tomorrow for 10 days of overeating, oversleeping and sitting on the beach watching the waves roll in. There won’t be a laptop or internet connection to be seen.

It’s been another great year of interaction with science bloggers from around the world. Happy holidays to you all, normal service resumes Jan 2 2008.

Note to self

Never blog at the end of a long, difficult week when tiredness and cynicism have won out against raw enthusiasm.

My thoughts yesterday on JournalFire, an online journal club to promote science discussion, were not at all coherent or insightful, so I took the unusual step of deleting a post. Web initiatives by bright, enthusiastic people should always be welcomed and I hope each and every one of them finds an audience and makes a mark.

Normal service will resume next week.