Politics, Information Technology, and Genomics

Transcription and Translation

Here a cool video from DNA: The Secret of Life detailing (in real time, just like the PacBio RS!) the central dogma of molecular biology. Full Post

The cost of doing sequencing

Whenever you get asked about a recent genome publication or the latest sequencing technology, the conversation invariably turns to cost. It turns out, cost is a tricky thing. When people talk of the "cost" of the Human Genome Project, they typically quote the cost for the entire project. A cost that includes sequencing instruments (several revisions), personnel, overhead, consumables, informatics, and IT. They contrast this rather large cost to the much lower cost of the... Full Post

Internally inconsistent

The same news commentators who defended the previous administration's shortcomings now use those same incidents to label the current administration's difficulties (starting at about 5:00). So are they now saying that the previous administration had failures, or that the current administration is handling them well? I suppose what they are really saying is that there are limits to their powers of persuasion ("Rosebud!"). The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c... Full Post

Rationale of a human-truck hybrid

Lawrence Lessig uses Sen. Scott Brown's (R-MA) inability to explain why he opposes the financial reform bill as further reason that the way we fund elections (or, rather, politicians) needs to be reformed. Scott Brown, Massachusetts' new senator, opposes legislation in Congress that would strengthen regulations for Wall Street. But when a reporter recently asked him why he's against this bill, Brown couldn't give an answer. He's against financial reform, but he has no idea... Full Post

Permanent campaign

NPR has a series this week about the current level of distrust Americans have with government. The latest installment, Americans Distrust Congress? That's No Surprise, ties some of the low opinion of Congress to the highly partisan rhetoric. What the story hints at, but does not state explicitly, is that partisan rhetoric is a positive feedback loop. Those who pay attention to politics, and therefore fund campaigns and watch political shows, tend to be more... Full Post