Ten Simple Rules for Effective Computational Research

"Computational techniques are increasingly being employed in the life sciences. In particular, the use and development of software tools is becoming vital for investigating scientific hypotheses, and a wide range of scientists are finding software development playing a more central role in their day-to-day research." Full Article @ PLOS Computational Biology



The Global Brain Comes Online

"This post is part of a series in which LinkedIn Influencers analyze the state and future of their industry."State of Innovation: The Global Brain Comes Online


Testing Turing’s theory of morphogenesis in chemical cells

"We exploit an abiological experimental system of emulsion drops containing the Belousov–Zhabotinsky reactants ideally suited to test Turing’s theory. Our experiments verify Turing’s thesis of the chemical basis of morphogenesis and reveal a pattern, not previously predicted by theory, which we explain by extending Turing’s model to include heterogeneity. Quantitative experimental results obtained using this artificial cellular system establish the strengths and weaknesses of the Turing model, applicable to biology and materials science alike, and pinpoint which directions are required for improvement." Full article @ PNAS



The Secret Garden—Epigenetic Alleles Underlie Complex Traits

"strong evidence that epialleles contribute to the heritability of complex traits and therefore provide a substrate on which Darwinian evolution may act." Full comment @ Science



RNA activity mapped across cells

"Technique adds spatial dimension to studies of gene expression." Full news article @ Nature News & Comment



How Academia and Publishing are Destroying Scientific Innovation: A Conversation with Sydney Brenner

Some gems:

"The thing is to have no discipline at all. Biology got its main success by the importation of physicists that came into the field not knowing any biology and I think today that’s very important."

"Today the Americans have developed a new culture in science based on the slavery of graduate students. Now graduate students of American institutions are afraid. He just performs. He’s got to perform. The post-doc is an indentured labourer. We now have labs that don’t work in the same way as the early labs where people were independent, where they could have their own ideas and could pursue them."

"The most important thing today is for young people to take responsibility, to actually know how to formulate an idea and how to work on it. Not to buy into the so-called apprenticeship. I think you can only foster that by having sort of deviant studies. That is, you go on and do something really different."

"I think peer review is hindering science. In fact, I think it has become a completely corrupt system."

Full interview @ King's Review – Magazine


Ancient Life in the Information Age

"What can bioinformatics and systems biology tell us about the ancestor of all living things?" Full article @ The Scientist Magazine®


Viruses Reconsidered

Informationally Open Life....

"Viruses are becoming more widely recognized as shuttles of genetic material, with metagenomic studies suggesting that the billions of viruses on Earth harbor more genetic information than the rest of the living world combined." The Scientist Magazine®


RNA World 2.0

"Most scientists believe that ribonucleic acid played a key role in the origin of life on Earth, but the versatile molecule isn’t the whole story." Full article @ The Scientist Magazine®

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