3,118 reputation
624
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location Cambridge, United Kingdom
age 29
visits member for 2 years, 10 months
seen 21 hours ago

I’m a bioinformatics PhD student at EMBL-EBI and the University of Cambridge but I’m originally from Berlin.

My programming interests span from C++ over .NET and dynamic languages all the way to XHMTL/CSS and R.

I’m mainly working on genomics using high-throughput sequencing data. My thesis is about the regulation and expression of non-coding RNA (especially tRNA) in mammals.

Here’s my …

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Apr
19
answered What's the use of DNA sequencing results?
Apr
18
comment How To Avoid Macro-Evolution Confusion?
“They are not terms used by biologists” – that’s not true. They do have a biological meaning … which is of course distinct (but sufficiently similar to cause confusion) from what creationists mean, and has been around long before they started using the term. I try not to use the terms myself due to the confusion that has been engineered by creationists but some biologists do use them.
Apr
18
comment Can species back-evolve?
Since no answer mentions this explicitly, and since it is a very common misunderstanding: humans are not more complex than dogs evolutionarily. The word isn’t even well-defined in this context and no biologist has yet come up with a good enough definition.
Apr
18
comment What exactly are computers used for in DNA sequencing?
@leonardo Yes. The extreme case, one read which spans the whole genome. See the pattern? ;-)
Apr
18
comment What exactly are computers used for in DNA sequencing?
@leonardo That’s easy, in the second case not only do you have less reads (good), you also have longer ones (also good). Even though increasing read length increases computation time, it also increases the quality of the result. In the “worst” case you could just consider those reads as already-created contigs of several smaller overlapping reads.
Apr
18
answered What exactly are computers used for in DNA sequencing?
Apr
3
answered Robotic surgery for treating cancer?
Apr
3
comment Why do people dying of immune deficiency diseases appear sick?
This is arguing semantics. Viruses cause flu symptoms. That they cause them indirectly by way of several body reactions, some of them from the immune system, is just a way of viewing this. All actions and reactions in our body are mediated in some way or other. This doesn’t make them less real or causal.
Mar
15
awarded  Quorum
Mar
12
comment What are the various types of protein-protein interactions
Characteristics? They happen between proteins.
Feb
27
comment What can you tell about a person, having only their whole genome as information?
@nico True, as far as pieces of information are concerned. But as far as the information content goes, the numbers work out. Note that in information theory the information content is a logarithm of the number of different possible outcomes. Same here.
Feb
26
comment How and where, in the human brain, are memories stored?
“the analogy to an electrical circuit breaks down here” – it’s not really an analogy, and it doesn’t break down. This is how the brain works: not an analogy, but rather the actual mechanism. The only part missing is the dynamics in structure.
Feb
26
comment What can you tell about a person, having only their whole genome as information?
The first paragraph is (unintentionally?) misleading since you cannot extrapolate from the 0.00001% and conclude that the genome holds 10000-fold more information than 23andme is using: they are obviously picking their 0.00001% rather carefully. Given that there’s a SNP about every 100 bases, this then is the total increase of information you could gain about a single person – that is, a factor 100 over what 23andme is currently offering, not 10000.
Feb
26
comment What can you tell about a person, having only their whole genome as information?
More every day.
Feb
20
comment Defining paper(s) in epigenetics
Disappointingly, the papers so far all highlight the heritability of epigenetics whose usefulness is rather limited, rather than epigenetics itself.
Feb
14
comment What is the distinction between F' plasmid and R plasmid?
Can’t help myself …relevant (but here the better word would be “explanation”). Ed Yong thinks to, too.
Feb
14
answered What's the advantage of autocrine signalling?
Feb
14
comment Can protein structure be determined by X-Ray Diffraction in a single image?
@MadScientist I think the implication is that superimposed images are also used in EM to reconstruct the structure. The case is somewhat different of course since EM in general doesn’t use crystallised structures so that the proteins in the image don’t all have the same orientation, which is crucial.
Feb
13
comment Do humans have Coelom?
@Masi Well, where is the mesoderm in an adult human? Or any other adult animal? As far as I know, all of these definitions apply to (some stage of) embryo development. Not only for humans and not only for vertebrates but in general.
Feb
12
revised Do humans have Coelom?
More precise answer, not only based on phylogeny (flawed).