3,198 reputation
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location Cambridge, United Kingdom
age 29
visits member for 3 years
seen yesterday

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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cv-pic Resume


Dec
17
comment How to map the Gene name to its Gene Symbol?
Well, I agree that it’s a nuisance but we have stable identifiers (= don’t change) and services to translate between the different ones. It’s a solved problem (in that it may still require manual work, but not intellectual work).
Dec
17
answered How to map the Gene name to its Gene Symbol?
Dec
17
comment How to map the Gene name to its Gene Symbol?
“one of the greatest problems” – uh.
Dec
17
revised Why does the cold make us sick?
Typography
Nov
21
comment Can species back-evolve?
@Andrei I agree with your (implicit) points about cognition and, what Popper has termed, “world 3”. However, this is strictly outside of the scope of biological evolution (even though it’s a consequence). The “aim” of evolution is simply: to reproduce. This is the only measure of evolutionary fitness that counts. And by this measure, humans are usually not better, and sometimes worse, off than other species.
Nov
15
accepted How are antibodies designed?
Nov
15
comment How are antibodies designed?
@MattDMo Thanks for the info.
Nov
14
comment How are antibodies designed?
@MattDMo I know how the immune system does it. I was unclear of how you get from your choice antigen to a tailored antibody. KT8’s answer covers that (i.e. you do it by exposing an animal to your antigen and let its immune system do the work for you).
Nov
12
comment How are antibodies designed?
Very nice. However, where I’m still lacking understanding is the very first step, before the cloning process: how do you synthesise an antibody that binds to a target antigen?
Oct
13
comment How are the boundaries of a gene determined?
@ghchinoy Just as an example, I’m currently working on tRNA genes and since they’re using a different polymerase their promoter and termination site look markedly different. The same is true for all the other non-coding RNAs and then there are things like pseudogenes and LINEs/SINEs (those are not usually considered genes but due to their similarity to non-coding RNA genes they complicate the analysis). Still, there actually are bioinformatical methods to find those genes. They predominantly use motif search as far as I know.
Oct
2
awarded  Civic Duty
Oct
2
comment Are there any substance that are more dangerous at low dose than at higher dose?
+1 although I don’t think this is what OP was referring to because the effect is indirect rather than there being a toxic effect of the antibiotic of the host which decreases with increased dose.
Oct
1
comment Are there any substance that are more dangerous at low dose than at higher dose?
@Lo Unclear? It means that things get more toxic with increased dose, never the other way round.
Sep
30
comment Are there any substance that are more dangerous at low dose than at higher dose?
@David No, sorry. “no matter the dose” is also stretching it a bit – you always need some minimal amount, it’s just that the steepness of the curve varies.
Sep
30
answered Are there any substance that are more dangerous at low dose than at higher dose?
Sep
30
comment Is there life on other planets and if so how frequent?
It’s interesting to note that at least among leading astronomers there seems to be no question about this at all: the existence of extraterrestrial life is simply assumed. The only question is about when we find it, not whether (see e.g. some New Scientist issue from earlier this year).
Sep
30
comment Do Viruses produce a biomagnetic field?
Given that viruses are using the same building blocks as the rest of the known organisms (RNA/DNA), claiming that they do not belong to the tree of life sounds odd. Of course they do (as in, they share a common ancestor). Is this really a notable position?
Sep
30
comment Why are antibiotics prescribed with a viral infection like a cold?
@MCM Better cite sources for that since I know doctors who do prescribe antibiotics for the reason outlined in Bitwise’s answer. Can’t say I’m a fan of this wasteful use of antibiotics but there you go.
Sep
30
revised Have there been attempts to identify Chomsky's “language mutation” in humans?
Corrected spelling of Päabo’s name
Sep
30
awarded  Custodian