2,958 reputation
522
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location Cambridge, United Kingdom
age 29
visits member for 2 years, 8 months
seen Jul 12 at 21:39

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

I’m mainly working on genomics using next-generation sequencing data. My current thesis project is about the regulation of tRNA expression in mammals.

Here’s my …

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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
Sep
30
reviewed Reject suggested edit on How are different types of cells created from zygote?
Sep
18
comment How are antibodies designed?
@Alan I was actually talking about the monoclonal antibody design described in your previous link. The description there is quite good (mind writing up an answer?) although I’d wish for more detail in steps 1 & 2 … (there’s also a nice Wikipedia article but it’s less concise and not as well suited for an answer here, I think).
Sep
18
comment How and where, in the human brain, are memories stored?
@Preece But much of the work with neural networks isn’t really done in a context of AI research, it’s simply a tool in statistics, and here people are only interested in statistical properties, and it’s easy to show that a single hidden layer ANN is just as mathematically expressive as any more complex version so more complex versions are not just impractical, they are unnecessary. And on the AI / comp. neuroscience side of things there is a lot of research done in this area.
Sep
18
comment How and where, in the human brain, are memories stored?
@Preece I agree with all of your comment except the last sentence. Biology isn’t being neglected, it’s simply not relevant: neural networks in CS solve a problem, and that problem isn’t “try to model biology as accurately as possible”, nor is it trying to create a “classical” AI. It’s simply a statistical tool for pattern matching / clustering. That said, modelling the biology accurately would be interesting in its own right; it isn’t done for one simple reason: it’s not computationally feasible.