6,271 reputation
12858
bio website blahah.net
location Cambridge, UK
age 28
visits member for 2 years, 2 months
seen Apr 9 at 17:12

PhD student in Plant Sciences at Cambridge working on dissecting the molecular basis of C4 photosynthesis. Formerly plant biologist, data analyst, bioinformatician and programmer at the Millennium Seed Bank.

My expertise is in plant biology, genomics, transcriptomics and computational biology.

I write software in Objective-C, C++, Ruby, Python, Javascript and R.

Solvers.io is my attempt to help highly skilled developers use their skills to benefit the world's poorest, or to help solve crucial scientific problems.


Aug
3
revised When is the lactase in lactose-free milk active?
fixed a typo, clarify
Aug
3
comment Why *don't* all ants have wings?
@OldCurmudgeon it wasn't clear until you added that last section that you were only talking about ants; it sounded like you were making general statements about when it's good to have wings and then specialising the case for ants.
Aug
3
comment Why *don't* all ants have wings?
Also flying could easily improve foraging or hunting success at a greater rate than the increased protein cost of growing and maintain wings. Unless you can provide some referenced support for your reasoning I think I disagree with almost all your points, so -1
Aug
3
comment Why *don't* all ants have wings?
It could easily be good to have wings when under attack - if you can fly away from a conflict that's a whole extra dimension of escape routes compared to those available to a flightless animal.
Aug
3
comment Evolution of long necks in giraffes
Competition for research? Giraffes must be more advanced than I've been giving them credit for!
Aug
2
revised Is the theory of evolution being disproved by bats?
added 140 characters in body
Aug
2
reviewed Approve suggested edit on Absorption ratios 260/280 and 260/230 for RNA
Aug
2
comment Is the theory of evolution being disproved by bats?
@Mechanicalsnail yes, but given the asker thought bats' wings were an extra limb, I went for non-technical vocabulary.
Aug
2
comment Is the theory of evolution being disproved by bats?
@nico I certainly didn't mean the theory of evolution is immune to testing or falsification, but that saying 'I can't imagine how X trait evolved, therefore the theory is wrong' are not valid challenges to the theory. My answer was more of a grumpy tirade than a proper answer :)
Aug
2
comment Is the theory of evolution being disproved by bats?
+1 classic paper, and good point
Aug
1
comment How does the brain instinctively know the math behind Newtonian Physics?
I agree with @nico, a child does have the intellectual power to calculate trajectories and launch energies, and they develop the ability through trial and error. Your question is backwards - the brain doesn't know the math until it explictly learns it, and you don't need math to interact with physical systems, only to describe them in the abstract.
Aug
1
answered Is the theory of evolution being disproved by bats?
Aug
1
comment Shortest strings not present in the human genome
@KonradRudolph can you turn that into an answer and expand on it? Sounds interesting but I'd love to know why it would be that hard and what that solution would look like.
Aug
1
reviewed Reject suggested edit on What is the difference between naive and adjusted p-values in a GWAS study?
Jul
31
comment What is the difference between naive and adjusted p-values in a GWAS study?
Agree, including the unadjusted p-value is just waving around a big red herring.
Jul
31
comment What is the difference between naive and adjusted p-values in a GWAS study?
I would have liked to +2 this: +1 for an excellent, precise answer and +1 for xkcdification.
Jul
31
comment What is the effect of a pure-oxygen environment on a plant?
why would radioactivity make a difference?
Jul
31
comment What is the effect of a pure-oxygen environment on a plant?
+1 This is the answer I would have written
Jul
31
comment Can parents' learned traits be transmitted genetically?
Vote to reopen - whilst the other question is similar, there are specific features related to the human case which warrant a separate answer (which I was just about to post when the Q was closed!)
Jul
31
comment Can parents' learned traits be transmitted genetically?
@KonradRudolph he's right that many studies claim increased stress-related disorders in Holocaust survivors' offspring. I'll write up a full answer and include some. The key point is that none of those studies claim it's a genetic effect; that was an assumption of the asker.