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GencoCon Showcases 2010 Award Winners and their Transgenic Arabidopsis Plants

GencoCon Showcases 2010 Award Winners and their Transgenic Arabidopsis Plants | GenoCon 2 | Scoop.it

Each GenoCon Contest focuses on a specific synthetic biology problem, and provides participants with a virtual laboratory (built on semantic web technology) for designing genetic solutions to the challenge problem. The GenoCon 2010 challenge problem was to develop a system for eliminating airborne formaldehyde in a model plant system, by using 2,000 base-pairs of synthetic DNA or less.

 

Of the 66 submissions, 6 contestant designs (along with several controls and researcher designed sequences) were constructed and tested for growth in the presence of different concentrations of formaldehyde and at different growth stages by the RIKEN Plant Science Center. 

To evaluate the sequence designs, we first synthesized DNA fragments and transformed them into Arabidopsis. Then we measured for formaldehyde tolerance – the ability of the transformant Arabidopsis to grow of under various formaldehyde concentrations in their media. 

Since formaldehyde causes plant damage, transformant plants that can detoxify formaldehyde must show stronger growth than the wild type plants that were used as controls. After the experiments, almost all transformant plants showed better growth than the wild type control plants, so we confirmed that most of the designs passed this challenge of our assignment. 

GenoCon scored the success of each design from the experimental results, and the GenoCon comittee made a comprehensive review and awarded winners in multiple categories.

 

http://genocon.org

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Twitter / GenoCon2: GenoCon2 2012 Contest for Synthetic Biology

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PBS NewsHour - Google+ - John B. Gurdon and Shinya Yamanaka share this year's Nobel…

PBS NewsHour - Google+ - John B. Gurdon and Shinya Yamanaka share this year's Nobel… | GenoCon 2 | Scoop.it
John B.Gurdon and Shinya Yamanaka share this year's Nobel Prize in Medicine and Physiology for their work in cellular reprogramming, 50 years after…...

How Yamanaka-san and Sir John Gurdon came to their idea! 

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/2012/10/-in-1962-john-b.html

 

Nobel Prize winner Sir John Gurdon talks to reporters on Oct. 8, 2012 in London. Gurdon and Shinya Yamanaka from Japan have both been awarded the Nobel prize for medicine or physiology for their work as pioneers of stem cell research. Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images.

 

In 1962, John B. Gurdon of the United Kingdom discovered that a cell removed from the gut of a frog contained all the genetic information necessary to create the whole frog. More than 40 years later, Shinya Yamanaka of Japan found that by introducing a few genes to a mature mouse cell, he could reprogram it into a stem cell, capable of developing into any cell in the body.

 

Gurdon and Yamanaka share this year's Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their work in cellular reprogramming, 50 years after Gurdon's initial discovery. Their work in stem cells has led to a wave of advances, from cloning animals to allowing scientists to create embryonic cells without having to destroy embryos.

 

Gurdon was still a graduate student when he first transplanted genetic information from the nucleus of an intestinal cell of one frog into the fertilized egg cell of another whose own nucleus had been removed. That cell was able to reprogram and develop into a tadpole, proving that even mature, specialized cells have all the information needed to transform an embryo into an adult.

 

He relied on a technique called nuclear transfer to transplant the nuclei. The discovery flew in the face of established opinion, since other more established scientists hadn't been able to successfully make such a transfer, and it was thought then that a specialized cell is irreversibly tied to its fate.

 

"We had to go through a few years, in a sense, of letting the results sink in," Gurdon said in an early morning interview with the Nobel committee.

 

The same year that discovery was published, Yamanaka was born. And 40 years later, he took the science a big step farther. His research identified the four genes that made it possible to reverse mature stem cells into their embryonic state without using nuclear transfer. The "induced pluripotent embryonic stem cells" could then go on to become nerve cells, heart cells, gut cells.

That finding opened the possibility for skin cells to be reversed to embryonic cells and then reprogrammed into nerve, heart or other tissue cells for medical uses and disease treatment. Such reprogrammed cells have not yet been used to treat patients.

 

"They showed us that it is not a one-way street, that a cell retains the ability to go back to what it was in a primordial state, that it could rewind all its potential," said David Scadden of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute. "What that means is...what we think of as highly restricted has the capacity to become any other cell. If we can engineer that process, that opens up new possibilities for regenerative medicine."

 

And that's Yamanaka's goal.

"My goal all my life is to bring this stem cell technology to the bedside, to patients, to clinics," Yamanaka told Adam Smith, editorial director of Nobel Media early Monday morning.

In this interview with KQED's Quest, Yamanaka talks about his recent research using stem cell-derived nerve cells to treat animals with spinal cord injuries.

 

(the video in the link) http://youtu.be/rcFibJmKZrU

 

Gurdon told Nobel Media's Smith that the finding highlights the importance of basic science, even if there isn't an immediate benefit to health.

 

"So often it happens that the practical or theraupeutic benefits comes along quite a long time after the initial discovery," he said.

NewsHour correspondent Spencer Michels featured Yamanaka in this 2007 report on stem cell research.

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/health/july-dec07/stemcell_10-08.html

 

Here's a story by KQED's Quest on the discovery. 

http://science.kqed.org/quest/2012/10/08/sf-scientist-wins-nobel-for-stem-cell-breakthrough/

 

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A New Dawn for Python

A New Dawn for Python | GenoCon 2 | Scoop.it

"Soon, young MOOCians, this shall be you"...

 

Members of Mechanical MOOC nation,

 

The rise of the Mechanical MOOC is nearly upon us--just days from now the gears will begin to turn. Here's some idea of what to expect:

 

How It WorksOnce a week, Mechanical MOOC will send an assignment message to your inbox. Each message will reveal great resources that exist on the open web. No new content is being created for this experiment--rather, the Mechanical MOOC will be combining open materials to make relevant packages just for you.

 

Mechanical MOOC warns that this is an experiment--the content from the different tools may not sync up exactly. We encourage to you explore the resources MOOC gives you, and the open web.

 

In each message, the MOOC will signal your attention towards some combination of:

- Selected readings from the course text, How to Think Like a Computer Scientist

- Video from MIT's 6.00 Introduction to Computer Science and Programming

- Exercises from Codecademy

- Homework sets from 6.189 A Gentle Introduction to Programming Using Python

 

And you always want to go to:

 

- OpenStudy's forums if you have questions, are struggling or just want to chat with other MOOCers.

 

The Mechanical MOOC will present the materials in a recommended order, but really you can attack them in whatever order you prefer--though it will almost always make sense to do the homework last.

 

--- Important: The Mechanical MOOC will not grade homework. In most cases you can check your own work using the Python interpreter. If you get stuck or can't come up with a correct answer, ask for help on OpenStudy. Remember, the goal here is to become a great programmer, not to submit a bunch of correct answers.

 

What I Do If I Encounter a Problem?Mechanical MOOC encourages you to see problems as learning opportunities. To wit:

- If there's a technical problem with the site, email the Mechanical MOOC.

- If you're stuck and want a quick question answered, consult OpenStudy's forums.

- If you're looking to discuss the problem or work through it with other people, email your fellow MOOC cluster members.

 

Mechanical MOOC thanks you for your valor thus far,

 

-- The Mechanical MOOC

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Animating the Web of Life and the Power of Networks

In the 21st century, we have moved beyond the "Tree of Life" metaphor.

 

In this RSA Animate, Manuel Lima senior UX design lead at Microsoft Bing, explores the power of network visualisation to help navigate our complex modern world.


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Bio-Computation (2012) - the powers of 10 workflows of Synthetic biology

A major difficulty when applying existing design tools to biological systems is the tiny size of their cellular building blocks. For synthetic biology to offer a useful medium for construction there needs to be ways of traversing length-scales from microns to metres. To do this David Benjamin of The Living Lab at Columbia University, New York is developing novel workflows that blend traditional design tools with new computational models of pattern formation in bacterial populations [10]. This allows for collective features of cells to bridge the gap and produce living and intelligent materials with features at scales useful for architecture. Although at an early stage, it is clear that embracing alternative and new design methods will be essential to the successful and efficient engineering of biological systems like these.

Tom Gorochowski in the article

Engineering + Biology = A Sustainable Future?

 http://www.experimentation-online.co.uk/article.php?id=1508

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GenoCon Best Design Award presented to Masahiro Mochizuki | GenoCon2

GenoCon Best Design Award presented to Masahiro Mochizuki | GenoCon2 | GenoCon 2 | Scoop.it

On the occasion of RIKEN Yokohama Institute Open Day, Sept. 29 BASE Div. Director Tetsuro Toyoda presented Masahiro Mochizuki with the GenoCon 2010 Best Design Award.

Comprehensive evaluation of the first GenoCon: “Based on the experimental results, we selected Masahiro Mochizuki for the Best Design Award. In evaluation, the GenoCon committee gave the highest rating to Masahiro Mochizuki’s idea for showing the best results in increasing the number of stoma in the evaluation experiments, and for the innovative quality of his original idea report.

 

Masahiro Mochizuki also got the Best Idea Award with his interesting idea to add stomagen, which increases stomatal density, even in the very limited DNA length. Since this idea does not directly affect plant tolerance, we could not evaluate his idea effectively. For a true evaluation it is better to check the absorption ratio of formaldehyde. In this case his design showed the best result under 0.75mM conditions. This concentration is strong enough for practical usage.” http://genocon.org/sw/wiki/en/cria303s3ria303s6i/

 

For more information on the GenoCon2 Synthetic Biology Genomic Design Contest held October 8 2012 – January 18, 2013 please visit the GenoCon2 Website. http://genocon.org/assignment-2012/assignment-b/

 

For further background on all GenoCon 2010 results including those of Masahiro Mochizuki’s research please see Results of Experimental Review http://genocon.org/sw/en/Results_of_Experimental_Review/cria303s2ria303s1i/

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Sep. 29, 2012 | Open Day | RIKEN Yokohama Institute / Yokohama City University

Sep. 29, 2012 | Open Day | RIKEN Yokohama Institute / Yokohama City University | GenoCon 2 | Scoop.it

In Japan? Come to RIKEN Yokohama Open Day! http://bit.ly/QrgZEA We will demo http://genocon.org and http://linkdata.org #riken_openday

RIKEN Yokohama Institute and Yokohama City University, Tsurumi Campus will hold our annual joint open house on Saturday, September 29.

 

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The Public BioBrick by UCL iGem and the London Hackspace

http://2012.igem.org/Team:University_College_London

https://london.hackspace.org.uk/

c-lab reports at http://c-lab.co.uk/events/right-or-risk-worlds-first-public-biobrick.html

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GenoCon2 Transgenic Arabidopsis plants designed as resistant to formaldehyde by a winner of GenoCon 2010

GenoCon2 Transgenic Arabidopsis plants designed as resistant to formaldehyde by a winner of GenoCon 2010 | GenoCon 2 | Scoop.it

"These Transgenic Arabidopsis plants were designed to be resistant to formaldehyde by a winner of the first GenoCon 2010

 http://genocon.org/assignment-2012/assignment-b/background-2012-challenge-b/

( the other images in this gallery are after the plants have been dried and encased in acrylic for preservation.)

"Formaldehyde is known as a harmful substance to the human body and cause sick house syndrome. If there was a plant which is able to absorb formaldehyde and remove it effectively, we might be able to prevent sick house syndrome by putting the plant in the room. However, general plants has little function to absorb formaldehyde. In GenoCon, we would like you to design DNA sequence to add such function to a model plant."

"The GenoCon2 Challenge B assignment builds on the same Design Challenge as in GenoCon 2010: design a DNA sequence conferring to the model organism Arabidopsis thaliana the functionality to eliminate and detoxify airborne formaldehyde.

Though this function has been successfully engineered in previous work, your task is to increase the performance of formaldehyde absorption. DNA sequences which improve upon previous designs or which use completely new methods to add this function to the plant to absorb and remove formaldehyde effectively are both accepted."

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Forget your fancy data science, try overkill analytics

Forget your fancy data science, try overkill analytics | GenoCon 2 | Scoop.it

Meet Carter S. He used to be a lawyer, but now he writes predictive models for an insurance company. Admittedly green in certain new or advanced modeling methods, he prefers to use simple algorithms and throw as much computing power as possible problems. He calls the technique “overkill analytics,” and it just won him his first contest on Kaggle, defeating more than 80 other competitors


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Amateur scientists build Lego-style synthetic BioBricks in public lab

Amateur scientists build Lego-style synthetic BioBricks in public lab | GenoCon 2 | Scoop.it

By Joel Winston

"While some may believe that science is better left to scientists, hundreds of amateur biologists around the world have been setting-up makeshift biology labs in their homes, garages and community centres. Some of these "biohackers" or "DIY biologists" have political motivations to open up science for all, a few attempt to address an absence of research in rare genetic diseases, some are curious and have a desire to learn, while others are taking part just for the sheer fun of it all.

Although "hacking" can carry negative connotations, it is clear that they are not the pipette-wielding revolutionaries they may sound like, and "hacking" is adopted more in the sense of playfully finding innovative and resourceful ways to build and modify. Groups have already developed novel lab equipment hacks including converting webcams into microscopes, building centrifuges out of drills and incubators out of picnic coolers. But despite such seemingly innocent hobbyist activities, biology as a science is also becoming more "hackable", thanks to the field of synthetic biology. This raises a number of ethical and safety issues, especially if the public were able to access the technology...."

http://bit.ly/VzdkIB


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GenoCon 2010 最優秀デザイン賞, 最優秀アイデア賞(望月氏) | GenoCon2

GenoCon 2010 最優秀デザイン賞, 最優秀アイデア賞(望月氏) | GenoCon2 | GenoCon 2 | Scoop.it

第1回 国際合理的ゲノム設計コンテスト 総評

 GenoCon Best Design Award presented to Masahiro Mochizuki  English also:  http://genocon.org/genocon-best-design-award-presented-to-masahiro-mochizuki/

Japanese: 

“実験で計測した成長スコアに基づいて、最優秀デザイン賞(望月氏)を決定しました。望月氏は気孔の数を増やすという斬新なアイデアとレポートの質の高さから、書類審査において審査員から最も高く評価され、また、実験審査でも最も良い成績を示しました。

 

また、限られた長さのDNA配列の中に気孔を増やす遺伝子を組み込むアイデアを盛り込んだ点で、望月氏の発想は面白く、最優秀アイデア賞も望月氏に決定しました。このアイデアはHCHOの吸収速度を高めても、耐性を強める方向には作用しないので、今回の実験方法では十分に評価できておらず、本当の評価はHCHOガスの吸収速度をはかることによっておこなわなければなりません。望月氏の形質転換体は0.75mMで良い成績を示しており、実際はこの濃度以下の環境下で用いるので実用的には問題はなく、実際の吸収速度がどれくらい大きくなっているかを今後調べるとよいと思われます。”

(GenoCon質問1)どのようにして課題解決の糸口をみつけられましたか?

(望月氏) 私のデザインでは主に2つのアプローチで効率的にホルムアルデヒトを無毒化することを目指しました。 一つは、ホルムアルデヒドを炭素源として取り込むため回路を植物に組み込むというものです。このアプローチは先行研究を参考にしたものですが、私はこの回路に必要な2つの遺伝子を融合し、コンパクトな1つの遺伝子によって、これを実現するというアレンジを加えました。GenoConの実験審査によって、このアプローチの有効性が示されたと考えています。 もう一つは気孔を増やす働きのある遺伝子を組み込んで、空気中からホルムアルデヒドを取り込みやすくするというアプローチです。これに関しては、GenoConの実験審査ではその有効性を証明することはできませんでしたが、植物体の構造の変化によって無毒化の効率向上を目指すという新たな観点を提案することができたと感じています。

(GenoCon質問2)受賞されたご感想をお聞かせください。

(望月氏) 私のアイデアやデザインの妥当性が専門家の視点から客観的に評価されたことを嬉しく感じました。

(GenoCon質問3)今後どのように科学への貢献をお考えですか?

(望月氏) 私は職業的科学者ではないので、研究機関の設備や機材を使って実験を行うことはできません。さらに、遺伝子組換えに関しては、安全性と法律の観点から個人で実験を行うのは非常に困難だという事情があります。その意味では、組換え実験を研究機関に任せて、コンピュータ上でのデザインのみで競うことができるGenoConは、私のようなアマチュア科学者が分子生物学に関わることができる非常に貴重な機会と言えます。 ですから、今後もGenoConを通して分子生物学・合成生物学に関わりを持ち続けたいと考えています。また、私がGenoConに提出し、現在は公開されているアイデアやプログラムが今後のGenoCon参加者を含む第三者に利用され役立てられることを期待しています。

(GenoCon質問4)GenoCon2へエントリーをする方へメッセージをお願いします。

(望月氏) GenoConは過去に例を見ない取り組みであるだけに難しく感じている方もいるかもしれません。そういう方には先行研究の模倣やサンプルプログラムの改良から始めることをお勧めします。自然界での進化が小さな変異の積み重ねで起きるように、うまく機能することが分かっているサンプルを少しずつ改良していくことがイノベーションへの近道です。私のGenoConのデザインもそのようにして試行錯誤の末にできあがったものです。

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Twitter / GenoCon2: GenoCon 2 2012 Overview Challenges and Deadline Schedule

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BioSearch for Synthetic Biology Team:SUSTC-Shenzhen-A - 2012.igem.org

BioSearch for Synthetic Biology Team:SUSTC-Shenzhen-A  - 2012.igem.org | GenoCon 2 | Scoop.it
The era of Partsregistry on mobile phone has arrived! With Biosearch on your iPhone, you can now check biobricks and partsregistry in the seminar room; You can design your genetic circuits when you are waiting for a bus! Biosearch is fully interacting with Partsregistry, http://partsregistry.org, and has all parts information of Partsregistry database with enhanced user-friendly interface.

 

Biosearch has a powerful search engine. Users can search parts and devices by type, by category, by keywords, etc. Our online survey shows that Biosearch has major improvement in search result ranking. In addition, our iPhone App has new functions including sharing, rating, adding bookmarks and downloading to local system. These new functions shall promote the communicating and sharing between synthetic biologists. The Biosearch is going to be available on Apple Store and is free to use. http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/biosearch-for-synthetic-biology/id563225680?mt=8

 

Biosearch:A Portable Synthetic Biology Research Tool

 

With Biosearch, users can find and check the information that they need much more quickly and conveniently, free from the constraints of the network conditions and location restrictions. Researchers can build their biobrick framework anywhere, anytime.

 

At the same time, in Biosearch, on the 'more' page, there is a 'learn!' part. In this part, there are 'Synthetic biology', 'Assembly' and 'Parts'.In 'Synthetic biology', the part shows the user 'What is Synthetic Biology' and 'Why Synthetic Biology base on standard parts'. This part is very useful for the freshman. Users can quickly introduce synthetic biology to the novice and people interested in it.

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Asia iGem Jamboree - 2012.igem.org

Asia iGem Jamboree - 2012.igem.org | GenoCon 2 | Scoop.it

Looking forward to a report from our attendee at the iGem Asia Jamboree 2012 in Hong Kong October 5-7! 

The International Genetically Engineered Machine Competition 2012

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ROSALIND: an addictive bioinformatics learning site | Byte Size Biology

ROSALIND: an addictive bioinformatics learning site | Byte Size Biology | GenoCon 2 | Scoop.it

OOoh - DIY bioinformatics - this looks like a great teaching and learning resource!

 

"Mission statement: We hope that Rosalind will inspire a new generation of bioinformatics students by attracting biologists who want to develop vital programming skills at their own pace in a unique environment as well as programmers who have never been exposed to some of the stimulating computational problems generated by molecular biology."

http://rosalind.info/

 

http://mechanicalmooc.org/

A Gentle Introduction to Python could be useful...!


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Experimentation - Engineering + Biology = A Sustainable Future?

Experimentation - Engineering + Biology = A Sustainable Future? | GenoCon 2 | Scoop.it
An introduction to synthetic biology which has the advantages of being adaptable and sustainable.

Article in Experimentation Online by Thomas Gorochowski @chofski 

"...young engineers must step up to the challenge. They need to adopt a new mindset and tackle the major hurdles of working with living cells by developing methods that can both control and harness the multi-level, unpredictable and dynamic nature of these systems. This is very different to the well behaved and predictable materials they are used to, but biology offers many compelling advantages including an ability to adapt to changing environments and most importantly - sustainability."

also includes interesting video "Bio-Computation" by David Benjamin of The Living Lab at Columbia University http://vimeo.com/45504767#

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Translational Bioinformatics: Transforming 300 Billion Points of Data

Translational Bioinformatics: Transforming 300 Billion Points of Data into Diagnostics, Therapeutics, and New Insights into Disease Air date: Wednesday, June...
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Next-Generation Digital Information Storage in DNA

Next-Generation Digital Information Storage in DNA | GenoCon 2 | Scoop.it

by

George M. Church, Yuan Gao, Sriram Kosuri

"Digital information is accumulating at an astounding rate, straining our ability to store and archive it. DNA is among the most dense and stable information media known. The development of new technologies in both DNA synthesis and sequencing make DNA an increasingly feasible digital storage medium. We developed a strategy to encode arbitrary digital information in DNA, wrote a 5.27-megabit book using DNA microchips, and read the book by using next-generation DNA sequencing."
http://bit.ly/Pf4vyV


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GeneEd - Genetics, Education, Discovery

GeneEd - Genetics, Education, Discovery | GenoCon 2 | Scoop.it

High school students, teachers and anyone else interested in genetics now have a remarkable educational resource called GeneEd.

 

Developed by the National Library of Medicine in collaboration with the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), GeneEd explores topics such as cell biology, DNA, genes and chromosomes. The colorful website also delves into heredity/inheritance patterns, epigenetics/inheritance and the environment, genetic conditions, evolution, biostatistics, biotechnology, DNA forensics, and top issues in genetics.

 

"We are delighted to partner with the National Library of Medicine on this new initiative, which aligns very nicely with NHGRI's mission to enhance K-12 genetics and genomics education nationally," said Vence L. Bonham, Jr., J.D., branch chief of NHGRI's Education and Community Involvement Branch in the Office of Policy,

 

Communication and Education. "We envision that the next iteration of GeneEd will focus increasingly on areas such as cancer genomics and genomic medicine."

 

The site features research articles, animation, games, videos, interactive tutorials and labs and experiments that teachers can use to introduce topics, supplement existing materials and recommend to students conducting research. In addition, NHGRI's Talking

 

Glossary of Genetic Terms has contributed 3D animations, professional illustrations, and definitions to provide the new website with vivid imagery and reinforce genetic concepts.

 

Text varies from easy-to-read to advanced reading levels, which makes this a versatile tool both in and out of the classroom.

 

Specialty pages, including 'teacher resources' and 'labs and experiments', highlight tools teachers may find particularly helpful. Other specialty pages, such as 'careers in genetics' and 'highlights', introduce the new and noteworthy in the field of genetics.

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The Elements of Bioinformatics

The Elements of Bioinformatics | GenoCon 2 | Scoop.it
An interactive periodic table of common bioinformatics tools and their alternatives.

- the Elements of Computational Genomics - commented Grant Jacobs

http://sciblogs.co.nz/code-for-life/2012/04/03/a-bioinformatics-periodic-table/

 

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"Game On" | Genome Technology | Informatics | on GenomeWeb

"Game On" | Genome Technology | Informatics | on GenomeWeb | GenoCon 2 | Scoop.it

By Mathew Dublin on GenomWeb  "Despite the funding limitations — and the formidable challenge of designing a game that people will want to play — gaming is gaining traction and enjoying a favorable reception from the research community."

 

Gamers have recently produced innovative solutions to tough genomics challenges. First regarded as a curiosity, gaming is now becoming a branch of bioinformatics.

 

Fodit: University of Washington
Phylo: McGill University
EteRNA: Canegie Mellon and Stanford University
Gene Games - GeneESP, Combo: Scripps Research Institute
Molt: Universtiy of California:
ImageJS: University of Alabama at Birmingham

 

"Combining gaming and genomics may sound odd, but play can produce useful data. By presenting complex biological problems as games and distributing those games far and wide, researchers can take advantage of a large network of virtual computation in the form of thousands of players. Games can also harness the natural human ability for pattern recognition and take advantage of the ways in which the human brain is better at that than even the most powerful supercomputer.

 

One of the first games to harness the power of the crowd was Foldit, which was developed by the University of Washington's David Baker in 2008. Foldit encourages players to solve protein structure prediction problems by folding proteins into stable shapes.

 

Last September, an elite contingent of 15 Foldit players used molecular replacement to solve the crystal structure of a retroviral protease from the Mason-Pfizer Monkey Virus, which causes simian AIDS.

 

Baker's team published a paper in Nature Structural & Molecular Biology describing how the solutions facilitated the identification of novel structural features that could provide a foundation for the design of new antiretroviral drugs. According to the authors, this marked the first time gamers solved a longstanding -biological problem

 

Then in December 2010, a team from McGill University rolled out Phylo, a Sudoku-like game that utilizes players' abilities to match visual patterns between regions of similarity in multiple sequence alignments. Phylo's designers reported in a PLOS One paper published in March that, since the game's launch, they had received more than 350,000 solutions produced by more than 12,000 registered players.

 

Last year, a group from Carnegie Mellon University and Stanford University released an online game called EteRNA, the purpose of which is to help investigators envision RNA knots, polyhedra, and any other RNA shapes that have yet to be identified. Top designs are analyzed each week to determine if the molecules can fold themselves into the 3D shapes predicted by RNA modeling software.

 

Purposeful play

More "games with a purpose" — as they are sometimes called — aimed at solving biological problems are in development.....

 

Register quickly here for free access on genomeweb http://www.genomeweb.com/user/register?destination=node/1122001

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