ARB Comics!

This is an almost completely true account of me using ARB today.

Using ARB can be dangerous.

Apart from discovering the button that kills people in ARB, today was the first day that I thought about the absurdity of using 3 different alignment programs to get my work done:

  • I use SeaView to align my sequences and to view already-aligned sequences.
  • I use Clustal primarily for its “range information” function, to trim my sequences at my conserved trim targets.
  • I use ARB to import the alignments and make phylogenetic trees.

Perhaps one day, there will be one aligner program that does everything I need it to.  Do you hear me, you bioinformaticists out there??

Long Filaments of Bacteria Acting as Living Electrical Cables!

Imagine this: bacteria that need a metal to put electrons onto in order to respire.  It’s not too strange, really; we need oxygen to put electrons onto when we respire so in that sense it’s a similar mechanism.  These bacteria just use iron or molybdenum et cetera whereas we would use oxygen when we breathe. Continue reading “Long Filaments of Bacteria Acting as Living Electrical Cables!”

Why evolutionary narratives make me mad

Darwin’s reaction in the last panel sums up how I feel about society’s perception of natural selection. This comic was made by the amazing Claude TC of Gronk Comics.

Those of you who know me would know that I’m always complaining about popular science writing and reporting, and how they gloss over key points or (and this is my biggest pet-peeve) how they tend to misrepresent natural selection (I believe this really does harm to our society as a whole).
Continue reading “Why evolutionary narratives make me mad”