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Comment: Facilities that people could use, but don't? (Score 2) 291

by luceth (#39384225) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Give IT Presentations That Aren't Boring?
I work in an academic genomics laboratory, and our tech staff are on the lab meeting rotation schedule. What they generally spend that time doing is presenting tutorials on interesting things you can do with our computational and networking infrastructure. For example, our admin implemented a really slick remote access server (Sun-branded, I think) and it was a nice chance for him to give a live demo of something that, at this point, a lot of us find useful. (Also a good chance for him to show us that he was earning his keep!) I agree with your assessment, though - avoid the utilization charts.
United States

+ - US Research Open Access In Peril->

Submitted by luceth
luceth (2407120) writes "Several years ago, the US National Institutes of Health instituted a policy whereby publications whose research was supported by federal funds was to be made freely accessible a year after publication. The rationale was that the public paid for the research in the first place. This policy is now threatened by legislation introduced by, you guessed it, a Congresswoman who is the largest recipient of campaign contributions from the scientific publishing industry."
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Science

Floating Houses Designed For Low-Lying Countries 173

Posted by samzenpus
from the down-the-river dept.
Zothecula writes "Venice may soon be sharing its 'Floating City' moniker thanks to a research project developing 'amphibian houses' that are designed to float in the event of a flood. The FLOATEC project sees the primary market for the houses as the Netherlands, whose low-lying land makes it particularly susceptible to the effects of rising sea levels. Such housing technology could also allow small island-states in the Indian and Pacific Oceans that are at the risk of disappearing in the next 100 years to maintain their claim to statehood through the use of artificial, floating structures."

Comment: Re:Yes! (Score 1) 65

by luceth (#36867962) Attached to: Personal DNA Sequencing Machine One Step Closer
Well, it was just installed a few weeks ago - hasn't seen a whole lot of use yet, so not too many experiences on which to base an opinion. A single run costs ~$400 (an order of magnitude less than an Illumina Hi-Seq run!), but only gets you 10-20 million bases of sequence. (A human genome has ~3 billion bases, and you need ~10-fold coverage to make sure you get each base. In the Nature paper, they sequenced Gordon Moore's genome - and it took about 1000 chips to do it.) There's some talk of using it to QA libraries before a Hi-Seq run - for $400, I think that makes a whole lot of sense. I'm not sure that talking about Illumina approaching the magical $1000 genome is quite on target, either. The other thing most people don't talk about is read length - an Illumina run will get you enough sequence, but it's only in 50-100 base chunks. Reassembling an entire 3 billion base genome (6 billion if you consider both haplotypes!) is either extremely difficult, or actually theoretically impossible, depending on who you ask. The $1000 genome X-prize is to sequence a single genome, for $1000, in one week, to the quality standards of the original Human Genome Project (1 error in 1000 bases, IIRC). To do that, you're going to need long-range sequence data. I think that the nanopore sequencing approaches, that read a single piece of DNA for hundreds of thousands of bases at a stretch, have a much better shot at getting there in the next few years. The other interesting thing about the Ion Torrent PGM is that the magic happens on the disposable chip - and that can be upgraded without the rest of the machine (sensor interface, fluidics) changing. The next generation of chips is spec'ed to produce 10x as much sequence, and it's already sampling at early access laboratories like Baylor and MIT.

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