Best new omics word: the beardome – absolutely brilliant

Not much to say other than that this is awesome: The Beard-ome : Oscillator: “Christina Agapakis”.
Hat tip to Bora

WANTED: Used Roche GS FLX sequencer; ready to buy

Well, I have been looking around on the web for a bit and figured I should just post to my blog. We are in the market for a used Roche GS FLX sequencer. Anyone know of one for sale? We had planned to buy a new one but with the 3rd generation sequencers coming out soon it seems unwise to spend 500K on a new machine. But I like the current capabilities in the Roche GS FLX, as well as the apparently soon to be released ~1000 base pair reads. So we still would like to have the technology here at UC Davis. So if you know of one for sale, please let me know.

Looking to open access (preferably w/ CC licenses) review papers covering introduction to phylogenetic trees and methods

I am teaching a class this spring and as part of the class am having one lecture on “Phylogenetic trees and methods.” I would like to link to (and be able to mix and match material from) some review paper on this topic. So I am searching for something that is Open Access and preferably with a broad Creative Commons license. Anyone know of anything good?

JGI User Mtg Day3 notes (coming up Rita Colwell, ex head of NSF)

Here are links to the Friendfeed Notes for today

And the Joint Genome Institute’s User Meeting Begins (posting notes/feeds here)

Will be posting my notes and feeds (e.g., Friendfeed) here – so stay tuned if you want to hear about the JGI User Meeting

Pictures here:

FriendFeed Notes on Talks here:

CA Proposition 16: PG&E’s outrageous, offensive, misleading initiative

Just heard an ad on the radio from the Vote Yes on Proposition 16 campaign here in California.  And got a heads up from a friend about it too. Just to cut to the chase before getting into detail – this initiative is horrendous and deceptive.  Here are some details 

From Ballotpedia.Org:
The proposed constitutional amendment would require a two-thirds majority vote of local voters before a local government could:

It is being pushed by promoters as the “Californians to Protect Our Right to Vote.” bill.  But really what this is a move by PG&E to help it make more money.  Some comments/questions

1. Why is the only major donor to the Vote Yes campaign PG&E?  See here for more detail on donors, where as of today the top donors are all PG&E. 

2. Every editorial I could find came out vigorously against it:

3. Not surprisingly, many other utilities have come out against this, as it clearly favors PG&E, aka the status quo.  I am not overly sympathetic to the opinions of these other utilities but it seems that the initiative is more about reducing competition than in favoring democracy.
4. One thing that really annoys me is the component of the proposition that a two-thirds majority vote will be required before local communities can change their energy plans.  To then say that this initiative is about protecting our right to vote is just absolutely offensive.  What this is a way to try and make change of any kind very very difficult.  In this day and age, with energy becoming more and more of an issue, we should have as much flexibility as possible.  What we do not need is an initiative that requires a 2/3 majority to make changes.
5. The most astonishing aspect of the proposal has been some of the words from the head of PG&E, as reported in the Mercury News

Asked why the company was sponsoring the initiative, Darbee referred to the 2006 battle in which it spent more than $11 million to prevent Davis, Woodland and West Sacramento from defecting to the Sacramento Municipal Utility District.

“So it was really a decision about could we greatly diminish this kind of activity for all going forward rather than spending $10 (million) to $15 million a year of your money to invest in this,” Darbee told the shareholders. “The answer was yes.”

So basically this is there way to limit the choices of cities by putting this on a statewide ballot.  In essence, whether liberal or conservative, Democrat or Republican, I can’t see why anyone would support this Proposition.  A conservative could easily see this as  PG&E trying to be the big hand of government to take away taxpayer choice.  A liberal could see this as a company using their money to buy votes and prevent choice in energy usage.  I really cannot see any potential upside in this for anyone but PG&E.  Lovely

Simple solution.  Vote No on Proposition 16.  More comprehensive solution would be to actually punish PG&E for the audacity and idiocy of this measure as well as the misleading nature of all of their ads and claims about it.  Not sure how to do that but boy do they deserve it.

UC Regents 3/24 public/ustream discussion of recent "intolerance" issues

Just got this announcement:

“The UC Board of Regents, at its March 24 meeting, will hold an extended public comment period and discussion of recent incidents of campus intolerance and UC’s efforts to address them.

The Office of the President will provide live streaming video of the discussion, available to members of the public and the UC community at:

The public comment period begins at 8:30 a.m., Wednesday March 24. Following that 40-minute period, President Mark Yudof, Regents Chairman Russell Gould, Interim Provost Lawrence Pitts, Senior Policy Advisor Christopher Edley and select chancellors will discuss the recent events and the actions they are taking to ensure that these types of incidents do not occur in the future.

For employees who are unable to watch the proceedings live, an archived tape will remain available at the same web address: “

Phyloseminar.Org 3/29 Streaming talk by Jens Lagergren on Gene Family evolution

Just got his email from the organizer of Phyloseminar.Org:

On March 29th, will present Jens Lagergren speaking

on “Probabilistic analysis of gene families with respect with gene

duplication, gene loss, and lateral gene transfer.” Abstract below.

NOTE: the seminar will begin at 10h PST, which is three hours earlier

than the previous seminars.

This is 13h Eastern Standard Time, 19h Central European Time, and 6h

in Christchurch and Auckland!

Here’s the abstract:

Incongruences between gene trees and corresponding species trees are

common. Gene duplication, gene loss, and lateral gene transfer are

three types of evolutionary events that can cause such incongruences.

I will first describe a probabilistic process that contains standard

models of nucleotide substitutions (i.e., such that underly

probabilistic methods for phylogenetic tree reconstruction) as well as

gene duplication and gene loss. This process takes place in a given

species tree and can be used to reconstruct a gene tree for a gene

family of interest and simultaneously reconcile the gene tree with the

species tree. I will describe the algorithms available for this model

and also describe how they perform on biological data compared to

competing methods. Finally, I will describe an extension of this model

that also contains lateral gene transfer and show how it performs on

synthetic data.

Hope to see you there!

Bad omics word of the day: Bibliome

(Note – this was supposed to be published tomorrow but clicked the wrong button – so we will have two today – yay)

And here is a doozy.  The bad omics word of the day is … Bibliome. See for example, the source of all knowledge (Wikipedia): Bibliome – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Which also refers to some other related omics words the literaturome and the textome.  Now, every one at once, 1,2, 3, groan.

Back to the bibliome which is described in Wikipedia as follows:

“The bibliome is the totality of biological text corpus. This term was coined around 2000 in EBI (European Bioinformatics Institute) to denote the importance of biological text information. 

The first uses seem to be in and around 2001. See this article from Nature Reviews Genetics in 2001 Mining the bibliome.  And another one with a very similar title in EMBO in 2002: Mining the Bibliome (with some other words in the title).  And another one in Pharmacogenomics entitled Mining the bibliome. 

And though I would have thought and hoped that it would not get used much it has shown up here and there for a while (see for example Ten thousand views of bioinformatics: a bibliome perspective.). 

So here is a question – what exactly is “the totality of biological text corpus”?  And does this thing, whatever it is, need an omics word?

Hat tip to @rdmpage and others for pointing this one out.

Bad omics word of the day: epitehliome epitheliome

The Bad Omics Word of the Day: Epitheliome. Not really much to say. See for example:

The epitheliome: agent-based modelling of the social behaviour of cells. [Biosystems. 2004 Aug-Oct] – PubMed result

Hat tip to Steve Koch on Friendfeed for this.