PLoS SynBio Community Coverage of iGEM SBBSF

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Two major synthetic biology conferences took place last month. iGEM celebrated 10 years with a giant jamboree that was extensively covered by the PLoS Synthetic Biology Community. See for instance: Wrapping up iGEM 2014 Before they were famous: Interview with iGEM Team Heidelberg I personally attended SynBioBeta San Francisco. I wrote a short report of […]

Announcing gene synthesis course March 8-13 2015

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We are pleased to announce that we will be offering our gene synthesis course again in the spring 2015. Gene synthesis technologies are rapidly changing research paradigms in molecular biology. The purpose of this course is to provide students a practical understanding of gene synthesis. This training will help student integrate gene synthesis in their […]

Notes from Synbiobeta San Francisco 2014

Synbiobeta San Francisco 2014 is wrapping up this morning with a networking cruise in the bay that I won’t be able to join because I need to head to the airport in a few hours. This was the first time I could attend a Synbiobeta conference. The event has a very distinctive flavor to it. […]

Parameter estimation preprint

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We just submitted a revised version of a manuscript describing the analysis of data collected using our GenoSIGHT software. The paper shows that this data can be used to estimate parameters of gene network models. This manuscript is under consideration with PLoS Computational Biology. I am relieved that we were able to complete these revisions. […]

Surprisingly popular blog posts

It is a little surprising that the most popular entries ever posted on this blog are related to the use of industrial engineering methods in the context of a biomedical laboratory. 5S Applied to an Academic Lab – an Old Dog Learns New Tricks Using LIMS in an Academic Lab – Why and How? I […]

5S Applied to an Academic Lab – an Old Dog Learns New Tricks


When I interviewed for my present position in the Peccoud lab at the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute, David Ball gave me a tour of the lab and I immediately noticed that every item on a bench or desk was outlined with yellow tape and labeled. Also, cupboards and drawers had labels denoting their contents. I knew that Dr. Peccoud, had […]

Using LIMS in an Academic Lab – Why and How?

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All laboratories produce something, whether samples or spreadsheets. Ideally, every step in the process of making the product, including the origins of precursors and the physical or digital locations of the products, should be documented. I have worked in seven different academic labs, and they all dealt with this documentation in different ways and with […]

NIH proposal gets amazing score


The proposal to renew the funding supporting our collaboration with John Tyson was examined by the NIH study section last week. We got a score of 18, which places in the top 2%. At NIH a good score is a small score! This is the best score we got any proposal we submitted to NIH. […]

Ebola Vaccine Update


The development of vaccines against emerging diseases has been on my radar screen for several years as a potential biomedical applications of GenoCAD. The week has been rich in surprising stories about the development of an Ebola vaccine. The NY Times reported that an Ebola vaccine candidate had been developed 10 years ago. It showed […]