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Conferences

Bracing for impact

Preparing for coming bioinformatics conferences, I shudder to think of the talks that sound great in the program but turn out just to be the nth naive bioinformatician. Five things I really don't want to hear again this (but probably will) later this year.
  1. Reductionism and Better understanding used in conjuction with biologist, who supposedly don't get the whole picture because they only study one protein in their life. Used by computer science graduates that just downloaded two different data sets from the web, whacked it through R and think the biologists were just waiting for it.
  2. Overviews that consist of introduction, methods, results, discussion and conclusion but no word on the subject.
  3. Pointing out groups of genes as interesting and ask for experimental validation thereof. Every gene is interesting be it conserved or specific, abundant or crucially regulated. The most boring gene would be highly interesting, wouldn't it?
  4. Complaining about errors in public data bases. A common theme in presentation from people who were incapable of restocking the pipet tip racks are pointing out errors in annotations or relabeling of genes. Such behaviour should be punished by taking those peoples code and highlight the errors in their comments (or lack thereof) on the conference web site.
  5. Names of proteins - If you've been working on isolating a protein it's your undisputed right to christen it. If you want to call it after the teenage mutant ninja turtles or simply p4.1, go ahead. If you have named your variables $aaa, MainClass.java or britney.h you are just as guilty anyway.
Thanks, but no, thanks, Dr. Freeman, I have no use for your crowbar now that I wrote this rant.

Computer generated paper delivered at conference

BoingBoing just announced that papers generated via SCIgen were in fact presented at the WMSCI 2005 conference. Kind of. I found the paper generator pretty original to begin with and it has been in the list of noteworthy links for some time.

Estonian bioinformatics conference

There is a Northern Europe series of Bioinformatics conferences - this year it's in Estonia and the program sounds better than ISMB or RECOMB.
I only learned of it recently - haven't decided whether I go (getting there seems to be some kind of a drag) but it's good to see other conferences emerging.

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