Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A good use of Resources - Methinks

So trawling through the internet one fine day - I found this:

Not for the squeamish - forewarned is forearmed. Couldn't do it these days....


Thursday, March 19, 2009

I'm out and I'm proud

Hello my name is Eppendork and I write a pseudononymous sci-curious blog.  I started this as a way for me to blog about (crap) important stuff that was going on in my search for just the right kind of scientist I wish-hope-wanna be.  Little did I know I would find out that I had a latent talent girls and boys - not hula hoop dancing, not how many M&M's could possibly fit in your mouth should you ever try, not intuitively knowing Gregory House style that the cat likes the warmth feverishly dying people give off.  No darlingks I Eppendork - Current Queen of the Pink Gingham - have (Eppendork hangs her head - sigh) an apparent latent talent for writing scripts - computer program scripts - not pharmaceutical scripts before you get excited.  

Figure 1: Yes, Eppendork does look this hot, but will try hard in the future not to search for hot geek girl or eve comp geek girl in Google.

I wrote my first real script today that actually did something useful rather than "Hello World" or similar.  It was a short little script and it really only changed a few things in the database but it saved me work and I wasn't expecting to feel proud of myself for doing it - but I did (blush).    I kinda feel like scripting will save a shedload of time and effort in taking care of my db's (eww listen to me db's) in the future.    


Monday, March 9, 2009

Open Letter to Adobe

Dear Creators of Adobe Illustrator,

I am a great fan of Adobe - where would be without our faithful versions of journal articles?  I for one am really, really grateful - I love my interesting reading and pretty, pretty pictures therein associated with said articles.  However, Eppendork is not a computer geek - although evidence to the contrary (learning various scripting languages should not be taken as evidence of the former), and finds programmes such as Illustrator very cool, just not very intuitive at all.  

Figure 1: Any of these geeks will do - I am sure the Apple guy will know!

I spent an hour and a half this morning trying to figure out how to import a picture and then recolour it - figured the first bit out pretty quick - the rest of the time to figure out the later.  Sufficient to say Eppendork is not stupid - just hasn't worked with your program before.  I would be completely in your debt if your computer savvy boffins could figure it out for me and other non-computer geeks. 

Luv and Hugs,


Saturday, March 7, 2009

Apparently I am not the only one...

I now have had Waterloo running around in my head all week - that will teach me to share the ABBA love.   I do have things I want to blog about soon - but they need to ruminate a bit so they get all nice and smelly and good.

That is all.


Tuesday, March 3, 2009

For Phizzle and Juniper! Abba's got your back!!!

For Phizzle cause some times doing PhD bump and grind is more grind than bump and Juniper I have fingers crossed - Abba is the cure - there is no ill they cannot cure - also Muriel's wedding will just cheer you up so I give you "Waterloo" Muriel styles.

Love and hugs


Although Im not comfortable with a shiney white catsuit - have totally danced like this before.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Slick moves by the ID God squad

So Eppendork was sitting contemplating her bejewelled navel, as you do on a slow Monday morning, when she came across a pretty cool paper. And now I think the mechanisms behind diphasic flagella in Salmonella are pretty fucking cool.  I mean the switch mechanism is just that hot. So here’s how it goes – Salmonella have two flagellin loci in the genome – not terribly unusual for bacteria – kinda cool not that that interesting – the interesting bit comes in the form of the switch that allows the Salmonella cell to express only one form of flagellin subunit either fliC or fljB (the genes are only expressed alternately, such that you can have only one form of flagellin - no mixies going on, or so they thought).  

As far as I can tell fliC is transcribed constitutively by the cell – which is fine if that’s all it ever does then it will only have a phase 1 flagellin – however if the fljB is thrown – well it all gets interesting (if it is you get a phase 2 flagellin).  The flagellin 'switch' are two proteins Hin and Fis, working in conjunction with each other to cause the inversion of the the fljB/fljA operon, which is normally inverted.  Normally this operon remains dormant and isn’t expressed, but invert it and bobs your uncle you have a working operon.  And this is where it gets cool – fljA is expressed, it then latches on to the constituitively expressed fliC rendering it unable to be translated! It never gets translated so fljA acts as a gatekeeper/mediator of fljB/fliC expression. And export! Previously it was thought that if fljB is expressed then fljA must be acting as a transcription repressor – but it’s not its working posttranscriptionally – how cool is that? Eppendork thinks its hot shit so to speak. 

Figure 1: Salmonella rocking an improperly prepared egg sandwich somewhere near you this lunchtime....

Which of course made me think about intelligent design – cause you gotta admit the complexity of this switch could give the foaming at the mouths id nutters cause for joy.  The complexity and yet at the same time simplicity of it is stunning (the science to prove it was very cool - kudos people).   So one thing lead to another when you are moi and here is where I ended up - that’s right peoples the concept of irreducible complexity – id proponents favourite chew toy.  So I will dissemble for the non up-to-date with a quick evolution primer: the idea floating around is that there are certain biological systems are too complex to have evolved as they are – that there had to be an intelligent designer ie a God figure that created them just so and that if you took one piece of the design away it would all fall to pieces and all would be lost (IC has validity - just not the denial of evolution which is just sniffing some bad mojo).  I may sound a bit sarky over here at the real scientists table but I have had this q and a with many different people - I am still firmly Darwin's bitch. But any who, nuff said on the snarchasm between Eppendork and the ID God squad.    

The problem with the ID God squad is that they are slick - they have some pretty "solid" evidence - eyeballs, the bacterial flagella, antibodies, gene cascades - the "list" goes on - and they present pretty vids with tbh sexy cgi, and if you didnt know better you would think - that's reasonable. Well sorry sonny-Jim it isnt reasonable - it's insidious - i mean seriously have you looked at bacteria lately?  Huh? Have you?  They are like the poster child for Natural Selection and evolution - now showing in your local armpit! and you guys are holding them up as perfect examples of the Creator's intelligent design?? FFS - scuse Eppendork's language - she may be ranting now.  So I am putting the verbal crow bar down now and walking away - I found this on youtube (may I say god bless spewtube for all its unsolicited and uncensored offerings) I like it - it's reasonable and based on the dirty word round the ID halls of residence (S.C.I.E.N.C.E).

Figure 2: Good point!


PS: Eppendork is not an Atheist - she fully believes in God - just not licentious ID dribble - that is all.

PPS:  My favourite bits about the you tube videos are the unsolicited comments - god bless them all :)