how I make a living: what is bioinformatics? (part #1)

I’m constantly asked to explain what I do for a living. Here is an attempt to do so in laypersons’ terms. I’ll assume my readers are non-scientists and non-engineers, but that they’ve taken a high school biology class. “Bioinformatics” is the application of mathematics and computer science to biological data, particularly molecular biology data. By […]

the science of gender identity (part 4: summary)

To prepare for a book I intend to write on the science of gender identity, I drafted the following three blog posts to collect my thoughts. They are highly technical; I need to recast the content for the layperson. I also assembled some of my own biological data to analyze. The first blog post, http://badassdatascience.com/2015/06/06/sci-gender-identity-01/, […]

the science of gender identity (part 3: psychology)

This is the third post in a multi-part series surveying the current science of gender identity, particularly with regard to the transgendered population. My first post on the subject covered proposed genetic associations and corresponding research. The second post on the matter discussed observed differences in brain anatomy between transgendered and cisgendered individuals. Here I […]

graph database for heterogeneous biological data

To assist with a project I’m working on, I recently implemented a substantial portion of DisGeNET as a graph database. Furthermore, I added MeSH, OMIM, Entrez, and GO into the database to facilitate linking of data between these sources. Here I briefly describe these data sources, describe graph databases, and then show how use of […]

the science of gender identity (part 2: brain anatomy)

This is the second post in a mult-part series surveying the current science of gender identity, particularly with regard to the transgendered population. In my previous post I discussed the proposed genetic associations and corresponding research. A future post, if I can find sufficient data, will address neuropsychology research related to the transgender experience. Here […]

the science of gender identity (part 1: genetics)

This is the first in a multi-part series surveying the current science of gender identity, particularly with regard to the transgendered population. I intend to discuss the genetic, brain anatomic, and neuropsychological findings of recent studies on the matter. As always, I will incorporate my own statistical analysis of raw study data wherever possible. Here […]

gene annotation database with MongoDB

After reading Datanami’s recent post “9 Must-Have Skills to Land Top Big Data Jobs in 2015” [1], I decided to round out my NoSQL knowledge by learning MongoDB. I have previously reported NoSQL work with Neo4j on this blog, where I discussed building a gene annotation graph database [2]. Here I build a similar gene […]

reporting negative results

Two of my recent posts have reported negative results, meaning that no meaningful effects were found during the investigations. Had these investigations been framed as hypothesis tests, we would have failed to reject the null hypotheses. Sounds boring. However there are good reasons to report these results. The first is that negative results still generate […]

synthetic biology: an emerging engineering discipline

In the last decade a new engineering disciple called “synthetic biology” has emerged. It differs from the science of biology in that it applies engineering strategies to the creation of cells that perform a desired task, such as the production of drugs or biofuels. It also differs from previous genetic engineering approaches by stressing the […]

rapidly extracting a subsequence from chromosome sequence data in Java

The Challenge We have a text file containing the nucleotides of a chromosome, say human chromosome 11, and need to be able to quickly extract a subsequence from the chromosome text given a nucleotide position and number of subsequent nucleotides to include. The problem is that chromosome files are huge, e.g. 135 megabytes for chromosome […]