Archive for the ‘Fun science’ Category

Recent articles

August 1, 2013 Leave a comment

Just a small review of the articles I went through recently :

  • Why proper definition of any statistic matter. An article on the numerous Fst definitions, and their respective behavior with varying assumptions : MAF spectrum, samples size etc.  The article is very comprehensive and give a nice review of main concept around Fst.
  • Still around population genetics an article of my PhD supervisor on selective sweeps identification. The supporting information are also pretty worthy.
  • A nice review on measure of dependence it’s a  real relief to see alternative to the correlation coefficient do exist ! I must admit that pointless statements like “X and Y are correlated at 5%” just kill me.
  • “Encode returns” a reply to Graur’s article by Mattick and Dinger.
  • While at first glance its title may sound rather tautological, this article on long intergenic non coding RNA nicely shows that similar behavior (Ribosome occupancy) does not imply similar results (Protein coding). I wondered if the absence of stop codon in lincRNA (and thus the absence of ribosome release) impact the cell, but apparently lincRNA are not numerous enough to have any substantial effect.

Funny prizes

November 7, 2012 Leave a comment

I ‘ve been pretty occupied recently, but now that things are better here are two awards that none shall miss.

The ig nobel price 2012:

As mentioned on the website the price award “achievements that first make people LAUGH then make them THINK”. My favourite are :

  1. The FLUID DYNAMICS PRIZE. There is no way someone could convince me that this kind of work is not absolutely useful. Every day while going back from the cafeteria in Agribio up to the office I face the puzzling question addressed by these authors and apparently I am not the only one hoping for eventual extension to other cups form
  2. The PEACE PRIZE. If ammunitions had any interesting use, I guess i could be this one
  3. The LITERATURE PRIZE. I wish the title doesn’t sound so familiar.


I sometime feels like a having an obsessive compulsive disorder regarding the presentation of codes (most often when the code was written by someone else and of course contains bugs that I may/should find)…Yes, I like commented code, self explanatory variable name, a nice indentation…so for sure when you have to compile this, you may fear the worst. The improbable but bare truth is that the code can be compiled (I don’t say that the compiler is not a bit worry) and last but not the least the executable works ! The participants really know what they are doing, I guess some of them should be professional code golfer

Online courses

September 19, 2012 Leave a comment

Internet allow the best and the worst. I will skip the worst, (because everybody may already have some example in mind) to focus on one very nice facility Inter,et offer : Open Course.

First time I took advantage of these on-line courses was with Linear Algebra course tough by Gilbert Strang, I really enjoyed it.

Looking a bit deeper, several other such materials exist on the web so here is a first list :

And last but not the least, the freshly launched  Edx, which really sound very appealing (I am eager to test it)

While looking for “French resources”, I found very old courses on the INA website — the style (of both teacher and “students”) has nothing to do the other videos listed above (made 30-40 years later). More seriously, Canal-U, broadcast some courses and conferences, whereas ParisTech, began to list several resources (I have found so far most often courses notes, as the one present in cel, but I hope other kind of support will soon be offered).