Science

DNA Synthesis Companies

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A number of new DNA synthesis startups have launched in the past few years. This post is a brief listing of the companies in the field (of which I’m aware), in no particular order. Some of these companies make short oligos on arrays, others make longer length genes, and some do both. For detailed information […]

Science

Solid-state nanopore animations for all occasions

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If a picture is worth a thousand words, then an animation is worth so much more. Here are some simplified animations to explain various translocation scenarios which often arise in solid-state nanopore experiments. These animations were made during the course of my PhD at the Cees Dekker lab at TUDelft. Vectorized Flash SWF versions can […]

Books

Thoughts on Books #5

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Fooled by Randomness by Nassim Nicholas Taleb The book focuses on a number of cognitive biases and how people tend to assign explanations to the products of random processes. It draws examples from the financial world where Taleb worked for many years, although many concepts could be generalized to other areas. The World is Flat […]

Books

Thoughts on Books #4

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Rubicon: The Triumph and Tragedy of the Roman Republic by Tom Holland Excellent look at the slow decline of the Roman Republic and the people in the upper echelon who brought this about. The roles of all the major players fromĀ  Sulla to Cicero are discussed in detail. It would seem that in 2000 years, […]

Books

Thoughts on Books #3

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The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable By Nassim Nicholas Taleb A brilliant book dealing with several cognitive biases and our understanding of risk. Many interesting ideas are explored within and they raise even more questions. I think I’ll do a dedicated post on this later. Baudolino By Umberto Eco This book was […]

Investing

What happened to our dreams of phage?

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I want to talk about bacteriophages and more specifically phage therapy, that is using phages to treat bacterial infections. While I have known about phages for several years, I’ve only recently gained enough knowledge in biochemistry to better appreciate the elegance of the solution they provide. Simply put bacteria evolve, chemicals (antibiotics) don’t. A changing […]

Linux

Ubuntu / Vista dual boot installation on a Sony VGN-FZ

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So you want to dual boot Ubuntu and Windows on your Sony VAIO VGN-FZ** laptop? Here is a quick guide to help you through the procedure. It will assume you are starting on a brand new laptop with Vista pre-installed. If this is not a new laptop then backup, backup, backup. Remove all the useless […]

Books

More books reviewed

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The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho This book has come with very high recommendations from several people I’ve met while travelling. Earlier this year I heard that a big-budget movie was being developed based on the book and knowing Hollywood’s terrible track record for movie adaptations, I definitely wanted to read the book before any movie […]

MEMS

Tutorial: 3d Visualization for MEMS

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Several months ago I was asked to comment on how I created the 3D visualizations for several MEMS designs. What follows is a step by step description of the process used. Tools Needed: gds2pov (http://atchoo.org/gds2pov/) POV-Ray (http://www.povray.org/) KLayout (optional) (http://www.klayout.de) LayoutEditor (optional) (http://layout.sourceforge.net) First, begin by exporting your model in GDSII format. I have found […]

Books

Book reviews

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I’ve compiled some short reviews of the books I’ve read recently. Adventure Capitalist by Jim Rogers (http://www.jimrogers.com) Good book chronicling one of the world’s longest road-trips by famed investor Jim Rogers at the turn of the millennium. While overall a great read, some countries are only briefly mentioned and he could have added more discussion […]