From Life comes Art- So what about DNA

everyone is talking about DNA 11 a Canadian company that turns your DNA into high design.It’s as easy as taking a cotton swab sample from the inside of your cheek and selecting a color scheme and print size. In just a few weeks you’ll have a one-of-a-kind DNA portrait from

Store Digital data with live bacteria

A research team said this week it had developed a technology for storing digital data in the DNA of bacteria, which unlike most living organisms can survive for millennia in the right conditions.

Japanese researchers have successfully stored messages in the DNA of bacteria. The hardiness of the hay bacillus bacteria ensures the digital data encoded into them can last for millenia.

Generally found in soil or decaying matter, hay bacillus are exceptionally resistant to extreme weather conditions. Two megabits (data equivalent to 1.6 million Roman letters) can be stored in each bacterium of hay bacillus in the form of implants. These tiny implants can be extracted in a lab and read like ordinary text at a later date.

Each hay bacillus bacterium can store two megabits — the equivalent of 1.6 million Roman letters. The scientists can take out the microscopic implants in a laboratory and read them so they appear as ordinary text.

The team at Keio University’s Institute for Advanced Biosciences said the technology needs to be perfected but that it was optimistic about its future uses.

“If I wanted to store my personal diary in these live bacteria and take it with me to my grave, then my story can live for thousands and thousands of years,” head researcher Yoshiaki Ohashi said with a laugh.

In practical terms, the technology could eventually benefit companies such as pharmaceutical makers which want to “stamp” their brand.

“In doing so, the company can detect piracy and protect its patent. They can also store information at one specific area of the gene and retrieve it from there,” Ohashi said.

The researchers insert the data at four different places so even if one is disrupted, there would be backup.

But the team said they still needed to work before the technology could go on the market. In particular, the scientists need to ensure that the DNA will not be altered as live bacteria naturally evolve.

Hay bacillus bacteria are generally found in soil or decaying matter and are especially resistant to extreme weather.

One of the practical applications of this technology lies in the area of pharmaceuticals. Fraudulent drugs are a major problem but if pharmaceutical companies could “stamp” their signature into the drugs, it would prevent piracy and at the same time protect their patents. To prevent corruption of the message encoding, the data would be inserted into 4 different places as multiple backups.
The bacteria’s hardiness and ability to preserve data for future generations would also be extremely useful in storing vast amounts of data which would not be suspectible to the types of damage that wipe out computer hard drives. Information stored on DNA lasts for more than one hundred million years.

The researchers project being able to develop a type of living memory for a new breed of organic computers which would use strands of DNA to perform calculations and would have the ability to heal themselves if damaged.

Though the promise of this technology is very high, the scientists caution more work is needed before it can be marketed. One of the hurdles to overcome is ensuring very slow mutation rates in the DNA as the bacteria evolve, otherwise the messages encoded will be rendered unreadable.

New non-parametric analyis algorithm for Detecting Differentially Expressed Genes with Replicated Microarray Data

Previous nonparametric statistical methods on constructing the test and null statistics require having at least 4 arrays under each condition. In this paper, we provide an improved method of constructing the test and null statistics which only requires 2 arrays under one condition if the number of arrays under the other condition is at least 3. The conventional testing method defines the rejection region by controlling the probability of Type I error. In this paper, we propose to determine the critical values (or the cut-off points) of the rejection region by directly controlling the false discovery rate. Simulations were carried out to compare the performance of our proposed method with several existing methods. Finally, our proposed method is applied to the rat data of Pan et al. (2003). It is seen from both simulations and the rat data that our method has lower false discovery rates than those from the significance analysis of microarray (SAM) method of Tusher et al. (2001) and the mixture model method (MMM)of Pan et al. (2003).

study published by

Shunpu Zhang (2006) “An Improved Nonparametric Approach for Detecting Differentially Expressed Genes with Replicated Microarray Data,” Statistical Applications in Genetics and Molecular Biology: Vol. 5 : Iss. 1, Article 30.
Available at:

Even the hopeful US president jumps on Web2.0 bandwagon

 Barack Obama looks to be diving into this whole “Web 2.0” thing head first, what with his own Facebook profile, Flickr account, and YouTube account. In addition to all this stuff, he also has, a social networking type site for his supporters to create profiles, network, and make blogs all about how great Barack Obama is. Meanwhile Former Senator John Edwards is also facing setback in his blogs when two of his former bloggers bloggers Amanda Marcotte and Melissa McEwan are asked to step down for posting blogs that upset the Christian community and Bush supporters

So whats preventing our young scientists from going web2.0 and using blogs, Business networking sites such as Linkedin has given much required value to the business commnity compared to stes like Orkut whch is for the liter side of networking althought even orkut also offers communities too , shouldnt it be time to start one for the scientific community , there are few small steps in this way such as   Community of Science (COS) is the leading global resource for hard-to-find information critical to scientific research and other projects across all disciplines.  Networking – the new makes it possible. It is where the global laboratory, analysis, biotech, chemistry and pharma industry meets. Based on the theory of “six degrees of separation”, the club allows members to maintain their personal networks, generate new contacts and actively participate in various forums to exchange information, experiences and opinions. an international life science forum  reach a key decision maker and find your colleague or someone working in your field

google video publish your expertise in tackling the problems facing while operating your protolcs or project work , tips and tricks what ever it is all you need is a webcam

James from Research Information Network UK has commented on a previous blog I had published about an article on how researchers fish for information ,

Early in 2006, the Research Information Network commissioned a study as part of its work to promote better arrangements for researchers to find out what information resources relevant to their work are available, where these are, and how they may have access to them. The work has now been concluded, and the report from the study is attached below. 

Surprisingly many people still do not know hoe to use the search features of google yet

Microaray and Genomcis consortiums have now started to use more collaborating tools such as wikipedia and wiki pages. few good examples are and  and

Online Microarray tools

Open source was always the favourite with scientists, Now with companies liek Google and IBM pushing the concept of software as a service educational institutions and non profit organisation alike can offer there efficiencies and expertise to scores of scientists cost effectively

for a start take a look at the online microarray analysis tool offered at European Bioinformatics Institute

A new twist on DNA-dynamic quality of epigenetics

What makes you different from everyone else on the planet may have less to do with the spelling of your genetic code than with a scattering of chemical “tags” that, like censor’s marks, render some of your genes unreadable.The code itself, after all, is 99.9 percent identical in all of us, so these peripheral elements – referred to as epigenetics – offer a plausible reason human beings come in such a variety of shapes and sizes.

As one recent paper suggested, epigenetics can explain why identical twins don’t always look identical, especially as they get older.

There’s a dynamic quality to epigenetics. Over your lifetime new chemical tags can stick to previously active genes, thus turning them off, while tags affixed from birth can occasionally fall off, activating genes that are meant to be disabled. A growing number of researchers are connecting such epigenetic shifts to cancer.

The good news is such changes are potentially reversible, says Frank Rauscher, a professor at the Wistar Institute. “For therapeutics, manipulating the epigenome is the way to go.”

Unlike genetic mutations, which permanently scramble a cell’s genetic code, epigenetic tags leave the underlying code intact.

“The old dogma was that cancer was caused by DNA damage and gene mutations,” says Jean-Pierre Issa, a researcher from the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. But a closer look showed that cancer cells accumulate a combination of spelling errors in the DNA and inappropriate or missing epigenetic tags, he says. “This has led to a rethinking of environmental carcinogens and how diet could affect cancer and so on.”

Full article is available at 

Microarray for Catharanthus Roseus

In the recently concluded Bio-Asia 2007 meeting  Ocimum Biosolutions has entered into an accord with a scientist for developing microarray  on the medicinal plant Catheranthus Roseus. 


Catharanthus roseus is known as the common or Madagascar periwinkle, though its name and classification may be contradictory in some literature because this plant was formerly classified as the species Vinca rosea, Lochnera rosea and Ammocallis rosea. Furthermore, lesser periwinkle (Vinca minor) may also be called common periwinkle. Both species are also known as myrtle.

Western researchers finally noticed the plant in the 1950’s when they learned of a tea Jamaicans were drinking to treat diabetes. They discovered the plant contains a motherlode of useful alkaloids (70 in all at last count). Some, such as catharanthine, leurosine sulphate, lochnerine, tetrahydroalstonine, vindoline and vindolinine lower blood sugar levels (thus easing the symptoms of diabetes). Others lower blood pressure, others act as hemostatics (arrest bleeding) and two others, vincristine and vinblastine, have anticancer properties. Periwinkles also contain the alkaloids reserpine and serpentine, which are powerful tranquilizers.

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