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Archive for the ‘Cool stuff’ Category

The blog as a next generation book

In Blogging, Cool stuff on March 15, 2011 at 11:33 pm

Blogs are usually flowing, which makes them more like a diary or a newspaper. In this context, their information is difficult to structure. Tags, categories and search buttons can help but to have a really structured information on the blog is really difficult. On the other hand, blogs are extremly powerfull structures, that make possible the content management and combination of various types of information from text to videos. While wiki structure is well known to serve as a master structured content, it is difficult to work with beyond a basic structure.

Books, especially in science, are well structured texts. The author knows from beginning the sinopsis of the book, which migh slightly change during the writing itself, but more importantly, they are not written in the same order as they are placed in the book itself.

If we combine in a blog environment static pages and post pages, we can build a framework that allows us to make a new format of structured content, which is close to the classical book format but allows the combination of various media formats.

This format is A NEW BOOK TYPE that is more powerfull that any previous type of content.

This structure allows the writer to write sections in different time points but still to join them in one flow of information. This is a natural need of any writer who does not write simply a journal.

WordPress has a feature that allows the author to direct the reader to a specific page, e.g. the Contents while preserving the natural flow of individual posts. I suggest to use this combination for all blog authors who plan to build their blogs mainly on original content, and generate high quality resource centers in and around their blogs.

A very important feature of this blog- which is an experimental work- as you can see is that it is structured as a on-line book.  The Contents page servs not only to drive the attention of the reader, but also to FOCUS the author on the pages that are still missing. This platform is combining the flexibility of a blog and the riches given by web2.0 and multimedia tools, with the well know structured frame of a book. From this point of view, this stucture gives the best of both worlds. Information is well structured and rich, links and embeded videos are providing the reader context and real world simulation.

Enjoy!

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Why? This is the core question.

In Cool stuff, principles, Resources, video on March 9, 2011 at 4:40 pm

Why going in one particular direction if you can go in any direction? Why following someone, yes even in social media and by web2 tools? Only then comes the question “HOW” and at the very end “WHAT? Yes, the very last questions are WHAT TO DO. We have to know why we do something then how we should do that thing and at the end of course we need to know what exactly we shall do.

If you want to understand these principles, whatch the following video:

Video project of the iGEM Debrecen Team

In Cool stuff, Resources, video on October 28, 2010 at 12:19 pm

Beside the whole project as beeing done, we completed a very nice video project.

See description here.

The protocolls can be found here.

The team wiki for the Debrecen iGEM team is here.

Good luck!

Sizes in Biology

In animation, cell, Cool stuff, DNA, molecular biology on June 30, 2010 at 6:09 pm

Dear colleagues,

An excellent tool is available to get a feeling about molecular sizes in Biology.

The tool is available here and was developped by “Learn Genetics” program from the University of Utah.

You can have a short movie on it below, but please check the original one from here!!!

What you always wanted to know about viruses

In animation, Cool stuff, Swine flu, virus on April 30, 2009 at 10:02 am

Considering that swine flu is here everywhere and many became interested in viruses, I compiled here a few videos that might give you an update about viruses, virology, vaccine production and how a vaccine acts. Feedback and questions are welcome at

balintblaszlo(at)labtutorials(dot)org

Regards,

Balint.

Where are the swine flu cases?

See actual status here

or check it in GoogleMaps here:


An overview of the status by 20090430:

healthmap200904301

How does influenza spreads and what happens with it in our body?

The life of a virus

The structure of viruses

Vaccine production(description and images).

Vaccine production at Sanofi (video).

How does the vaccine act?

Injection of the vaccine

More about pandemics, and vaccination here.

How microarrays can be used for rapid characterization of viruses: here.

Stay tuned!

Bird flu solved, swine flu arrived!

In Cool stuff, News, virus on April 29, 2009 at 4:12 pm

The bird flu solved by vaccines, now comes the swine flu.

Pandemics shaped the human population in past and probably in future. One of the most destructive influenza pandemics in the last century was the Spanish Flu which caused the death of 25-40 million people. More info about the pandemics here. The very last thread to cause a pandemic is the virus called A/H1N1, or swine flu, or Mexican flu.

Rapid diagnostic tests will be probably be PCR based. A very interesting microarray based virus characterization tool is described here.

Influenza vaccines are produced by quite a lot of manufacturers in the world. You can have a list of the manufacturers here.

A small Hungarian company is a word leader in vaccine development. Omninvest was one of the first who produced the anti H5N1 vaccine. It is good to draw the conclusions of the Bird Flu vaccine development, a detailed overview can be found here.

Today Omninvest announced that they made all the preparatory steps needed to start to develop a Swine Flu vaccine. Once the sample virus arrives they can start the development of inactivated viruses that can be used for the development of the Swine flu vaccine. While US based CDC researcher Ruben Donis announced that the “reference strain” would be available at the beginning of May, the Hungarian news agency MTI released the information that samples that could be used for further development migh arrive in days.

For more details about the life of a virus and vaccination check this.