Computational Science

Putting the Data Warehouse to Work

March 17, 2011

Electronic health records are a hot topic in the world of medicine, as hospitals implement new computerized systems to meet federal incentives. Proponents of replacing paper records with electronic health records (EHR) in hospitals and other health [Read more]

Nature’s Neverending Tournament

March 14, 2011

For three weeks starting tonight, the attention of sports fans around the country will be on the brackets of the NCAA Basketball Tournament as 68 teams are methodically reduced to one champion. The process is somewhat similar to evolution, as a [Read more]

Tricking Touch with Plaids

February 22, 2011

Imagine yourself at a street corner, watching cars go by and waiting for your turn to cross. When the eye tracks a moving object like a car, it inspires fireworks of activity in the visual systems of the brain. Initially, the information is [Read more]

Sweeping Out Selective Sweeps

February 21, 2011

The ultimate genetic detective story is solving the mystery of human evolution. Since it became possible to look at genetic sequences in humans and their primate relatives, geneticists have hunted for the footprints of how humans evolved. But [Read more]

A Christmas Present for Geneticists

January 4, 2011

On Christmas morning this year, most people hoped to find an iPad, a puppy, or a luxury car wrapped in a giant red bow under their tree. But geneticists received their present a day early, in the form of two landmark papers published on Christmas [Read more]

Life on Arsenic?

December 8, 2010

By now, you’ve probably heard about the “alien” arsenic bacteria discovered in a California lake…and if you’ve been following the story closely, you might have a neck ache from all the twists and turns. When word of a [Read more]

Breaking Genomic Bottlenecks

November 2, 2010

In its 13-year history, the National Human Genome Research Institute has had three directors. The first was James D. Watson, who had the small résumé advantage of being the co-discoverer of DNA. Watson was replaced by Francis Collins, who merely [Read more]

Dr. Computer Decides Cancer Risk

September 9, 2010

Last week, a multi-center study published in JAMA demonstrated the value of genetic testing for breast cancer risk, a simple test that allows women the choice of preventive surgery. The study and the accompanying editorial urged wider screening of [Read more]

Parasitic Editors Win the Genome

August 31, 2010

In biology, fitness can be crudely measured by a simple method: counting. If a particular species is well represented in a particular ecosystem, one can conclude that evolution has treated them well, with circumstances allowing them to thrive. [Read more]