Married white male desperately seeking:

An efficient algorithm to search an extended DNA sequence for motifs occurring within a window of a given size with a given frequency (in other words, an algorithm to detect motif clumping).

I wrote a brute force algorithm, but I'm afraid if I throw it at the e. coli genome it will kill my shiny new computer. To say nothing of the human genome.

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Goodbye Lou

The Velvet Underground – Heroin

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Another article I stumbled upon in my morning surfing.  It's an interesting…

Another article I stumbled upon in my morning surfing.  It's an interesting idea, instead of life beginning in an "RNA world" which is thermodynamically improbable, it may have begun in a "peptide-RNA world" where peptides and RNA co-evolved.  Apparently the primordial peptides would eventually evolve into the amino-acyl tRNA sythetases, important enzymes that determine the genetic code in all living things today.  It's an attractive idea since it becomes easier to see how these early interactions of peptides and RNA might eventually evolve into the genetic code.

http://www.jbc.org/content/288/37/26864

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Casting Doubt on the RNA World Hypothesis♦

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I got excited when I read the headline, but as usual it's sensationalistic

 

What I gather from the article, all they're doing is using their knowledge of genetic inheritance to allow a more informed mate decision.  

Apparently this is illegal in Canada.  Why?  On some level everyone does this when they look for a mate don't they?  He likes blue eyes, she likes blond hair, etc.  It's just selection.  It's been going on as long as humanity has existed.  23andMe is just making it more informed.

Maybe it's because they're keeping a database of peoples genes?  Maybe because they also look at disease susceptibility genes?  I don't know, but it doesn't seem like a big deal to me.

http://www.theverge.com/2013/10/2/4795586/23andme-designer-baby-patent

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23andMe receives patent to create designer babies, but denies plans to do so
Thanks to personal genomics companies like 23andMe, it’s becoming quicker and easier for us to find out who we are. But will the same technology one day allow us to decide who our babies will be…

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Aha, I was wondering why bitcoin prices crashed then almost immediately rebounded…

Aha, I was wondering why bitcoin prices crashed then almost immediately rebounded yesterday evening. 

I think this can be nothing but good for the bitcoin economy in the long run.  The Silk Road may have provided some small proportion of the demand for bitcoins, so prices may drop in the short term.  Longer term though, now that the infamous illegal marketplace is gone, it should make bitcoins seem more legitimate and hopefully help to increase adoption.  And maybe some legislators who've been afraid of bitcoins and have threatened to regulate them, will finally realize that they're not so scary after all.

http://www.theverge.com/2013/10/2/4794780/fbi-seizes-underground-drug-market-silk-road-owner-indicted-in-new

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FBI seizes underground drug market Silk Road, owner indicted in New York
It appears the Federal Bureau of Investigation has finally cracked down on Silk Road, the underground marketplace where users could buy cocaine, heroin, meth, and more using the virtual currency…

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Camp 31 in Paris, Ontario – apparently the best ribs this side of Alabama

I'm a believer.
Camp 31 in Paris, Ontario – apparently the best ribs this side of Alabama. I’m a believer.

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Freaking Microsoft

MS Office for Android but not on tablets. What's the point? Who wants to work on a Powerpoint on a phone? Grrr… I knew waiting for this was a bad idea.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/technology/tech-news/microsoft-office-finally-comes-to-android-phones-but-not-tablets/article13523380/

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Microsoft Office finally comes to Android phones, but not tablets
Software requires a $100-a-year subscription to Office and won’t be sold separately

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Android Paid Apps in Non-Supported Countries

I had a bout of insomnia last night so I decided to be productive and finally figure out a workaround for an issue with Android that has been bothering me since I bought my Nexus 10 in April.  That issue is purchasing paid apps in the country where I live.  Whenever I have tried to purchase a paid app, the app is listed as incompatible with my device.  In fact they are compatible, they're just not available for purchase in my country.

I had assumed it was the app developers who were blocking their apps in my country, but after a few seconds of investigating last night I realized my anger at them had been misplaced.  It's Google that is responsible, they only allow app purchases from a limited list of countries.  They claim they are "working hard" at adding more countries, but since I live in one of the smaller countries in the world I don't have any expectation they will support us any time soon.

So onto how to workaround this stupid restriction… it's actually not that difficult once you figure out what Google is checking.  It seems what they're looking for is: 1) The country of your IP address,  2) The country of your Google account, and 3) The country of the billing address of your credit card.  It seems all 3 have to be consistent and from a supported country. 

The credit card might be a stumbling block for many people.  Lucky me, I have a Canadian credit card and Canada is a supported country.  It has to be set up with the correct billing address in Google Wallet.

The country of your google account can be changed, if necessary, by going to your account settings and clicking the little "Edit" link beside the Email heading near the top of the page.

Changing my IP address to a Canadian one was also fairly simple – I used a  free VPN app from the play store.  There are a few that provide a Canadian server and the one I picked worked well enough for my purposes. 

Once the VPN app was installed and working on my Nexus 10 this is what I did:
1) Cleared the data from the Play Store app
2) Stopped the Play Store app
3) Confirmed the VPN is connected to a server in my country (Canada) and verified that it gave me a Canadian IP address (there are many websites that will report your IP address and country)
4) Restarted the Play Store app
5) Accepted some terms or something (I didn't bother reading it)
6) Then I was all good to go.

This all worked for me at least – I was finally able to purchase an app from the Play Store for the first time.  I also saw movies, books and magazines appearing, which I normally don't see – but I didn't try to purchase any so I can't confirm if that works or not.  I can't imagine streaming a movie through a free VPN would be a very rewarding experience anyway.

No Play Music store though.  Canadians aren't allowed to purchase music from Google I guess.  That's OK by me since I only buy music in flac format and Google is mp3 only.

Of course I'm now questioning the wisdom of posting this all on Google+ – but what the heck – if Google wants to take steps to block me more power to them.  It just means I won't be able to buy apps, and I'll save a little money.

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The greatest thing about not having TV is missing out on all the idiotic pop culture…

The greatest thing about not having TV is missing out on all the idiotic pop culture news. I had no idea about the royal baby until I checked facebook this morning.

Anyway, as usual any time there's some news about the royals, I like to jump on any anti-royalty bandwagon that comes along.

http://bornequal.org/

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Home | Born Equal | Shouldn’t every child be #bornEqual?
With the arrival of a new royal baby it is time to ask: shouldn’t every child be #bornEqual?

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This could be big: induced pluripotent stem cells generated by chemical induction…

This could be big: induced pluripotent stem cells generated by chemical induction rather than genetic modification.

Potentially these cells could allay fears that genetically modified iPS cells might harbour mutations that could cause diseases if used therapeutically.  There's still a long way to go to show that these chemically induced pluripotent cells (CiPS) will be useful for cell-based therapies (like getting the technology to work with human cells for starters), but if it works, it could mean getting the therapies to clinical trials faster, and faster approval.

http://www.nature.com/news/stem-cells-reprogrammed-using-chemicals-alone-1.13416

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Stem cells reprogrammed using chemicals alone
Patient-specific cells could be made without genetic manipulation.

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