Monday, June 06, 2011

Weeknote #38

Saturday saw us fly back from a week in Madrid, where I'd been on BACTOCOM business. I was there to talk to Alfonso, our computational collaborator, and to give a series of lectures on molecular computing and synthetic biology to the M.Sc. and Ph.D. students. I've made the slides available here (3.8Mb download).

I had a day off on Friday, so we took Alice to the Museo Reina Sofia, which I always try to visit when in Madrid. I discovered the artist Lygia Pape, and was absolutely transfixed by her Tteia installation (although I think I might have ruined the moment by making a joke about tripping up and being sliced like a boiled egg...) Her early (1950s) "Draws" geometric work also greatly appealed to me, but I can find little of it online.

Last week saw the publication of an interesting paper by Erik Winfree and Lulu Qian, on evaluating Boolean circuits using DNA. I was asked for comment by both Nature and New Scientist, and my post covering this is below (or here).

We (ie. the COBRA project board) managed to submit our paper for the FET11 proceedings, just ahead of the deadline (not helped by some last-minute wobbles caused by dodgy version control - mainly my fault).

This week is dominated by prelim. exam boards, although we do have a meeting of the DIYbio team tomorrow, and I'm seeing a new M.Sc. student (agent-based modelling) and summer intern to chat about their projects. Next week I'll be over at Sheffield Hallam to talk to their Bridging the Gaps project, doing my bit as an external examiner, and attending final exam boards.

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