Well hello there. It’s been a while! Since my last post I’ve moved to East Harlem (El Barrio) and started working with my Hunter iGEM team on bacterial computers! We’re official! What’s iGEM? It’s an international competition to use and create standardized biological parts to create biological machines. Here’s a old but neat New Yorker article on the subject. Here’s a database of parts.
Here’s a screenshot of an abstract simulation of an experiment we’re (iGEM team) working on to create a working hash function using XOR-like bacterial logic gates. My python code is here (you’ll need to install pygame to run it). The red/green bacterial colonies are the output and the blue numbers are the inputs. They represent a quorum-sensing molecule from top down and NaCl from the left to right. The output of each bacteria colony is passed as an input to the one below. XOR means exclusive or, so we only get green (1) if ONLY one input is true (1).
I’m enjoying participating at the Hunter Evolutionary Bioniformatics lab, the NYU bioinformatics lab, and the Lehman Treespace group, though I’ve got plenty of catch-up work to do for all of them now that iGEM has started up. Funny how starting a major interdisciplinary research project takes a lot of time. Who’d have thunk it? I’ve also been hanging out a bit at Genspace where I just finished getting my safety orientation, and of course, Hack Manhattan, which I’m afraid I’ve been neglecting as well. God I love those guys (and gals), though. Oh, right, there’s classes, too. Organic chemistry is fascinating, but a handful!
The other day I walked to school. Straight down Lexington Ave. Took me about 45 minutes — not bad. The train in took 15 minutes today. All in all, a vast transportation improvement over East Williamsburg. The apartment and housemates are lovely, too. With Costco just down the street, I look forward to stowing away 500 packs of random things like dried vegetables so I can jump on this whole zombie apocalypse preparedness bandwagon. You know, just in case something goes horribly wrong in the lab and all hell breaks loose.