I found “The Wall street Journal. Guide to Information Design” in a bookshop and thought to give it a go. It is written by Dona M. Wong, an old student of Edward Tufte. The books aim is to be a “reference to be put on ones desk”, the question is who should put it on his/her desk and who not? Distributed over five chapters to book maintains a very basic level of graphic design. Chapter two has a nice outline showing Do’s on the right page and Don’ts on the left page, and contains a lot of useful tips (ie. try to avoid a legend in a line graph, but just label the lines on the right side of the line) but the book rarely explains the theory behind the advice. For this, one has to grab back to Tuftes “The Visual Display of Quantitative Information”. Continue reading
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Last week I joined the International Synthetic and Systems Biology Summer School in Taormina, Italy and as the title describes it was all about Synthetic and Systems biology with some pretty cool speakers. Weiss talked about the general principles of genetic circuits and the current limitations (record is currently 12 different synthetic promoters in 1 designed network). Sarpeshkar focused on the stochastic nature and the associated noise of cells, he showed how they can be simulated or mirrored using analog circuits. Paul Freemont took Ron Weiss’ design principles and showed how to apply them on different examples, he also elaborated on an efficient way of characterizing new circuits and parts. Tanja Kortemme, a former postdoc from the Baker lab, gave an introduction to the capabilities of computational protein design and using some neat examples showed the power (and limitations) of computational design. Below some highlights and the relevant links of the literature that was discussed.
What Do You Care What Other People Think? (1988) is ghost written by Ralph Leighton the son of Feynman’s Caltech collaborator Robert Leighton, who also collaborated with Feynman on writing Surely you must be joking (1985). One third of the 250 pages of the book consist of short, humorous, and easy reading stories. But some of them also contain intensely moving lessons, for example the chapters dealing about his wife who suffered from tuberculosis. These first 80 pages are already worth reading the book!
I recently came across a copy of “The Double Helix” by James Watson and will put forth some highlights in this post.
The book became quite famous for giving a glimpse of how science was done in the ’50. However it also generated a fair amount of controversy because of the harsh personal attacks especially towards Rosalind Franklin, who made essential contributions but was never acknowledged to the extend of Watson and Crick.