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Physicist, Startup Founder, Blogger, Dad

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Sabbatical plans

In a week I'll be leaving for a year of sabbatical. I will be based at Academia Sinica in Taipei, Taiwan. If you need to get in touch with me, email is probably the best option :-)





During September I will be in Benasque, Spain for a workshop on quantum decoherence. More photos. The last time I was in Benasque was the inagural summer for the Center. There was no building yet, so activities were held in a vacant elementary school. The tiny desks and chairs were piled up in one of the classrooms and new Ikea-like furniture was installed for us. It's nice to see that they've built a fancy facility now. Hopefully we'll have some good weather in the Pyrenees!




During October I will visit BGI (formerly Beijing Genomics Institute) in Shenzhen, China. I'll be involved in a project that I've been thinking about since I was a kid! What was science fiction then is just becoming possible today.



3 comments:

Max said...

Would you share what this project would be? Physicist and genomics? and since you were a kid?- you making me intrigued!

steve hsu said...

No direct physics angle. But I think I have a better way to find the subjects in the "high" group for the experiment mentioned below. I've done some calculations and the reach of this design will give it a good shot at real discoveries.


http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/06/27/AR2010062703639_2.html?sid=ST2010062800373

In January, BGI made the biggest purchase of genome sequencing equipment ever, buying 128 ultra-high-tech machines from California-based Illumina. With that one acquisition, BGI could very well surpass the entire gene-sequencing output of the United States.

Inside the 11-story facility, the vibe is pure Silicon Valley start-up: shorts, flip-flops, ankle bracelets, designer eyewear and a random tattoo. Zhao came to BGI on a summer internship last year to work on cucumbers. Now a full-time employee while continuing his studies, Zhao is turning his attention to a topic Western researchers have shied away from because of ethical worries: Zhao plans to study the genes of 1,000 of his best-performing classmates at a top high school in Beijing and compare them, he said, “with 1,000 normal kids.”

DogOfJustice said...

Yeah, they definitely want a better way to find subjects.

The initial BGI plan would have, among other things, yielded results overfitted to Chinese genotypes and filtered out some valuable forms of nonconformity.

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