Wednesday, February 18, 2015

My other shaver is a double-edged razor blade duct-taped to a trowel

Even though I only shave a few times a year, I consider myself somewhat of a shaving enthusiast. I've tried straight razors, and double edged razors, and electric razors, and whatever the heck you call the things Gillette is selling these days.

What I've learned is that you don't really need anything special to get a decent shave. All you really need is a really sharp blade mounted firmly on a handle (some quality shaving soap also really helps). To prove that point, I decided to cut my big beard off with a razor blade duct-taped to a trowel!  Read on for details (and a 7.5 minute video of the act itself).

Monday, February 16, 2015

Comparing data from open natural products chemical spectral databases

I recently wrote a review article called "Open-access metabolomics databases for natural product research: present capabilities and future potential", for the journal Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology, section Bioinformatics and Computational Biology (link).

Part of the review involved evaluating the contents of In this post, this post consists of the notes I took when generating those comparisons. The code I used is available from my Bitbucket account (I apologize for the poor organization and near-lack of documentation), some of the scripts depend on srj_chembiolib, and/or Pandas. InChI normalization relies on ChemAxon molconvert.

Factors to compare: how many unique compounds are present in the database, how many structures have the various kinds of associated analytical spectra, what compound classes are represented.