Cavalcade of Mammals

STAR-Fusion

STAR-Fusion is a program that detects RNA fusions events in RNA-Seq data. According to the paper describing the program, STAR-Fusion is much better than the dozen or so other callers under active development.

Still, reading the paper left me with some questions. As descried by the authors, STAR-Fusion is not just a good caller, but the best caller by a wide margin. See Fig 3A. The next nine best callers have AUC values of 0.5 to 0.3, but STAR-Fusion has a value of 0.8 in the author’s testing.

And what is the source of this incredible result? The authors are silent on the subject. They don’t know, or perhaps didn’t notice how remarkable their achievement is, and so don’t remark on it. The description of the STAR-Fusion algorithm seems very similar to the algorithms used by every other RNA fusion caller. Some do better than others, so details of implementation must matter.

So what is the critical advance STAR-Fusion makes? Is better sequence alignment key? Is the filtering approach? The paralog handling seems like it cuts down on false positives, is this key? Discovering the critical factors for RNA fusion calling would be an important result.

Or are the performance results in the paper dependent on the synthetic test data set the authors use? Will subsequent papers comparing STAR-Fusion to other methods find that it is only average, or sub-par?

Links for October 2018

Video of tagged individual mouse cells during embryo development. The video gets good at 2:20. It even includes a TARDIS (of sorts).

Conservatives’ self-delusion on race: How the right created the illusion of colorblindness. By Joshua Tait

House GOP Bill Cuts Legal Immigration By 1.4 Million Over 20 Years
Trump-era GOP cares more about the national origin and race of immigrants than how they got here.
Presidential Campaign Slogans
Trump’s Caravan Hysteria Led to This by Adam Serwer

Archaeorhynchus spathula, a dinosaur that is an early ancestor of birds, had bird-like lungs! In bird lungs, air makes a circuit rather than going in and out like in mammals. link, bird lungs

Wisconsin’s $4.1 billion Foxconn boondoggle

Thermo Nicolet IR200 Spectrometer

Thermo Nicolet IR200 Spectrometer investigation

Requires a custom power brick, multiple pins. Could not find power specifications. Power bricks do not seem to be available.

Laser was removed from this unit. This is a HeNe laser used “provies the reference signal for triggering data collections and measuring the stroke of the moving mirror.”

Dessicant spot indicates that the dessicant was exhausted. Dessicant appears to be a standard pack. Recharged dessicant in 250F oven for three hours. I’ll try to preserve the optics, I may be able to reuse them.

Requires ENCOMPASS or OMNIC software. I was able to find an OMNIC iso. Untested.

“The interferometer window in your spectrometer is made of KRS-5…” KRS-5 is thallium bromoiodide (TlBr-TlI). KRs-5 (TlBr-TlI) is a gorgeous red crystal commonly used for attenuated total reflection prisms for IR spectroscopy. It is also used as an infrared transmission window in gas and liquid sample cells used with FTIR spectrophotometers in place of Potassium Bromide (KBr) or Cesium Iodide (CsI) for analysis of aqueous samples that would attack KBr or CsI optics. It has a wide transmission range and is virtually insoluble in water. It is a useful alternative to AgCl since it is not photo-sensitive and for ATR applications it will transmit well beyond the 18 micron useful range of ZnSe.

Background on FT-IR:
wikipedia
Nicolet brochure

Unit with case removed:

IR mirror on the left. The right side module looks like a detector:

Back of detector module:

Dry optics compartment:

Dry optics compartment:

Laser diode?:

Corner mirror and flat mirror:

Second corner mirror on solenoid:

Nicolet IR100 and Nicolet IR200 User’s Guide
Nicolet 4700 or Nicolet 6700 User’s Guide
OMNIC User’s Guide, v7.4 Transport Kit User’s Guide
Also have “OMNIC- for TIR.iso”
Could not find a service manual.

The 2000 election and voting systems

After the 2000 ‘hanging chad’ election, the Election Commission report concluded that about 10% of votes are never counted or miss-counted. The Republican President and House didn’t much care, threw a few billion at the states some counties replaced the punch card machines w/ electronic voting machines. It made things worse. The election results are still untrustworthy, but in many places there’s no paper record to check but there is a poorly designed and poorly secured software program counting the votes. And yet worse, these voting machine companies are all private, and keep their software a secret, so there is no way to audit the software or check the election results. In the *rare* cases where security researchers have inspected the software and computerized voting machines, they have always proved easy to break into and subvert. Same with the centralized websites counting and recording the votes. Complete failure of democracy.

XKCD comic

Links for Aug 2018

LED bulbs are as cheap as incandescents
Goodbye To Harlan Ellison
Very Short Stories
Sundown Towns history
Wimshurst machine, kit
Fabricating Reflectors for Displaying Multiple Images, pdf
Climate change and China–too hot, flooded
Sanders Medicare for all proposal would save $2T over first 10 years.
Media portray these tales of perseverance as uplifting and inspirational. They’re actually horror stories.
Write in PDFs in Linux
My ancestry test revealed a genetic bombshell
Better command line tools
The end of the oceans
Colliding stars will light up the night sky in 2022
NAD precursor as anti-aging drug (Basis from Elysium Health)

Is Iron Man made of Lego?

Solving the Autism Puzzle

Elevian: daily injections of a protein called GDF11 can promote “the body’s ability to restore itself”

The company builds on research findings several years ago that if the bloodstreams of young and old mice are connected together, it seems to rejuvenate the older ones. … In a 2015 study, for example, scientists at Novartis found that GDF11 levels do not fall with age and that the protein actually inhibits rather than promotes muscle regeneration.

The alt-right is drunk on bad readings of Nietzsche. They don’t understand him. By Sean Illing
Cactus seeds supplier

Links for July

Don’t Talk to Cops. Mr. James Duane, a professor at Regent Law School and a former defense attorney, tells you why you should never agree to be interviewed by the police.
10 Rules for Dealing with Police
The RIGHT Way to Handle a Police Stop
A feminist Analysis of Die Hard

Start Making Children Happy With Math

Mandelbrot Fractals
10 Ways to Cover a Trump Rally

John Kenneth Galbraith (1963): Wealth and Poverty: “The modern conservative… not even especially modern… is engaged… in one of man’s oldest, best financed, most applauded, and, on the whole, least successful exercises in moral philosophy. That is the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness… link

Warriors books
Megatons To Megawatts: Russian Warheads Fuel U.S. Power Plants
First World Problems, BBC

Scanner frequencies for Chicago, 1, 2, 3
Baofeng UV-5R info

Stability of Active Ingredients in Long-Expired Prescription Medications

Stupid Rightwing memes: “The United States is not a ‘democracy,’ it is ‘a Republic.'”. I don’t quite get the point of this one. Impress the rubes?

Bullseye Bore–laser circle shows if drill is held at 90 degrees

West Nile virus incidence
CCR5Δ32 allele common in Europeans, loss prevents HIV infections, makes carriers more susceptible to West Nile