Monday, 8 June 2015

Aber Bioinformatics Workshop

Last week we had the 2nd Aber Bioinformatics Workshop. It's an internal workshop for work-in-progress talks, posters and networking and the aim is for us all to keep up with what's going on in Aberystwyth in bioinformatics across departments and institutes. We had a wide range of talks on genomics and sequence analysis, metabolomics, optimising proteins, population and community modelling, data infrastructure and other topics. Here's the programme for the day.

Photo of all the attendees, taken by Sandy Spence
It was great to see that we now have so many people interested and working in bioinformatics, despite the difficulties in trying to understand all sides of the story (the biology, the computing, the statistics, etc). We talked about the range of modules and courses that were available to help people get up to speed with this, and how we should do more to let new PhD students know what is available. Also, now that we've had the workshop, hopefully we're more aware of the expertise and facilities available here in Aber, so we now know who to approach with questions and ideas.

At the end of the day we moved down to the pub, and continued to discuss more random topics: beetles, plant senescence, hens, temperature sensing wires for computer clusters, and concordance in Shakespeare texts. I'm sure this all helps in the long run.

Monday, 1 June 2015

Burglary at the railway refreshment rooms

The NLW have a fantastic collection of digitised historic newspaper articles available. They're going to release a new interface shortly with access to 15 million articles, and I was testing the search facility on the new interface today. I came across this gem of a story from the Aberystwyth Observer in 1907, which also happens to be available in their currently live beta collection.

BURGLARY AT THE RAILWAY REFRESHMENT ROOMS. The police are investigating two cases of robbery from the refreshment rooms at Borth and Dovey Junction. At these places thieves broke into the premises and got away with a quantity of wine and money. This is the second or third time that Dovey Junction has been visited during the last few years. (may need to zoom out and zoom in again before moving the page to see the article, which is at the edge of the page)

The thought of wine and money being held at remote Dovey Junction station is delightful, as is the fact that the reporter can't remember if it's the second or third time this has happened. Perhaps the reporter knows something about where the wine went.