I’m in Long Beach California at the annual ISMB conference. Most of the conference is about biology and/or bioinformatics. Although I write computer programs for a living, my day job is for a company that makes tools for the biotech industry. I’m sitting in a special interest group talk all day yesterday’s and today but my attention is waning so I am writing this post from my iPad.

The first presenter today was a guy with a PhD in physics but works in bio-research now. His topic was the prediction of protein folding using evolutionary information found in large sets of related proteins. He was very enthusiastic which made the talk interesting. He also did a good job of making the topic make sense but I did get lost when he started describing the math and statistics. BTW, the protein folding happens in 3D and is very complicated.mthere are some diseases like mad cow disease that are caused by errors in protein folding. The shape of a protein is part of what defines its function.

Last night, Steve and I participated in a very simplistic scavenger hunt. We were joined by a guy from the UK so that we had a complete team. It was just a lot of walking and wasn’t at all like a puzzle race other than being a race. Kayaking in the ocean here might have been mo fun but it nice to meet someone new.

The talk right now is totally uninteresting and only one talk tomorrow looks like it might be interesting. It will be about a visualization tool that displays bio information visually. I would like to write some visualization tools for my company but we don’t seem to need new user interface code ance our customers get that stuff elsewhere.

My thoughts are drifting away from biology and towards cams in the linkage program! I think that a link should have zero or one cam. If two cams are needed, another link would be needed although it could be (listening to the talk right now)