Personal blog

13 Sept 2016. "I don't like to do complex experiments. I am not a complicated person. (...) Follow your nose". A research technician that become Nobel winner in 1970 because of his contributions to the study of neurotransmitters, Julius Axelrod.

16 Sept 2016. One of the most satisfying findings in research may not come from a Western blot, but from connecting evidence, researchers' and friends. Knowing that someone that once was a good friend is doing well and contributes to science through connecting previous histories. Connecting findings across time and investigators.

18 Sept 2016 Playing and connecting

22 Sept 2016.  Why investing in science infrastructure? U.K. Department of Health document, Best Research for Best Health, document 2006. An example to follow, which is considerably mediating economic growth and will improve public care health. "(…) From 2014 to 2015, more than 5400 research projects were supported, 5585 peer-reviewed articles were published, and £844 million in external funding was obtained. Over the last 5 years, the total industry annual income generated from intellectual property has quadrupled from £33 million to £120 million, with almost 100 patent applications granted, 107 licensing deals reached, and more than 40 spin-off companies established. (…) The U.K. government has acknowledged that research excellence is a critical asset for the country and plays a key role in economic growth." Science Translational Medicine

Strategies. An old, and partially wrong, theory applied to research: "In ecology, r/K selection theory relates to the selection of combinations of traits in an organism that trade off between quantity and quality of offspring. The focus upon either increased quantity of offspring at the expense of individual parental investment in r-strategists, or reduced quantity of offspring with a corresponding increased parental investment in K-strategists, varies widely, seemingly to promote success in particular environments."
Similar strategies can be seen in building and supporting research institutes and investigators, some going for big histories thanks to large investment from the parents, governments, and the rest surviving in a crisis era. Public accountability for each project and center should be applied when money comes from citizens.

2 Oct 2016.  Juan Genoves, just discovered. Master painter of humanity, hope versus fair. Wish to know  from who those guys are running out.

7 Des 2016.  Jo Milne. A fantastic admix of science and art, from seminar old genetic studies to networks.

Subtypes. Then there are scientists whose strategy is basically to accumulate large data on what its their eternal/for-life topic, data that may be very complex, high quality and precise, but that do not really represent innovation of ideas and concepts. It is probably the secure way to raise as researcher in current days if you have money/funding and moreover if you are surronded by the necessary hightech technologies. However, I feel intellectually more challeging another type of scientist, who is guided by his/her novel ideas and concepts, not by technology. There are few of those.

16 Feb 2017. February 11th is the International Day of Women in Science. There is clearly an under-representation and some people may ask why. Well, just go to PI meetings, get a postdoc or apply to grants, as few examples, and you will know why. This is unfair and no rational. Do we know about the career and contributions from Mayram Mirzakhani? A brief note on a sad loss. Susan Lindquist, pioneering scientist in yeast and human disease, and former director of Whitehead Institute, died recently. She was a reference for many of us that follow her seminal and innovative work.

19 April 2017. Too often we can read papers that were written top-to-bottom in major journals. That is, the authors are selling an idea or concept (stated in the title), which may be relevant or fundamental, but it is clear that the manuscript presentation, design and workflow is principally directed to sell that idea/concept; the concept was chosen before the data was obtained. Obviously, there is not an argument if the results are robust by theirself, but I refer here to those studies that will not hold if we do not take into account the implications of the “message/title”. A professional review should unmask these cases, at expenses for the journal to lose a news hit. Unfortunately many of these studies are on "systems genetics" and there is no point on replicating or reproducing them because the design was bias and it does not include the right controls for the specific question. The journals should include a team of experts on these complex studies, otherwise after publication the results will not have any further impact on science advance.

11 Nov. 2017. Half of the catalan government is in prision and half in exile because they took the decision to follow the results of a referendum where >2M million (38%) voted for independence. Of note the referendum took place with Spanish police violence and threats. Several catalan governments and parties have asked >15 times to organize a legal referendum in accordance with Madrid's rules, but the response has been always "NO!", regardless the fact that 70-80% of the Catalan population supports the organization of a referendum. This is happening today, in Europe, XXI century. Cents of thousands of people rally today to free political prisioners:










12 Nov. 2017. "Seen as merely clever by his teachers, he was widely thought as a genious by his colleagues": to Francis Crick, one of the greatest scientists ever. From DNA structure to the genetic code, his curiosity, continuos thinking and discussion with mates were unique; an example for many, considering that he started at least 3 different PhD projects and started to get recognition in middle age.

12 Feb. 2018. Loss of a great musician, inspiring many of us across science: Johann Johannsson. He was just in Barcelona on the 31st January reinforcing us how beatiful was his music.