Protein 1: Cytochrome P450-Terp (412 residues)
Protein 2: Cytochrome P450 (Bm-3) (E.C. 126.96.36.199) (457 residues)
Iteration #4: RMSDc=3.36383
My first α-carbon-based protein alignment!
I’ve got a lump in my throat…
Having the opportunity to pick a class slightly outside of my main curriculum, I signed-up for an eight-week pluridisciplinary session on bioinformatics in genetics. I had my first lecture on Friday.
What I’ve learned so far:
You know there are serious problems with your motivation levels when you’d rather spend the day reading up Agrawal’s [sublimely elegant but entirely irrelevant] PRIMES is in P paper than do actual work.
Names and situations have been changed to protect the not-so-innocent (me). For clarity purposes, some bits that may have been merely thought at the time, are fully spelt out here.
A bit over a year ago, last class of the semester:
Prof. Travoltus: And I wish you all a successful career and might see you again one day, shall you decide to go for a post-grad in AI.
Dave: Does that mean you are involved in that curriculum too? Oh god, no.
Prof. Travoltus: Indeed I am. And don’t worry, I hate your guts too.
Dave: Why, thanks. You are quite a tool yourself.
Prof. Travoltus: You little arrogant piece of self-sufficient shit. Don’t you think I didn’t notice your constant sneering at every other one of my [very unfunny] jokes and comments, all semester long.
Dave: Same to you sir. By the way, 1970 called and it wants its corduroy bellbottoms back. ‘said you could keep the pungent cologne, though.
Wherein the author unabashedly stares at his navel while describing in painfully boring details his past and current academic endeavours under the guise of introducing some of the topics bound to become a fixture of this blog.
morbidly obsessed faithful readers of this blog may remember, I made a decision 18 months ago to go back to school and try for one of these fancy post-graduate degree in Compooter Thingies.
As it happen, my original bachelor was mostly centered around Mathematics and Physics, two sciences that turned out to make for infinitely more entertaining conversation topics than university majors (also, it was sorta interspersed with half a dozen other totally unrelated course of studies). Having come to develop uncontrollable rash-like allergic reactions to the mere mention of either topic, it sounded wise to shift the focus of my academic pursuits over to a slightly different major. Hence Computer Science, or to be exact: Artificial Intelligence (which is, to paraphrase some guy, as much about computers as astronomy is about telescopes). As for the “going-back-to-university” thing altogether, it was mostly motivated by the pointed realization that, of the entire spectrum of available jobs, university student was the one I was most happily fitted for: After being a corporate droid for many years, a beach bum for another couple, I figured being paid a [rather mediocre] salary to work on cool research projects while learning semi-interesting things, sounded like a very fun way to pass time before retiring to a desert island in the Indian Ocean. That and the possibility that I may one day be responsible for the enslavement of humanity under the cold, merciless dominion of superiorly intelligent thinking machines.
Saturday, December 23rd, 2006
Woke up naked, curled up in the middle of my living room. Calendar on the wall says it’s been about two months. Paper everywhere. Found a couple dead rats impaled with sharpened pencils into stacks of graph theory and bayesian statistics papers… Decide to burn it all in the building’s courtyard and forego any attempts at piecing back together whatever hazy memories remain of that painful episode.
Tuesday, December 26th, 2006
This just in from our stating-the-obvious department: this blog will undergo a severe slow-down for the month (that is, the month already nearing its end and the slow-down now ongoing for a good three weeks already).
Computer failures, livelihood-earning work, research projects, assignments, sleep deprivation, final exams and overall the sad realities of the M.Sc.’s student life crashing into my own, theretofore much happier, shiny rosy reality… are all to blame for this sudden interruption. Expect some improvement at the end of next week, if I make it this far.
PS: and sorry for leaving last month’s quizz out to dry. I swear I’ll post the results as soon as I’m back among the living.
Note that this snapshot entirely fails to convey the real Soviet-era ambiance of my 8am-1pm weekly Tuesday lecture: attended by twelve hardcore students huddled in a 300-seat auditorium, fighting sleep and hypothermia, with the dreary droning of a disinterested lecturer as background lullaby.
Can I get a Hell Yeah for advanced graph theory?!?
And before I permanently close this exciting chapter of my life, I would just like to add…