Marco Brandizi's Site

Welcome to a 5-min-lazyness site...

Se non fosse per loro [Italian]

[*](Inviato a Il massacro di Abba ci ricorda che in questo paese e a Milano ci sono ancora tante minoranze da cui sperare. Gli immigrati per esempio. Che pochi vedono come una notevole risorsa per l'Italia e l'Europa. I numeri dicono che un terzo degli immigrati Italiani è impiegato in attività come muratore, bracciante, manovale [1]. Ci rubano il lavoro? Non mi sembra che ci sia la coda di giovani Italiani per prendere in mano la cazzuola o raccogliere pomodori. Occupazioni a cui per altro si destinano gli stranieri con grande dispendio di capitale umano, dato che quasi la metà degli stranieri laureati svolge un lavoro non qualificato [1].

Ma non c'è solo questo. I numeri ci dicono anche che in Europa si procrea sempre meno. Dicono che, con le attuali politiche di rigida chiusura verso l'esterno, l'immigrazione verso la UE aumenterà comunque, ma questo non basterà ad evitare una situazione in cui, nel 2060, per ogni ultra-sessantacinquenne, ci saranno soltanto 1.5 persone in età lavorativa, disponibili per produrre reddito e contributi allo stato sociale (oggi sono più di 3 [2]). Ma non c'è neanche solo questo.

The Bowing Mighty

The picture is taken from this fine article (in Italian) about the recent earthquake in the chinese region of Sichuan. It depicts a local leader bowing down and apologising for the young victims who died under the crash of school buildings.

Networking with Dendritic Cells

I've recently gone to the hearth of Mediterranean, Athens, for the annual meeting of the DC-THERA network, an FP6 project. A number of people and organisations collaborate in the context of this project, under the hat of  dendritic cells research (DC). Even me, the amateurish biologist, can guess the importance of this kind of cells for the Immune system, and their consequent importance for the development of a number of vaccines and therapies.

Holidays in Croatia

Voting with dices

[L'Italia è un circo](vedi anche: sommario in Italiano). We in Italy are having yet another election the next week-end. I have used to do Politics in the past. I have kept the idea that Politics is one of the most noble human activities. That's why I am quite disgusted this time.

Even designating our MPs by draw would be better than this crap. And I am serious. At least, I don't joke too much.

Several countries have the institution of the popular jury, which is composed by drawing a (very small) sample of citizens from the population. For what I know, it originated in the US, during the American revolution, on the basis of libertarian principles. The idea was to rely on the judgement of equals.

Chance avoids bias: if the jurymen are randomly selected, there is more chance they will be fair with a defendant who they do not know and a case they are not involved in. So, why not doing that for chosing those who should rule the country?

TV on line a dolori [Italian]

(Originariamente inviato al Forum del TG3)

Leggo dal sito del TG3, riquadro col "Focus":

è una svolta. L'ha decisa il management della BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation). Digitalizzare la Tv è la parola d'ordine del network pubblico più potente del mondo. Notiziari, film, sceneggiati, quiz, intattenimento si trasferiranno sul web.

Infatti. Vivo in Inghilterra e guardare un TG su è facile quasi quanto usare il telecomando del televisore (per non parlare dei contenuti: è quasi una settimana che quasi non vedo politici, perché nei paesi civili, se i politicanti non hanno altro da dire che non siano le solite banalità e bugie, i media se ne infischiano).


My new job @EBI

So, I came back at the EBI in March. I am now working at the BioInvestigation Index project (formerly BioMAP), for which I brushed up the good old Java.

What is it about?

[isa-tab]In short: we aim at integrating the submission and access of transcriptomics data, proteomics data and metabolomics data. We will leverage on the EBI existing repositories, ArrayExpress and PRIDE. We are also developing a submission tabular format, ISA-TAB, which is inspired by MAGE-TAB and FUGE.

Managing Microarray Knowledge with the Semantic Web

[MannOnto, relatedAssertions] Geeez! Eventually I have submitted the thesis and given the defense presentation! My PhD project is about representing the results coming from microarray data analysis. I represent concepts like: sets of differentially expressed genes, results from clustering algorithms, claims about the role of genes in a biological pathway. I use Semantic Web technologies and an OWL model (ontology) to provide a formal representation of such knowledge. All is focused on assertions (e.g.: "IL2 is expressed under LPS infection condition"), which may be supported by experimental evidence (e.g.: a data set) or other kinds of evaluations, including ranking and comments from the users. Moreover, users and their roles (e.g.: is an expert on Immunology) may be considedered, especially for ranking the assertions. I have also developed a demo, based on the Makna Semantic Wiki.


PhD project, yet another ontology

I have reviewed the OWL file once more. I have done it after analysis of study cases and considerations on making useful inference with OWL. Details are reported in the doc.

A Database for Genomic Expression Data Management

This is the project that made me discover the charm of Bioinformatics, Microarrays and Biology. Here you can find:

Gene Lists, Microarray Knowledge, Semantic Web

I've started this discussion on the semweb-lifesci mailing list.

I was interested in how to handle gene lists in OWL (and other lists of gene expression related entities). The discussion has expanded toward: MAGE-OM in RDF format, microarrays and Semantic Web, Semantic web technologies...


According to the guide it seem you may learn this Cambridge popular activity, after little excercise. Reality...

Awkward identifiers

[Figures about TO gene]
Today I discovered that a gene named "to" exists. It's not difficult to imagine how much hope you have to find it in Google. That's interesting: it was mentioned on a discussion about the use of natural language identifiers in computer science modelling. But actually maybe it is a case that shows how the Semantic Web could be useful. And complement Google. Well, Google is still able to find meaning info by means of the extended name, "takeout". So, if you already know what "to" means you'll probaly look up it on a by-keyword search engine via "takeout" + something else (drosophila, gene). I wonder if marking something like "to" with something like "is the label for..." could actually improve searches. Uhm... probably relating "to or whatever" to other resources, such as publication or chromosome or who is studying this gene, to which disease or biological process is related to, etc. Uhm... Uhm... anyway I am impressed by this "to" thing...

Being World Champions in London

Piccadilly Circus, 9 Luglio 2006.


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