Sunday, November 27, 2005


Why am I doing this?

This little blog will ostensibly be about biology - especially the biology I know best, genomics, biochemistry, molecular biology and genetics. While I intend to highlight and comment on developments in professional research in a way that's hopefully entertaining and enlightening, I also plan to write about areas where biology leaves the professional arena and touches all of our lives. Design/evolution, stem cell research, science funding, the environment, and whatever else strikes my fancy.

In other words, I hope to sometimes comment on things I know nothing about (public policy), but in the context of something I know a lot about (some aspects of biology).

There are great blogs out there, but I think there is still a great need out there for working scientists to 1) communicate what's happening in their highly technical world to the taxpayers who are paying their salaries and research budgets, and 2) add their perspective to current debates going on in our society.

It's going to take some effort to get this blog going and get the wrinkles out, but ultimately the goal is to provide a worthwhile post at least twice a week. I may hit the twice-a-week goal fairly soon, but the worthwhile post goal might take months to years, so keep checking back once in awhile to see if you find this blog interesting. If you do find it interesting, spread the word! If not, you can call me names in the comments section.

Who am I? I am 1.5 weeks from defending my doctoral thesis in biochemistry at the University of Rochester, in Rochester, NY. (So why the hell are you starting this blog now, you ask? Good question. Maybe because I'd rather be doing anything other than studying!) My specialty at this point is "functional and structural genomics of yeast membrane proteins." Meaning, I like to follow the literature in genomics, yeast, and the biochemical and biophysical study of membrane proteins. In a short while, I'll be starting a postdoctoral fellowship in the Center for Genome Science at Washington University, where I'll continue in yeast genomics, but with a focus on gene regulatory networks, especially networks that regulate the cell cycle.

I am also married with one daughter and two more on the way. (Yes, two, and yes, I'm defending my thesis, expecting twins, moving halfway across the country, and starting a new job in a new field all within two months. So why am I starting this blog now, you ask again?) We are ex-Mormon, and, having left a faith espousing a fairly fundamentalist theology, I am very hypersensitive to any kind of tacit government endorsement of a theological perspective (conservative Christianity) which I have thoroughly rejected. As a warning, this may come across in some of my posts, especially those dealing with the creation/evolution controversy.

So, this is officially post number 1 - I promise in the future it will get more interesting, mainly because it won't be about me anymore.