I woke up early after all, so I decided to catch the keynotes, after all. The first one includes a crash course in bioinformatics. This is cool stuff. Bioinformatics projects use a lot of open source / free software. glib, Perl, lots more Perl, MySQL, GD. And their data are open, all their code is open, BSD style license. “Just open up your data and your code, that’s what being a scientist is all about.”

Wish list for open source community: keep doing what you’re doing. If you’re bored with what you’re doing now, we’re hiring. and we have better beer in the UK. :-D

With regard to Perl: yes they use it a lot. He complains about exceptions, and rightfully so. and objects. so much of that is being cleaned up in Perl 6, for what it’s worth. They code Perl as if it were Java. I know a Java programmer who does that. Heh.

Wish: Perl, Java, Python source level integration.

Q: coding standards with all these noon-programmers? A: Can’t really impose that, what you have to do is build a community that shares ideas and practices.

OK, new guy. I won’t record most of what he said, you can read it elsewhere I’m sure. One good note (paraphrased): The reason I’m in bioinformatics is that I really think that we should understand what we’re doing before we start tweaking the human genome.

The infant digestive system does not process proteins like the adult. So soy formula may be especially problematic — i.e. potentially fatal food allergies — especially with genetically modified soy. the first human tests of genetically modified soy could be on 10 million babies at once. Ya reading this, Kiara? I’m beginning to understand the breast-feeding nazis.