Meet AGATA:

Meet AGATA:

21.10.14, 17h00 Venture Challenge EPFL, Lausanne. Closed.
27.10.14, 17h00 Sictic Investor Day, Lausanne CH. Program.
28.10.14, 18h00 Bioscope inauguration, Geneva CH. Program.

[Cool site] Biology.SE - the first 100 days

My preferred online place to exchange biology knowledge.

This is the most interesting Q&A site for biology researchers, academics, and students I stumbled upon so far. I'm really excited about it and since some increased participation is required to exit the beta stage, I'm inviting you to have a visit and consider joining.

Forget noncurated forums plenty of 'why my beta galactosidase assay does not work?' kind of questions. This is not a forum.
The day after tomorrow, Biology.StackExchange.com will cross its first 100 days of life, accumulating some 500 relevant questions and more interesting answers. Why it is so interesting? Because each answer is substantiated by references, so that it represents an useful piece of information rather than an opinion. Like any other stackexchange site, Biology.SE works on reputation: each user can vote up/down both the answers and the questions so that only interesting and useful content is selected and spam is virtually absent. In addition, the Q&A process is collaboratively written: similarly to a wiki, each answer/question can be edited by other users to improve the quality of the content. Under these inviting premises, I joined 50 days ago as user number 444 (this is my profile); today my overall impression is positive. Biology.SE is a nice site to vist for exchanging and increasing your academic knowledge about biological concepts, mechanisms and techniques. Bioinformatic questions are also accepted as long as they focus on the biological part of the subject. Otherwise, Biostar.stackexchange.com is the correct place to ask for the informatic part.

typical question asked on biology.stackexchange.com
This is a typical practical, answerable question example based on actual problems that you face asked at Biology.SE
Btw, this is my preferred question about even number of bases in the recognition site of restriction enzymes: it really shows how science works: from an odd observation, to documentation, hypothesis formulation, the research work done before asking the question, and the following interesting contributions from other users till the final analysis that clearly answer the question. Good job!

Other examples of answers I given, include sex dimorphism: whether testosterone increases female sex behaviour, I speculated what are the advantages of autocrine signaling and suggested about how to take photos of luciferase

Examples of questions I asked:
  • The number of mice on the Earth? I asked this question stimulated by some calculations by Carson Chow that would suggest (this is my interpretation) that if the mouse biomass is higher than the human biomass, mice will be more contributing to CO2 emissions than humans. (Well, looks like the mouse biomass is less, we are not excused!)
  • What is the total ATP cost for gene expression? I'm studying a transcription factor (PPARa) that promotes lipid metabolism in energy-demanding conditions, so I was wondering how much energy (ATP) it will cost to the cell to produce energy-harvesting proteins by a transcriptional mechanism (like the PPARa-mediated one). This is a sort of economy curiosity which goes beyond the literature I usually read: how much ATP should the cell spend to gain more ATP?
Look at the quality of the responses I got back: impossible to obtain these details and bibliographic references in classic forums, and distilling the same kind of knowledge from pubmed would have required me at least one week: here it was just matter of minutes, and it was more entertaining. Thus, in contrast to forums, if we stick to practical, scoped purposes, this could be an useful site if you are reviewing a manuscript and you are not confident with some parts, but I see also a good tool to broaden the impact of your grant application or PhD discussion. Otherwise, you can always indulge in the pure knowledge stream.

The site i currently receiving 250 visits/day that requires some work: to have a better impact, it could be good to exit the beta with some 1000-1500 visits, so have a look and exchange your knowledge.