Reception to welcome the british royal family

I just came back from a reception at Senate House, the ceremonial centre of the University of Cambridge.The reception was to welcome Prince William and Princess Kate in their first visit to the city as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

There were about 400 guests representing the university, from famous professors to long-standing members of the administrative staff. I particularly like the speech of Prince William and his joke on his younger brother…

Impressive Japanese Technology

ASIMO is arguably World’s most advanced humanoid robot.

If you ever go to Tokyo, I highly recommend a visit to Honda Robotics to see in person what this robot is capable of. ASIMO is currently able to run at 9 kilometres per hour, autonomously avoid moving obstacles and unscrew bottles to serve drinks flawlessly, as shown in this video.

This robot is undoubtedly one of the most impressive pieces of technology I have seen and makes you wonder how far robotics will go within one’s lifetime.

Pattern Recognition in Bioinformatics 2012

I just returned from the 7th international conference on Pattern Recognition in Bioinformatics (PRIB) held at the Tokyo Institute of Technology in Japan.

In the first plenary talk, Takayuki Aoki explained the technological challenges of building TSUBAME, currently the 4th fastest computer in the world. He also presented several large-scale fluid dynamics and molecular dynamics simulations making use of TSUBAME’s 2420 TFLOPS and 104 TB of memory.

The second plenary talk showcased work by Kwong-Sak Leung’s group on sequence-based and structure-based identification of transcription factor binding sites and fast protein-ligand docking.

Hwanjo Yu gave the last plenary talk on search and mining of Big Data. Those using PubMed might want to try Yu’s RefMED, a search engine that recommends entries likely to be relevant based on brief feedback provided by the user. Particularly useful in searches returning too many hits to be inspected manually.

The rest of the programme included papers on biomarker discovery in cancer, clustering protein-protein interaction networks, scoring for protein-ligand docking, efficiency in protein-protein docking and subfamily classification of GPCRs, among others.