Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Bioinformatician Blunders

Writing in Source Code for Biology and Medicine, a trio of bioinformaticians presents a satire on working in the field that outlines how not to succeed. "By scrupulously following these guidelines one can be sure to regress at a highly satisfactory rate," the authors write. While written in sarcasm, these humorous how-tos — "make sure the output of your application is unreadable, unparseable, and does not comply to any known standards," for example — speak to the challenges of successfully navigating a career in the burgeoning field.

"The looming prospect of massive layoffs in the financial sector or the new hoped-for thrill to be working on things that matter following a mid-life crisis, have all contributed to the resurgence of a new breed of a mutant, super-resistant bioinformatician species," the authors write. "The resulting ecosystem of practitioners is an eclectic mixture of individuals, including a) those whose graphics card for video games would preferably be hammered out with algorithmic computations for the elucidation of the meaning of life, b) those submerged in the muddy waters of the ever increasing 'omics subfields, and c) those fulfilling their role as annotation monkeys."

On top of that, "a myriad of new packages, formats, and databases keep on mushrooming daily throughout the biomedical arena, surreptitiously embracing complexity just for the sake of it," the authors say. "Bioinformatics has evolved into the cheap form of biology during cycles of funding shortages. Its tentacles now spread into pretty much every branch of life sciences."

The Scan

UK Pilot Study Suggests Digital Pathway May Expand BRCA Testing in Breast Cancer

A randomized pilot study in the Journal of Medical Genetics points to similar outcomes for breast cancer patients receiving germline BRCA testing through fully digital or partially digital testing pathways.

Survey Sees Genetic Literacy on the Rise, Though Further Education Needed

Survey participants appear to have higher genetic familiarity, knowledge, and skills compared to 2013, though 'room for improvement' remains, an AJHG paper finds.

Study Reveals Molecular, Clinical Features in Colorectal Cancer Cases Involving Multiple Primary Tumors

Researchers compare mismatch repair, microsatellite instability, and tumor mutation burden patterns in synchronous multiple- or single primary colorectal cancers.

FarGen Phase One Sequences Exomes of Nearly 500 From Faroe Islands

The analysis in the European Journal of Human Genetics finds few rare variants and limited geographic structure among Faroese individuals.