Hi everybody, I haven’t had written much lately as I have been busy with other things, so this is just a short update on what is going on with my life.
This May I handed in my M.Sc. thesis in bioinformatics at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences. In it I investigated the prevalence of cis-regulatory elements (CREs) in plant promoters across 25 species. CREs are short DNA sites (typically around 12 base pairs long) that plays a role in gene regulation. They typically work by having high binding affinity for proteins that somehow regulates RNA transcription. I used genomic data (sequences and annotations) from the PLAZA server. I then predicted CREs by using motifs from the JASPAR, AtcisDB and PLACE databases. I then investigated whether predicted CREs that was found to be conserved in many gene families were more co-expressed than CREs that were not conserved and conserved only in a few families. I found that in general, this was not the case.
Right after my thesis was done I started my new job as a statistician in the Department of Health Services Research at Akershus University Hospital right outside Oslo. I am very exited about this as I get to work on a lot of interesting and meaningful research projects with a bunch of really great people.
I also spent a week backpacking in Belgium this summer with my girlfriend. The atmosphere was great in Brussels when Belgium beat the US in the World Cup, the weather was nice when we hiked in the Ardennes near the French border and everything was excellent when we rode our bikes in Bruges. Antwerp had the best food and the most beautiful train station I have ever been to. The most bizarre thing we experienced was perhaps the Bruggian love for embroidered cats dressed as humans:
Until next time!