Month: December 2006

Spice corner at Bozar Bazaar

Yesterday, we went for the Bazaar organised by the Bozar. While people were selling Indian bibelots and food (yummy!), Nandini set up a “Spice Corner” where she exposed and explained everything about Indian spices (you could even taste Pan Masala!). She had quite a success but, unfortunately for some visitors, Nandini did not sell anything. Our famous Peter also had a table for Rose vzw that was represented by Swapna (they were still there on Sunday).

Nandini and Swapna at the Spice Corner, Bozar Bazaar, December 9th 2006

The Bazaar was held in the Horta hall where we also were able to see performances by a folk Rajasthan group, a Bhangra group and two would-be Bollywood actors 😉 The theme was, obviously, Popular India.

Bhangra group performing at Bozar, December 9th 2006

In the evening we went to hear Asha Bhosle, the Queen of Bollywood songs. Although she has her age, listening to her real voice is a totally different experience than listening to a CD or watching a song from a film on DVD. I found this concert great!

From far, Asha Bhosle at Bozar, December 9th 2006

If you are interested in India, there are still some very nice evenings to spend in Bruxelles. Have a look at the Bozar website!

A nice 2D-DIGE difference

This week is very stressful because I am doing a 2200+ euros 2D-DIGE experiment (*) on samples from a rat organ we never studied before and from which I cannot obtain any more new samples.

We found a new pattern of proteins dispersion (compared to our previous experiments on other organs) and, more importantly, we found a clear difference in protein expression in at least 2 spots. In the image below, all the whitish spots mean proteins in these spots are found in equal amounts in the 3 conditions. But spots in red or green mean proteins expressed at different levels (even on/off) between conditions!

Difference in protein expression pattern in rat, revealed by 2D-DIGE

Now, we’ll have to perform a more mathematical/quantitative exploration of these expression patterns and hopefully identify these interesting proteins by mass spectrometry.

(*) 5nmol of Cy dyes (proteins labelling molecules) cost 2215 euros and weight something like 2.75*10-6g! I used nearly all that amount for my experiment. And I don’t take into account the 3-lasers scanner and common lab reagents

People love free e-mail services

… at least in my biased population. It came from a file containing all the people interested by ISAL and that I had to parse (the file, not the people). It’s a tab-delimited file with the names, e-mail addresses, location, interests, etc (in total, 379 unique e-mail IDs). I used Python for that purpose.

Since I had all the e-mail addresses in a Python set (*), I decided to do some stats. I know it’s useless but here are the results: 30.34% of Hotmail accounts, 27.18% of Yahoo ones, 7.39% of Gmail ones, 7.12% of Rediffmail ones (a popular e-mail service in India) and “only” 7.65% of KULeuven ones. As we can see, members mainly use free e-mail accounts (probably because the majority of them are students – the “S” in ISAL). And less than 10% of members come from the KULeuven, although ISAL is a students organisation from Leuven (the “L” in ISAL). Of course, R can produce nice charts. And since its documentation states that pie charts are “a very bad way of displaying information”, I also produced a regular bar plot.

Pie chart of ISAL members e-mail accounts
bar plot of ISAL members e-mail accounts

With that very interesting information in mind, I’ll now be able to go to sleep (and work, because there is a lot of work that is waiting for me, this month!).

(*) a set is interesting because it could not contain duplicates and the file does contain duplicates.