All entries for February 2006

February 27, 2006

Leamington vs. Coventry. It's still about class.

When it comes to off-campus accomodation, the predominant opinion seems to be "Leamington or death." Coventry is a zone only ventured into on saturday nights to get to the collosseum.

Leamington of course has a lot to show for, flashier bars, clubs and restaurants, and simply more of them. And they are neatly stacked all closely together.
Coventry in turn seems to have less of all that. Has it really? Once you start looking, night life venues keep on popping up. Though it seems to be impossible to get information on them from the Warwick student crowd.

Also the CovUni students do not seem to have a problem to entertain themselves in Coventry. So it's Coventry to CovUni and the Coventrians and Leamington to Warwick students.

To me it smells like the old class division.

Britain has an (I believe unfortunate) tradition to bash its own cities ( crap towns ), but maybe it is worth noting that in all those towns, including Coventry, there are people who actually choose to live there and enjoy it. And why are people so eager to brand places as "shitholes" ?!

Although I have to say that the "Summer of Cov initiative was rather amusing. Even though the marketing department of coventry is not yes as aspiring as the guys from LutonFirst.


February 25, 2006

Why the national ID card is a grand idea

The ID card bill seems well underway and we can expect that ID cards will be issued from 2008 on. The debate on concerns ranges from costs [ BBC article ], privacy issues, human rights, protection of minorities and identity theft (!) over to its technological feasibility [ Wikipedia ].

Frankly, I ask myself: How can a country funciton without a national ID? Well, I see it does, more or less. But what a hassle!

You want to open a bank account? Then bring your birth certificate(!), or a "piece of your phone bill with an address on it, or a letter from someone else we trust." What a mess! What about just handing over your national ID and be done with it.

Mobile phone or any other contracts. Make it simple with a proper ID.

To add to the ramblings on cost. Well, I don't know if all the biometric fandangle is really needed. But I find it very easy to see how ID cards can save a lot of work and money in government administration, e.g. by allowing for easy detection of multiple entries.

Also, when I look at the trouble on elections, for example the postal vote-rigging [ Economist 6-05 ], I believe it would save time and nerves of all participants of this process. ID cards might even abolish the need to register in the first place.

And maybe someone can remind me what kind of civil liberties are lost having an ID card? After all, the British seem all too prepared to sacrifice things like freedom of speech, protection from detainment without charge, or right to wear jackets in underground stations.

And finally, the one who really has all the information about you, in particular your eating and shopping habits, is tesco.

I forgot, other nations also have ID cards (e.g. Germany, France, Italy) and don't seem to regret it. The USA don't, but instead you need a driver's licence in order to exist, or take your passport with you if you want to go for a drink.


February 23, 2006

Why I love the US

Yes, just back from LIMUN I realise how much fun it is to be think like an american. And I also remember my time in the Southwest.

Freedom is it: Where Europe is static, the States are mobile. Live where you want and how you want. Everyone is crazy anyway, and so you have the right to be it as well =)

Taking initiative: Americans take initiative, they don't wait for anyone or the state to take action. Always focusing on what can be done and ready to take risks.

Lightness of heart: Call it naivity. If they are not fear-ridden, they are typically very happy people. They like simplicity and disdain unnecessary complexity.

Eager to be enchanted: Fairy tales and dreams are taken seriously in the US. That's why american films are so successful. Similar with music and other arts. They are not ashamed to spent millions on dreams.


February 13, 2006

References for gene circuit modeling

Follow-up to References for Nitrogen assimilation from Schreibfaul in Warwick

In Atkinson2003 the model is formulated using the "piece-wise power law representation". The relevant references are all about M.A. Savageau:

  • Savageau, M.A., 1975. Significance of autogenously regulated and constitutive synthesis of regulatory proteins in repressible biosynthetic systems. Nature 258, pp. 208214.
  • Savageau, M.A., 2002. Alternative designs for a genetic switch: Analysis of switching times using the piece-wise power-law representation. Math. Biosci. 180, pp. 237253.
  • M.A. Savageau 2001 , Design principles for elementary gene circuits: Elements, methods, and examples. Chaos 11 (2001), p. 142.
  • W.S. Hlavacek and M.A. Savageau , Rules for coupled expression of regulator and effector genes in inducible circuits. J. Molec. Biol. 255 (1996), p. 121.

and also a book

  • Savageau, M.A., 1976. Biochemical Systems Analysis: A Study of Function and Design in Molecular Biology, Addison-Wesley, Reading, MA.

February 09, 2006

References for Nitrogen assimilation

Follow-up to References for Lac Operon from Schreibfaul in Warwick

  • already discussed here : PII signal transduction proteins, Ninfa 2000
  • Mutations Altering the N-Terminal Receiver Domain of NRI (NtrC) That Prevent Dephosphorylation by the NRII-PII Complex in Escherichia coli, Pioszak and Ninfa 2004
  • NITROGEN ASSIMILATION AND GLOBAL REGULATION IN ESCHERICHIA COLI, Reitzer 2003
  • Governor of the glnAp2 promoter of Escherichia coli, Atkinson, Ninfa 2002
  • Context-dependent functions of the PII and GlnK signal transduction proteins in Escherichia coli, Atkinson, Ninfa 2002
  • Activation of the glnA, glnK, and nac promoters as Escherichia coli undergoes the transition from nitrogen excess growth to nitrogen starvation. Atkinson, Ninfa 2002
  • Characterization of the GlnK protein of Escherichia coli. Atkinson, Ninfa 1999
  • Functional dissection of the dimerization and enzymatic activities of Escherichia coli nitrogen regulator II and their regulation by the PII protein. Atkinson, Ninfa 2000

Bio Advisor

maybe David Hodgson

February 08, 2006

References for Lac Operon

The synthetic clock uses the LacI repressor gene and the corresponding operator site(s). Time to collect some recent review on that topic:

And then we need the like for the nitrogen metabolism..


February 06, 2006

More on nitrogen metabolism and lac operon

Follow-up to Paper: PII signal transduction proteins, Ninfa 2000 from Schreibfaul in Warwick

About time to get started on lac operon and nitrogen mebaolism background. Here the link:


More on nitrogen metabolism and lac operon

Follow-up to Paper: PII signal transduction proteins, Ninfa 2000 from Schreibfaul in Warwick

About time to get started on lac operon and nitrogen mebaolism background. Here the link:


Ulrich Janus

February 2006

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