On correlation and causation

  Guillaume Filion’s new post in “The grand locus” talks about Bayesian networks and how they can help distinguish correlation from causation, two concepts that are often mistakenly put into the same box. You can read the whole post for some examples about how and when Bayesian networks can demonstrate causation – and when they can’t. Spoiler: Filion concludes that, as the great statistician George Box said, “all models are wrong, but some are useful”, and that, at the end of the day, experimentation is needed to prove causal relationships.   Continue reading On correlation and causation

“Without 3D information it is very difficult to understand how the genome works”

Marc A. Marti-Renom is interested in three-dimensional structures. After eight years in the US dedicated to the world of proteins, the biophysicist returned to his native country, first Valencia and then Barcelona, to specialise in RNA and DNA folding. In 2006 he set up his own group, which today is divided between the CNAG, where there are ten people, and the CRG, where there are two. “We do the experimental part, the sample preparation, here in the CRG, and the sequencing and analysis happens in the CNAG”, he explains. For his research he requires a large sequencing and computing capacity, … Continue reading “Without 3D information it is very difficult to understand how the genome works”

Why are we so few? About women in science

  Mar Albà, a PI at the IMIM, one of the centres at the PRBB, has just published in her group’s blog a reflection on the issue of the under-representation of women in permanent academic positions. A topic that has gained new impetus following the recent controversial comments by Tim Hunt. A rare event which should not be that rare encouraged her to write it. We invite you to read her post entitled “Why are we so few?” and to reflect on this, sadly, still current topic.   You can read a related interview to Joan Steitz (Yale) published in the PRBB’s magainze El·lipse … Continue reading Why are we so few? About women in science

Interdisciplinary conference on neural engineering at the PRBB this September

Next 21-23 September 2015 an International Conference on System Level Approaches to Neural Engineering (ICSLANE) will take place at the PRBB. Organised by the Neural Engineering Transformative Technologies (NETT) Consortium, the conference presents an outstanding list of invited speakers. Maciek Jedynak and Alessandro Barardi, both research fellows at the Jordi Garcia-Ojalvo group (CEXS-UPF), and local organisers of this exciting conference, tell us a bit more about it. ————- Neural Engineering is an inherently new discipline that brings together engineering, physics, neuroscience and mathematics to design and develop brain-computer interface systems, cognitive computers and neural prosthetics. Neural Engineering Transformative Technologies (NETT) is a Europe-wide consortium of … Continue reading Interdisciplinary conference on neural engineering at the PRBB this September

“Being in the minority is part of the problem”, Joan Steitz (Yale University and HHMI)

Joan Steitz, professor of molecular biophysics and biochemistry at Yale University and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, came to Barcelona in January 2015 to participate in the CRG faculty retreat. Considered one of the founders in the field of RNA biology and world-renowned for her many seminal contributions, she is also a prominent activist, promoting scientific careers for women. Mother to a son who followed in her footsteps and wife to a Nobel Prize winner, during her stay at the PRBB she gave a talk about her research into non-coding RNAs and participated in a round table about women in … Continue reading “Being in the minority is part of the problem”, Joan Steitz (Yale University and HHMI)