Friday, September 30, 2011


I was at the foreigner's office in the city hall this morning. It turned out that the workers, probably in Berlin, were super slow, and new certificates of stay permit for me and my family were not ready.

So ........... , I had to pay extra because of their slow work, literally!
(Wir sind in Urlaubmeisterland, ich weiss)

I wish I could find a convincing reason for this and ................

I just want to choose the place to live in by myself. Of course, I can.

This is, too! (I was not the one who wrote the words at the bottom)

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Report from 6th Intl Chick Meeting

As part of POULTRY GENOME NEWSLETTER posted in AnGenMap emailing list, I received a report from the 6th International Chicken Meeting.
 'The Sixth International Chicken Meeting, previously scheduled for Sendai, Japan, was held at the new Roslin Institute facility in Edinburgh, Scotland, September 17-20. Kudos to the outstanding organizational efforts of Dave Burt and his team (especially Liz Brown) from Roslin and thanks for their exceptional hospitality. Among the highlights: Wes Warren spoke of the on-going efforts to improve the chicken sequence assembly. He noted that the Galgal4 assembly was sent to browsers about 1.5 months ago and should be out soon, but there remains more to do to fill gaps and find missing microchromosome sequences. Almas Gheyas described the sequencing of 243 chickens, generating nearly 140M SNP and efforts to reduce this set to the most useful 675,000 SNP for a new Affymetrix genotyping array expected to be out middle of next year. There were several remarkable and even beautiful talks on cell labeling and imaging, and the use of these approaches to follow cell commitment and development pathways. Olivier Pourquie described the mechanism of somitogenesis and segmentation, along with numerous other excellent developmental biology talks. Tatsuo Fukagawa showed how the Z centromere could be deleted in DT40 cells and replaced with an engineered constitutive centromere or by selective   neocentromere evolution at a variety of locations along Z. Andrew Sinclair and Mike Clinton described the latest developments in chicken gonadal and cell autonomous somatic sex determination, respectively. Dave Burt discussed the soon-to-appear duck genome sequence and noted that reports collected at the meeting suggest that there are now at least 54 unique avian genome projects underway. Several excellent student talks and posters were also presented. The 7^th International meeting (soon to get a new, more pan-avian inclusive name) is to be held in Nagoya, Japan in November, 2012, and preliminary plans are underway for the 8^th meeting at Caltech (Pasadena, California) in 2014.'

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Introduction to learning the Japanese language

Here is a web site explaining how different the Japanese language is from other languages, like English.

'Fascinating language of one of the world's largest economy and the best path into an utterly refined an complex culture. Japanese is a very difficult language to read and write, but it is very rewarding and can be put to many cultural and professional uses.'

They give the highest score for its difficulty to the Japanese language. I am proud of my command of this complicated language.

In this page, you can partly get why English spoken by Japanese people is often difficult to understand, in terms of their pronunciation. For example:

'Japanese pronunciation is dead easy, all the sounds are perfectly natural for the native English speaker, the only new sound is the Japanese R which is nothing like an English R and involves tapping your tongue just behind your teeth, similar to the English L.'

It is very difficult for many Japanese to differently pronounce L and R. Examples are:

long - wrong
lock - rock

Other typical confusions are:

shit - sit
very - bury

For those who are highly interested now, I present below a table of Japanese alphabets (obtained here). Be careful. We also use Chinese letters very often, and just learning the Japanese alphabets will not give you sufficient command of the Japanese language.

'Japanese, like Korean, borrowed most of its Kanjis (characters) from Chinese. This is good news if you already speak Chinese since the vast majority of characters are very similar or exactly the same in both languages. Furthermore, they are often pronounced in not totally different ways, which considerably helps when learning new vocabulary.'

I hope this is good news to you!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Special Issue 'Hox and ParaHox genes' in GPB

The journal Genomics Bioinformatics and Proteomics has published a special issue, titled 'Hox and ParaHox genes in Evolution, Development and Genomics'.

To this special issue, I contributed a mini review paper about Hox gene cluster evolution and expression patterns of cyclostomes (extant jawless fishes) and cartilaginous fishes (available upon request).

The main and associate Editors-in-Chief of this relatively new journal are all affiliated with the world's biggest sequencing center, BGI. I received free reprints of my review and free copies of the journal issue kindly gifted by the publisher. Thanks!

Monday, September 19, 2011

European Elasmobranch Association meeting 2011

at Natural History Museum of Berlin from 28 - 30 October 2011.