From Plugged In to Beached Out: Phage Hunting Dos

By Kareem Osman

As I lounge here in my sunny spring break abode, I can’t help but marvel at the marked dichotomy between work and play that has characterized the first leg of my second semester (of phage hunting of course).

While I don’t find the work of genomic annotation or BLASTp searches very titillating, I have developed a deep respect for those of us who do. I have now felt the effects of the bioinformatics grind, with all its fixins’. From antiquated tech to numbers that simply do not make sense to the most geeked out, this experience has been one to remember.

While working with my two swashbuckling partners, Matt and Winston,  I have somehow learned to transcend my procrastinatory state of mind to focus on the task at hand. Even though I came into this class with a Macbook, I beat the system by installing a windows partition earlier in the year. This has enabled me to zero in on a number of tabs at once (not confining me to a mini virtual box), jumping from one source of information to the other in the effort to pass the ultimatum upon each gene at a time. I felt like a programmer at times, not letting any distraction infect my processes of thought (pun intended).

Although our squad has proven quite audacious in our calls, (think of words like ‘arbitrary’ and ‘heuristic’), I believe that when we convene with the other groups overlapping with us later next week, our evidence of ‘yolo’ for a couple of our calls made will surely take the class by storm.

Until then, I will bide my time at the beach and let the tide wash all of those tasteless DNA Master errors away.

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