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wooflepoof

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Shameless plug: this article is about a product launched by my company (Life Technologies) and the company that split off from my business when it was acquired by Applied Biosystems 4 years ago (Asuragen).

Asuragen and Life Technologies Launch CE-Marked BCR/ABL1 Quant Leukemia Test in Europe

Legal disclaimer: I'm not an official spokesperson, obviously, and do not represent Life Tech's position on any matter. But it's still a pretty cool place to work. ;)
So we can get like a discount on....leukemia tests from you?
 

skidd

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In undergrad, I did neuroscience research on Lesch-Nyhan disease. Now, I'm a PhD student working on solving the structure of protein complexes by electron microscopy. I made the switch because I hated working with mice and like playing with expensive toys.
 

chaos386

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So does anyone else here do Chemical Engineering? I know we have a lot of MechEs on here, but I forget if we have any ChEs...
 

RaptorJesus

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So does anyone else here do Chemical Engineering? I know we have a lot of MechEs on here, but I forget if we have any ChEs...
Nope they are all busy making lots of money working for big oil. I have a few ChemE friends who went to work for the big oil/gas companies, all make over 100k out of college and all are just waiting to get a bit of experience, get an MBA and then make even more filthy money. I couldn't in any conscience work for some of those companies though, too many human rights/environmental violations. Thats considering BP to be one of the smaller but more publicized disasters.
 

MadCat360

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Anyone read any good genetics books recently? I know almost nothing of the subject and I'm quite keen to learn more about human genes specifically.
 

RaptorJesus

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Anyone read any good genetics books recently? I know almost nothing of the subject and I'm quite keen to learn more about human genes specifically.
I'm not sure if there is a intro guide to genetics book, ala what Sagan/Hawking/Kaku put out in regards to physics. Im sure there is, and spicy would probably know. If you need a textbook recommendation though I got some that you would like.
 

spicysaurus

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Mean Genes is good pop genetics. There's also a book by Dawkins called The Selfish Gene, but I haven't read it. I hear good things about it though.
 

MadCat360

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The Selfish Gene is interesting and a good starting point, but don?t expect an easy book.
I seem to do okay (just "okay") with quantum mechanics. I'll figure it out somehow. Thanks for the warning though.

Speaking of quantum mechanics, as I only have a layman's knowledge I have no way to run the math, but I've been thinking all this morning about collisions of bodies and how that motion reversal works on a quantum level. Does it have to do with the uncertainty principle? In other words, do the quantum particles that make up the body "jitter" into the new heading and velocity as a result of only knowing partial velocity and position at the moment of impact, or is it some other process? I'm confusing myself.
 

skidd

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I think you've confused a bunch of different things in one big pot. In terms of collisions, you can read up on Pauli Exclusion Principle, which states that no two particles of half-integer spin can share the same quantum numbers. What this essentially means is that particles like electrons, neutrons, and protons (but not bosons) have space-occupying behavior. So if you imagine two protons on a collision course, you must consider their physical space, as well as charge-charge interactions (they're both positive, so their charges will repel each other). Then you can predict their behavior, which is what people do in quantum mechanics simulations (all that Folding@Home stuff works more or less on this principle).

But this is in a theoretical system, where you can arbitrarily assign position and velocities and stuff. In a practical setting, the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle states that in the quantum mechanics realm certain pairs of physical properties cannot be measured simultaneously to a certain precision. Or, the more accurate you measure the momentum of a particle, the less accurate its measured position. This is more of a description of the nature of the system than anything, it has something to do with the wave properties of quantum particles.

If you want a good general physics book, I suggest looking at the Feynman Lectures. A lot of hardcore stuff explained in an understandable way by a guy who solved complex equations in the comfort of his local titty bar. Or, my hero.
 

RaptorJesus

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I think you've confused a bunch of different things in one big pot. In terms of collisions, you can read up on Pauli Exclusion Principle, which states that no two particles of half-integer spin can share the same quantum numbers. What this essentially means is that particles like electrons, neutrons, and protons (but not bosons) have space-occupying behavior. So if you imagine two protons on a collision course, you must consider their physical space, as well as charge-charge interactions (they're both positive, so their charges will repel each other). Then you can predict their behavior, which is what people do in quantum mechanics simulations (all that Folding@Home stuff works more or less on this principle).

But this is in a theoretical system, where you can arbitrarily assign position and velocities and stuff. In a practical setting, the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle states that in the quantum mechanics realm certain pairs of physical properties cannot be measured simultaneously to a certain precision. Or, the more accurate you measure the momentum of a particle, the less accurate its measured position. This is more of a description of the nature of the system than anything, it has something to do with the wave properties of quantum particles.

If you want a good general physics book, I suggest looking at the Feynman Lectures. A lot of hardcore stuff explained in an understandable way by a guy who solved complex equations in the comfort of his local titty bar. Or, my hero.
My hero too. I heard a quote attributed to him about :If you can't explain something to a regular undergrad easily with plain language, you don't understand it well enough.

 

MadCat360

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I think you've confused a bunch of different things in one big pot. In terms of collisions, you can read up on Pauli Exclusion Principle, which states that no two particles of half-integer spin can share the same quantum numbers. What this essentially means is that particles like electrons, neutrons, and protons (but not bosons) have space-occupying behavior. So if you imagine two protons on a collision course, you must consider their physical space, as well as charge-charge interactions (they're both positive, so their charges will repel each other). Then you can predict their behavior, which is what people do in quantum mechanics simulations (all that Folding@Home stuff works more or less on this principle).

But this is in a theoretical system, where you can arbitrarily assign position and velocities and stuff. In a practical setting, the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle states that in the quantum mechanics realm certain pairs of physical properties cannot be measured simultaneously to a certain precision. Or, the more accurate you measure the momentum of a particle, the less accurate its measured position. This is more of a description of the nature of the system than anything, it has something to do with the wave properties of quantum particles.

If you want a good general physics book, I suggest looking at the Feynman Lectures. A lot of hardcore stuff explained in an understandable way by a guy who solved complex equations in the comfort of his local titty bar. Or, my hero.
So wait, does the uncertainty principle introduce an element of randomness to collisions or is that randomness just because we can't measure both position and speed exactly?
 

Blayde

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So wait, does the uncertainty principle introduce an element of randomness to collisions or is that randomness just because we can't measure both position and speed exactly?
Observing something changes it, in very very tiny things to observe something you have to introduce a change to observe it, that affects it and thus removes one constant, you can either observe it's position or it's velocity, but not both because the method of observation changes either.

 

MadCat360

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Observing something changes it, in very very tiny things to observe something you have to introduce a change to observe it, that affects it and thus removes one constant, you can either observe it's position or it's velocity, but not both because the method of observation changes either.
Yeah, I know, but is that a factor in collisions is what I'm asking. The two colliding particles are essentially observing each other, are they not?

What got me thinking about this is how I heard the "jitteryness" of QM explained. The way it was explained to me was that if you "zero" a cut off section of space (essentially, reduce all velocities of all particles to 0 and set all fields to a value which doesn't produce any effect), even though everything is stationary, due to the uncertainty principle particles will start to jitter just slightly and produce nonzero values and fields will begin to affect the things which they should. Did I grasp the concept correctly or have I got it all terribly wrong?
 

skidd

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Yeah, I know, but is that a factor in collisions is what I'm asking. The two colliding particles are essentially observing each other, are they not?

What got me thinking about this is how I heard the "jitteryness" of QM explained. The way it was explained to me was that if you "zero" a cut off section of space (essentially, reduce all velocities of all particles to 0 and set all fields to a value which doesn't produce any effect), even though everything is stationary, due to the uncertainty principle particles will start to jitter just slightly and produce nonzero values and fields will begin to affect the things which they should. Did I grasp the concept correctly or have I got it all terribly wrong?
Not sure I completely understand what you're getting at with the non-zero values. An electron, for example, has properties of both a wave and a particle (referred to as the wave-particle duality). This duality is an intrinsic property of the electron which leads to the uncertainty principle. An electron travelling as a wave in direction x has a velocity vector along x and thus a momentum along x, but it's true position is unknown because its wavefunction and probability of finding it is spread throughout the space described by the linear velocity and the wavelength of the electron (p = h/lambda, where p = momentum, h = Planck's constant, and lambda = wavelength). You can localize the space in which you can find an electron by adding several wavefunctions of different wavelengths together and creating a specific interference pattern, but now you've mixed up all of the momenta and makes them more uncertain.

Now, just because you don't know where or how fast an electron is doesn't mean it's oblivious to everything. It can bounce off things too, the problem is that quantum particles can only be described in terms of probabilities. Two cars speeding directly at each other will collide, but two electrons travelling towards each other might not because their wavefunctions might not overlap properly. If their wavefunctions match, then you need to take into consideration the electrons' particle properties, probability densities, charges, etc (this can get math heavy so I'll leave it out for now).

Quantum vibration is more of a molecular bond thing. If you look at H2O, the bonds between the O and each H act like springs, and the H's can vibrate, rotate about the bond's axis, do all sorts of weird things. The length of the H-O bond is more of an average of the vibrations parallel to the bond.

Is this helping, or am I screwing it up even worse for you?
 

skidd

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still not sold on entanglement theory. sounds more like "when physicists smoke shitty weed".
 
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