Best Links of the day 1/15/2010

by Gilbert Keith

1. From the LifeScientist (Australia): “Soybean genome sequenced.” Looks like it was a collaboration between Purdue, some Californian people, and ICRISAT. The genome is about 1.1 Gbp long, and has about 46 K genes. For reference, the human genome is about 3 Gbp long and has about 30K genes. This is good news, as the research will certainly help improve crop yields and allow new strains of the crop which are resistant to pests. There is also talk of developing strains which are lower in phytic acid, which could have positive implications for the phosphorus content of the wastes we have been dumping into waters.
2. From The Economist: “Bin Laden’s Legacy.”  A report by The Economist on how restrictions on travel and the image presented by the US at airports and security places has been tarnishing the country’s image on immigration and travel.
3. From Beat The Press: “Industrial Production: Don’t Get Fooled By The Weather.” Dean Baker warns that while the numbers posted by the Federal Reserve Board showed an increase in industrial production, manufacturing production has actually declined slightly. Today, when I was watching Bloomberg in the morning, I heard about how the utilities were up a lot. I was confused as to why that was good news, because the whole country was goddamn cold during December, and output going up at the utilities was only to be expected. I am glad that I was not alone in my suspicions. Still, I guess, any non-negative number is a good number.
4. From The Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences: “Faculty Profile: Michael Brenner.” I like the way this guy thinks. Figuring out what the question is has to mean winning 50% of the battle.
5. From Baseline Scenario: “Entrepreneurs and Risk.” A good article by James Kwak about entrepreneurship and the risk-taking behavior associated with it.
6. From Flowing Data: “Graphical World Progress Report.” I guess this is from yesterday, but it’s still a great thing nevertheless. Raw data can always lack the context necessary when information is being conveyed, and I think these guys did it well.
7. From Mashable: “AT&T and Verizon slash their prices in an all-out price war.” We know that this cellular telecom oligopoly had to have its internal jhagda moment given that they have all be trying to team up with each other’s partners in the hopes of one-upping each other. I hope T-Mobile also follows this model.

And, ladies and gentlemen, that’s it for today.

Au revoir.

–Gautam

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