Radio interview at “Fábrica de la Ciencia”

May 25, 2015 at 11:54

A few weeks ago I was interviewed at Gavà radio station in the radio program directed by Jorge Onsulve called “La Fábrica de la Ciencia“. The interview was about protein simulations in supercomputing environments. You can listen to the program via podcast (sorry, only in Spanish):

5th CAPRI Evaluation Meeting

April 16, 2013 at 17:06

Random Protein

The CAPRI evaluation meeting is the most important date in my research group’s agenda. Tomorrow, the 5th CAPRI evaluation meeting starts in Utrecht. The 4th evaluation meeting was celebrated in Barcelona and organized by my group, but I hadn’t started my PhD at that moment, so this is my very first “CAPRI”. I am presenting a poster and I am very excited about personally meeting all the good scientists who wrote the best articles in the protein-protein docking field.

You can follow the live feed from twitter hashtag #CAPRI2013Utrecht.

By the way, I’m participating in the e-ScienceTalk ( initiative, so I’ll post about the 5th CAPRI evaluation meeting in the GridCast blog.

After three very intensive days in Utrecht, I will visit Amsterdam for a couple of days. It is going to be my third time in Amsterdam, but the first one I can visit the Rijksmuseum.

Panda3D and rapid prototyping

October 14, 2012 at 12:59

A new project I’m involved in requires a walking skeleton in a few weeks and it consists of a 3D interface where some proteins are displayed. My first idea was to reuse some C++ libraries I coded a couple months ago to read and parse PDB files (proteins) and use what I know from Qt and OpenGL to display them. But wait, what about time constraints? My friend trikitrok recommended me to have a look at the state-of-the-art python 3D engines and I ended in the Python wiki checking the Python Games section. After comparing them, I chose Panda3D. The main reasons why I chose it are:

  1. Panda3D is free and open source. It also includes proprietary parts, but there is always free code to avoid them already encoded in the engine.
  2. It’s being developed by Disney and Carnegie Mellon and it has been tested in real (and commercial) projects.
  3. The core is written in C++, but Python bindings are available. It’s possible to code some parts in C++ and the rest in Python.
  4. Documentation is simply exquisite.
  5. Really good samples included in the engine.

And which is the result? In three days I’ve encoded most of the functionalities required and the application looks sexy!

I even had time to play with pixel shading and cartoon filters 🙂

Despite I didn’t optimize any line of code, the application runs fluid and if the project goes on I could code the critical parts in C++ to gain performance. I’m absolutely in love with Panda3D engine 🙂

Theine and caffeine

September 30, 2012 at 21:23

Many times I’ve been involved in this discussion: are theine and caffeine the same? The answer is yes. And that’s also true for guaranine and mateine. The difference in names is due to the different source (tea bush, coffee bean, etc.).

Caffeine is safe for humans, but what I didn’t know and I discovered reading the Wikipedia entry for caffeine is that is toxic to many animal species and can be used as a natural pesticide.

NASA have used spider-web patters to determine toxicity, below is one picture published in 1975.

I’m not a heavy tea drinker, but if caffeine affects spiders in that way I’m afraid of the source code I write 🙂