Perl and Genomics

Perl is man’s best friend.  Well, maybe not, but it’s my best friend, anyway.  Using Perl, I’ve been able to:

♠ make a computer-based car stereo that has all my CDs copied onto its hard drive, so every song, band, and album is instantly available all the time.  (Well, I don’t quite have all my CDs copied onto it yet -- only about 250 or 300 so far.  It takes time, you know...)

♣ make the scripts that run this website, like the blogger/messageboard script you’re reading right now, along with a login script, a mailinglist script, my visitorlog/stats scripts, and various others.

♥ make an interface for creating webpages from photos that’s easy enough for my mom to use, along with the scripts to display those photos as a slideshow or in frames (and the blog/msgboard script fits in to allow user comments on the photos).

And now, I just started a job using Perl (along with other web-development concepts like CGI programming, CSS design, mysql databases, etc) to help design/maintain a database and website system in one of the bio labs here on campus.  Professors and grad students here are collaborating with people at Cornell and the U of Florida on a project to sequence flower genomes, and Perl plays a big role in enabling the project.

Most of the bio is mostly over my head, but I’m learning it as I go.  Genomics is certainly interesting stuff, especially with stories about the supposed successful creation of a human clone making the news nowadays.  And while I’m working, I get to hear the researchers make jokes about the "millions of years of evolution" these plants have gone through (well, they don’t know that they are jokes... but they’re funny).

Posted by Anthony on 3 replies


01. Feb 13, 2004 at 10:38am by Patrick Copland:

I am pretty good with DOS batch files and have even done some simple UNIX shell scripts (I took a class quite a few years ago).  I work with two guys who are good with VB Script, but I don’t know the first thing.

Any suggestions on how I could get started with Perl?  Realistic suggestions?  Slow start?  I want to start now so I can be "Lookin’ Good" in about two years time.  I work best with tutorials that have examples.  Dag, yo!

02. Feb 13, 2004 at 02:17pm by Anthony:

> Dag, yo!

Ha!  I haven’t heard that in forever.  Me and my brothers used to say that all the time :)

I have a quick intro-to-perl tutorial that’s entirely example-based, and when you’re finished it, it has links to the perldoc website.  That’s where I learned everything I know about Perl.

03. Feb 17, 2004 at 03:00pm by Patrick Copland:

I will check it out.  Thanks (as usual) for the excellent help!

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