Sunday, March 9, 2008

AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript And XML) is the latest buzz

AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript And XML) is the latest buzz word taking the world of web development by storm. Apart from its fancy name, it actually represents a technique for creating interactive web applications that are faster and smoother by using JavaScript to communicate with the server behind the scenes (“asynchronously”).

One difference between desktop and web applications is that unlike in the desktop environment, one often has to wait for an entire web page to load each time the user requests an operation. I'm sure we have all gotten slightly annoyed when having to wait for especially slow websites!

Technical details aside, JavaScript uses a method called XMLHttpRequest that enable us to communicate directly with the server, instead of loading another HTML page to get the information we need. Data retrieved in this way is commonly formatted using XML (eXtensible Markup Language).

The term AJAX itself was first coined Jesse James Garrett (founder of Adaptive Path, an information architecture and user experience firm) in February 2005, when he wanted a shorthand term to represent the suite of technologies he was proposing to a client. Although the term AJAX itself is new, the technologies behind the technique have been around for nearly a decade now, starting with Microsoft's initiatives in developing Remote Scripting.

Despite the numerous advantages that AJAX brings, in-terms of improving the speed and user friendliness of a web application, it also poses numerous challenges to web developers. One huge drawback of AJAX is that the dynamically created pages do not register themselves with the browser history engine, so "Back" button of the users' browser is rendered useless. In addition, AJAX relies on JavaScript heavily, but JavaScript implementation differently in the various browsers we have today, and care must be taken to ensure that the AJAX application is cross-platform compatible. AJAX also poses usability issues as users who have JavaScript disabled (a common security measure in many corporate environments) will be unable to use the application, unless a fallback is provided for these users.

If you want to get down and dirty with AJAX, here are a few good places to start off with. Please not however that AJAX can be confusing to someone with little web programming experience. So it is highly recommended that you are familiar with HTML and JavaScript before attempting these tutorials:

AJAX tutorial from TIZAG:

AJAX, what is it good for?

Bioinformatics..a new science


From the interaction of species and populations, to the function of tissues and cells within an individual organism, biology is defined as the study of living things. In the course of that study, biologists collect and interpret data. Now, at the beginning of the 21st century, we use sophisticated laboratory technology that allows us to collect data faster than we can interpret it. We have vast volumes of DNA sequence data at our fingertips. But how do we figure out which parts of that DNA control the various chemical processes of life? We know the function and structure of some proteins, but how do we determine the function of new proteins? And how do we predict what a protein will look like, based on knowledge of its sequence? We understand the relatively simple code that translates DNA into protein. But how do we find meaningful new words in the code and add them to the DNA-protein dictionary?

Biology in computer age:

Bioinformatics is the science of using information to understand biology; it's the tool we can use to help us answer these questions and many others like them. Unfortunately, with all the hype about mapping the human genome, bioinformatics has achieved buzzword status; the term is being used in a number of ways, depending on who is using it. Strictly speaking, bioinformatics is a subset of the larger field of computational biology , the application of quantitative analytical techniques in modeling biological systems.

Bioinformatics is first and foremost a component of the biological sciences. The main goal of bioinformatics isn't developing the most elegant algorithms or the most arcane analyses; the goal is finding out how living things work. Like the molecular biology methods that greatly expanded what biologists were capable of studying, bioinformatics is a tool and not an end in itself. Bioinformaticians are the tool-builders, and it's critical that they understand biological problems as well as computational solutions in order to produce useful tools.

Research in bioinformatics and computational biology can encompass anything from abstraction of the properties of a biological system into a mathematical or physical model, to implementation of new algorithms for data analysis, to the development of databases and web tools to access them.

The field of bio informatics relies heavily on work by experts in statistical methods and pattern recognition. Researchers come to bio informatics from many fields, including mathematics, computer science, and linguistics. Unfortunately, biology is a science of the specific as well as the general. Bio informatics is full of pitfalls for those who look for patterns and make predictions without a complete understanding of where biological data comes from and what it means. By providing algorithms, databases, user interfaces, and statistical tools, bio informatics makes it possible to do exciting things such as compare DNA sequences and generate results that are potentially significant. "Potentially significant" is perhaps the most important phrase. These new tools also give you the opportunity to over interpret data and assign meaning where none really exists. We can't overstate the importance of understanding the limitations of these tools. But once you gain that understanding and become an intelligent consumer of bioinformatics methods, the speed at which your research progresses can be truly amazing.This is what is really happening now.!!

How Is Computing Changing Biology?

An organism's hereditary and functional information is stored as DNA, RNA, and proteins, all of which are linear chains composed of smaller molecules. These macromolecules are assembled from a fixed alphabet of well-understood chemicals: DNA is made up of four deoxyribonucleotides (adenine, thymine, cytosine, and guanine), RNA is made up from the four ribonucleotides (adenine, uracil, cytosine, and guanine), and proteins are made from the 20 amino acids. Because these macromolecules are linear chains of defined components, they can be represented as sequences of symbols. These sequences can then be compared to find similarities that suggest the molecules are related by form or function.

Sequence comparison is possibly the most useful computational tool to emerge for molecular biologists. The World Wide Web has made it possible for a single public database of genome sequence data to provide services through a uniform interface to a worldwide community of users. With a commonly used computer program called BLAST, a molecular biologist can compare an uncharacterized DNA sequence to the entire publicly held collection of DNA sequences.

These days, a biologist can find dozens of sequence matches in seconds using sequence-alignment programs such as BLAST and FASTA. These programs are so commonly used that the first encounter you have with bio informatics tools and biological databases will probably be through the National Center for Biotechnology Information's (NCBI) BLAST web interface. This picture shows how the BLAST program is used for DNA sequence search.

Form for submitting a BLAST search against nucleotide databases at NCBI

It's important to remember that biological sequence (DNA or protein) has a chemical function, but when it's reduced to a single-letter code, it also functions as a unique label, almost like a bar code. From the information technology point of view, sequence information is priceless. The sequence label can be applied to a gene, its product, its function, its role in cellular metabolism, and so on. The user searching for information related to a particular gene can then use rapid pairwise sequence comparison to access any information that's been linked to that sequence label.

The most important thing about these sequence labels, though, is that they don't just uniquely identify a particular gene; they also contain biologically meaningful patterns that allow users to compare different labels, connect information, and make inferences. So not only can the labels connect all the information about one gene, they can help users connect information about genes that are slightly or even dramatically different in sequence.

If simple labels were all that was needed to make sense of biological data, you could just slap a unique number (e.g., a GenBank ID) onto every DNA sequence and be done with it. But biological sequences are related by evolution, so a partial pattern match between two sequence labels is a significant find. BLAST differs from simple keyword searching in its ability to detect partial matches along the entire length of a protein sequence.

What Challenges Does Biology Offer Computer Scientists?

The goal of biology, in the era of the genome projects, is to develop a quantitative understanding of how living things are built from the genome that encodes them.

Cracking the genome code is complex. At the very simplest level, we still have difficulty identifying unknown genes by computer analysis of genomic sequence. We still have not managed to predict or model how a chain of amino acids folds into the specific structure of a functional protein.

Beyond the single-molecule level, the challenges are immense. The sheer amount of data in GenBank is now growing at an exponential rate, and as datatypes beyond DNA, RNA, and protein sequence begin to undergo the same kind of explosion, simply managing, accessing, and presenting this data to users in an intelligible form is a critical task. Human-computer interaction specialists need to work closely with academic and clinical researchers in the biological sciences to manage such staggering amounts of data.

Biological data is very complex and interlinked. A spot on a DNA array, for instance, is connected not only to immediate information about its intensity, but to layers of information about genomic location, DNA sequence, structure, function, and more. Creating information systems that allow biologists to seamlessly follow these links without getting lost in a sea of information is also a huge opportunity for computer scientists.

Finally, each gene in the genome isn't an independent entity. Multiple genes interact to form biochemical pathways, which in turn feed into other pathways. Biochemistry is influenced by the external environment, by interaction with pathogens, and by other stimuli. Putting genomic and biochemical data together into quantitative and predictive models of biochemistry and physiology will be the work of a generation of computational biologists. Computer scientists, mathematicians, and statisticians will be a vital part of this effort.


There are some questions which are left unanswered,in every field of science!.Bioinformatics is one of them.So,its upto to us to come up with new ventures and try to find some new solutions!Bioinformatics, like any other science, doesn't always provide quick and easy answers to problems. To sum up all, instead of getting on in a particular field alone,it will be improvising if we decide to unite the various field of sciences and try to provide new inventions to the future generation and also to this world.!


Sikkim the last state to join India

In 1947, a referendum rejected Sikkim's joining the Indian Union and the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru agreed to a special protectorate(A state or territory partly controlled by a stronger state but autonomous in internal affairs; protectorates are established by treaty) status for Sikkim. Sikkim was to be a suzerainty of India, in which India controlled its external affairs, defense, diplomacy and communication. In 1955 a state council was established to set up constitutional government for the Chogyal. When Sikkim National Congress demanded fresh elections and greater representations for Nepalese, riots began. Riots in front of the palace in 1973 led to a formal request for protection from India. The Kazi (Prime Minister of Sikkim) appealed to the Indian Parliament to change the status if Sikkim from suzerainty to a State in 1975.

In April, the Indian Army moved into Sikkim and disarmed the Palace Guards and seized the City of Gangtok. A referendum was held in which 97.5% of the people voted to join the Indian Union. A few weeks later on May 16, 1975, Sikkim officially became the 22nd state of the Indian Union and the Chogyal's monarchy rule was abolished

Valium..Valium..Valium..Death at a funeral!

Really the best comedy movie of the year. A great funny movie with a unique substance for comedy..Valium.., I wasn't quite sure what to expect out of this, even though I had enjoyed the trailer in the theater. There had been some comments about cruel humor, which I just didn't see. The story was well structured, with groundwork laid early on for very funny bits much later in the film that got us laughing hard without hitting us over the head with the joke. The moments of comic tension were good, without that excruciating sense that someone was going to be horribly embarrassed, or hurt, or whatever, that American films seem to have. The situation is very well known to everyone who's been to a family funeral, although in America we would have the service in a funeral home or church, and we've all had moments when we want to laugh at the wrong time, or notice something a little out of the ordinary in the service that seems to cry out for comment. My husband, 14 year old daughter and I enjoyed the film immensely, and we all gave it an 8 out of 10, with some good carryover lines to quote amongst ourselves. Go see it, enjoy, and leave the political correctness at home.

The best of Bourne..Bourne Ultimatum!!

The Bourne Ultimatum is easily the best of Bourne series, because of the screenplay and the visual effects. The movie is pacy and full of actions. Paul Greengrass definitely saved the best Bourne for last! I've heard a lot of people complain about they way he filmed this movie, and some have even compared the camera style to the Blair Witch Project. All I have to say to that is...are you kidding me? Come on it was not that bad at all. I think it helps the action scenes to feel more realistic, which I would prefer over highly stylized stunt choreography. As for the rest of the movie I really didn't even notice it. You can tell that Damon has really gotten comfortable with the role of Jason Bourne. Sometimes that can be a bad thing, but in this case its a really good thing. He really becomes Jason Bourne in this installment. Damon also has a great supporting cast in Joan Allen, Ezra Kramer, and Julia Stiles. David Strathairn was a great addition to the cast, as he added more depth to the secret CIA organization. Even though the movie is filled with great car chases and nonstop action, they managed to stick a fair amount of character development in their with all of that going on. This film stands far above the other two Bourne movies, and is definitely one of the best movies of the 2007 summer season!

Pixar again

Ratatouille is really a fantastic animation of the last year and also with a great story for a perfect animation story. Animation of this film is brilliant. So great that at the end of the credits, they actually inserted a disclaimer saying "100% genuine animation, no motion capture was used." !! Somehow they manged to create believable animation without making it look CG - and that goes for both human characters as well as the rats. The overall look of the whole film has this a dreamy soft look to it that equals to the romantic Paris that one would associate. Pixar made everything look real and believable that often times I would forget I am watching an animated feature. The food rendering are simply amazing. If there is a 3D version of the film, I am sure I would reach out to grab the food. I have been disappointed with the three films that came out earlier in the year (Shrek Pirates, Spiderman - interestingly they are all part 3 of a threequel.). But now finally a great film for the summer.

Scarface...Shame of the Nation

Scarface is an epic film about a drug dealer. Beautifully crafted in the early eighties.Directed by Brian De Palma and written by Oliver Stone, "Scarface" is a movie that will not be forgotten. A Cuban refugee named Tony Montana (Pacino) comes to America for the American Dream. Montana then becomes the "king" in the drug world as he ruthlessly runs his empire of crime in Miami, Florida. This gangster movie is very violent, and some scenes are unpleasant to watch. This movie has around 180+ F-words and is almost three hours long. This movie is entertaining and you will never get bored. You cheer for the Drug-lord, and in some scenes you find out that Montana isn't as evil as some other Crime Lords. This is a masterpiece and i recommend that you see this. You will not be disappointed. 9/10

Anjathe...different cop story

A beautiful Cop story, to say it well, a different Tamil movie with extraordinary screenplay an interesting turn of events, a bit of luck, ‘under the table’ dealings and ‘influence’ leads Narain rather than Ajmal to bag the SI post. A naturally disappointed Ajmal is further hurt by the change of attitude towards him at home. A brooding Ajmal slowly loses his grip on life and slips away into the dark lanes of intoxication in spite of Narain’s efforts. Crime comes as a natural consequence of events, with money being the motivation. These are the sequence of events that have been set forth in Anjathe. How well has this been narrated? Just see the film and know.

10000 BC is a Crap

A much awaited film, Epic story, should have done well in the box office but its not amusing and entertaining. Its full of crap and inaccuracies.Went to a preview screening last night. Thankfully I did not have to pay for this one, but had to endure it. Yup, the negative reviews are right on the money. This movie is plagued by weak dialogue ("we are tired, we sleep here?") weaker characters (laughable old mother, Diva Plavalaguna ripoff aww come on get real), and the weakest story (recycled from vastly superior Apocalypto, Mel should get a cut or an apology). The SP effects were inconsistent, needed more saber tooth and what was with those attack chickens (even more laughable). Heck, even when D'Leh makes his big Leader speech to the tribes before the final battle, didn't we already see this scene in 1996 with President Whitmore declaring our Independence Day? Want more about King Leonidas spear throw on Xerxes? Maybe Roland was paying tribute to the genre, but I seriously doubt it. Makes us miss Astronaut Taylor & Nova, heck even Beast master Dar & Kiri all did it so much better. Anyway the 1 star is for Evolet for teasing us throughout.

Wright Brothers

The Wright brothers' penultimate breakthrough was their invention of "three axis-control", which enabled the pilot to steer the aircraft effectively and to maintain its equilibrium. This method became standard on fixed wing aircraft of all kinds. From the beginning of their aeronautical work, the Wright brothers focused on unlocking the secrets of control to conquer "the flying problem", rather than developing more powerful engines as some other experimenters did. Their careful wind tunnel tests produced better aeronautical data than any before, enabling them to design and build wings and propellers more effective than any before. Their U.S. patent 821,393 claims the invention of a system of aerodynamic control that manipulates a flying machine's surfaces.

They got the mechanical craftsmanship needed for their success by working for years in their shop with printing presses, bicycles, motors, and other machinery. Their work with bicycles in particular influenced their belief that an unstable vehicle like a flying machine could be controlled and balanced with practice. The Wright brothers' status as inventors of the airplane has been subject to counter-claims by various parties. Much controversy persists over the many competing claims of early aviators.


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