Biological systems are large assemblies of parts that function together following rules of basic chemistry. As systems, they can be studied, modified, and engineered for novel purposes. DNA molecules contain the information used to encode living systems, and methods exist for discovering and manipulating this information. This talk will cover the basic components of biological systems, including how DNA can be modified to make new proteins or genetically modified organisms, such as fluorescent mice, therapeutic viruses, or bacteria that eat explosives or smell like bananas.
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The one thing that sets a nerd apart from a hacker, a dork, or anyone else for that matter is simple. Nerds seek to quantify every facet of their lives. From baseball statistics to Star Trek trivia, there's a little nerd in all of us. But true nerds pursue the quantification of everything. The idea of this talk is to quantify successes and failures within the New York City community. By utilizing modern information theory and simple statistics, we can isolate the key factors that have both positively and negatively influenced the culture in our region. Why have specific projects succeeded? Why have others failed? What are key factors in the success of a community? This talk will have fun exploring a roller coaster of statistical exploits on what may be one of the coolest and difficult to quantify datasets our planet has ever known. Learn how to get down with your nerd self in a fun and educational foray into the hacking culture, and the numbers that comprise it.