My favorite bioinformatics blogs of 2014

Yeah, so I’m a little late in getting around to writing this! The following are not presented in any particular order…

Blog: In between lines of code
Creator: Lex Nederbragt (@lexnederbragt)
Frequency of updates: maybe 1 post a month on average (but it can vary)
Recommended blog post: Developments in next generation sequencing – June 2014 edition

This blog primarily focuses on developments in modern sequencing technology and genome assembly. Required reading if you have an interest in the state of current sequencing technologies, and more importantly, where they are heading.

Blog: Bioinformatician at large
Creator: Ewan Birney (@ewanbirney)
Frequency of updates: less than 1 post a month on average
Recommended blog post: A cheat’s guide to histone modifications

Ewan doesn’t update the blog very often, but when he does post, he usually takes the time to provide us with a very detailed look at some aspect of genomics. Many of his posts explore the underlying science that people are addressing through various genomics/bioinformatics approaches.

Blog: Loman Labs Blog
Creator: Nick Loman (@pathogenomenick)
Frequency of updates: 1–2 posts a month on average
Recommended blog post: The infinite lie of easy bioinformatics

Nick covers lots of material relating to metagenomics and sequencing in general. As a self-confessed Oxford Nanopore fan boy he has some interesting thoughts and observations to share about this nascent sequencing technology, but he writes about most modern sequencing technologies. He also likes the occasional rant from time to time (don’t we all?).

Blog: Living in an Ivory Basement Stochastic thoughts on science, testing, and programming
Creator: C. Titus Brown (@ctitusbrown), a.k.a. Chuck Norris
Frequency of updates: several posts a week
Recommended blog post: Some myths of reproducible computational research

Titus covers a lot of different material on his blog. Many posts see him ‘thinking out loud’ on an issue, keeping people updated with developments with his training courses, or frequently asking people for their thoughts or suggestions on a topic. There are also detailed scientific posts relating to his interests in kmer-based approaches relating to genome assembly. Being a keen advocate (and practitioner) of open and reproducible science, Titus also uses his blog to write on these topics.

Blog: Omics! Omics! A computational biologist’s personal views on new technologies & publications on genomics & proteomics and their impact on drug discovery
Creator: Keith Robison (@omicsomicsblog)
Frequency of updates: 1–2 posts per month (but many more during AGBT!)
Recommended blog post: A Sunset for Draft Genomes?

This blog is predominantly focused on the latest developments in sequencing technology. Keith provides great insight into future developments in the world of sequencing, and also tries to make sense of the claims and marketing hype that sometimes surrounds the announcements of new technologies. During the annual Advancements in Genome Biology and Technology (AGBT) meeting, you can rely on Keith to provide great commentary on what is happening (and not happening) at the meeting.

Blog: Opiniomics: bioinformatics, genomes, biology etc. “I don’t mean to sound angry and cynical, but I am, so that’s how it comes across”
Creator: Mick Watson (@biomickwatson)
Frequency of updates: 1–2 posts per week
Recommended blog post: Why anonymous peer review is bad for science

Of all the blogs that I’m including here, this is probably my favorite. I greatly enjoy Mick’s writing; not so much for the detailed technical posts about sequencing technology — good though these are — but for the fantastic pieces he writes about the wider field of bioinformatics. Mick has insightful views on such topics as peer review, training of bioinformaticians, and reproducible science. I particularly like Mick’s frequently humorous — and sometimes slightly ranty — style of writing. Oh, I should also point out that Mick’s site is best viewed on an iPad.