Leafsnap

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Leafsnap

Postby blackturtle.us » Sun Jun 12, 2011 9:44 am

Introducing Leafsnap
This looks like a great idea. It doesn't do wildflowers, but it does have a decent library of tree leaves to work with. :pacman:
Leafsnap is a free electronic field guide for trees. It's available as an app for iPhone that helps you figure out what tree you're looking at. Just snap a photo of a leaf and Leafsnap will analyze the leaf to help you identify it correctly.

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Re: Leafsnap

Postby James Sel » Sun Jun 12, 2011 10:39 am

That leafsnap is a really cool app. thanks 4 sharing :4x4:
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Re: Leafsnap

Postby surfsteve » Mon Jun 13, 2011 5:22 am

Then there's "People snap".
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Re: Leafsnap

Postby wildrose » Mon Jun 13, 2011 7:05 am

A bit of googling got me the homepage for the project:
LINK: Leafsnap: An Electronic Field Guide
There's also this at TreeHugger.com:
http://www.treehugger.com/files/2011/05/leafsnap-identify-trees.php
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Re: Leafsnap

Postby pcslim » Mon Jun 13, 2011 7:41 am

Ion Torrent
I saw an advertisement from a company called Ion Torrent on the main page of this website just before coming here. An idea popped into my head that would take this leaf recognition idea to another level. What if it was possible to do an instant DNA analysis using a small tissue sample from the plant? That would take all the ambiguity out of the identification process. In fact, it might be possible to even identify varieties and crosses with such technology. I know it's a few years off, but you add some kind of portable DNA analyzer to a smartphone and you've got yourself a pocket-sized laboratory capable of doing a lot more than identifying plants! Don't get me wrong, the identifying plants thing is great, but this kind of gizmo might be more revolutionary than the home computer!
:prof:
LINK: http://www.iontorrent.com/
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Re: Leafsnap

Postby shadylady » Tue Jun 14, 2011 7:06 am

pcslim wrote:Ion Torrent
I saw an advertisement from a company called Ion Torrent on the main page of this website just before coming here. An idea popped into my head that would take this leaf recognition idea to another level. What if it was possible to do an instant DNA analysis using a small tissue sample from the plant? That would take all the ambiguity out of the identification process. In fact, it might be possible to even identify varieties and crosses with such technology. I know it's a few years off, but you add some kind of portable DNA analyzer to a smartphone and you've got yourself a pocket-sized laboratory capable of doing a lot more than identifying plants! Don't get me wrong, the identifying plants thing is great, but this kind of gizmo might be more revolutionary than the home computer!
:prof:
LINK: http://www.iontorrent.com/

And it turns out that they have a YouTube channel too!
http://www.youtube.com/iontorrent
And they were involved in that E. coli scare in Germany.
Speed counts, whether you are racing for publication or to save lives. Scientists did a sequencing run on the deadly E. coli bacteria in Germany in just two hours using the Ion PGM.
What could a two-hour run time do for your research?

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Re: Leafsnap

Postby cactuspete » Thu Jun 23, 2011 7:55 am

You know in the early 1960s calculators cost about a thousand dollars and were only available to scientists. On top of that they were pretty bulky. Now they cost next to nothing and that's not even taking inflation into consideration. This Ion Torrent stuff is kind of slow and pricey now, but in a decade or two or three it might be instantaneous and cheap. At that point everyone will have their own little genetics lab and will be able to test the DNA of any living thing (or thing that was living at some point). Some of the implications and uses for that kind of technology are easy to imagine, but there are many things that kind of technology will enable that haven't even been considered yet. Of course, just as with any technology there are possible good uses for it and possible bad uses for it. I tend to be an optimist and dwell on the positive, but I'm sure there are some doom-and-gloom types out there that see nothing but bad!
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Re: Leafsnap

Postby mrfish » Mon Aug 15, 2011 7:58 am

pcslim wrote:Ion Torrent
I saw an advertisement from a company called Ion Torrent on the main page of this website just before coming here. An idea popped into my head that would take this leaf recognition idea to another level. What if it was possible to do an instant DNA analysis using a small tissue sample from the plant? That would take all the ambiguity out of the identification process. In fact, it might be possible to even identify varieties and crosses with such technology. I know it's a few years off, but you add some kind of portable DNA analyzer to a smartphone and you've got yourself a pocket-sized laboratory capable of doing a lot more than identifying plants! Don't get me wrong, the identifying plants thing is great, but this kind of gizmo might be more revolutionary than the home computer!
:prof:
LINK: http://www.iontorrent.com/

Wow! There's a lot of really interesting stuff at that Ion Torrent website. Thanks for the link! I feel smarter already! :prof:
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Re: Leafsnap

Postby cactuspete » Mon Sep 19, 2011 7:57 am

Genome at Home: Biohackers Build Their Own Labs
Biohacking might just be the next big tech wave to hit the home market. Few thought there would be any interest in computers back in the 1970s before Apple and Micro$oft came along since it was hard to see how ordinary people would use computers at that point. Hindsight tells us that ordinary people became enthusiastic computer users. The same could be true of home genetics labs. The only problem is that while a computer virus might infect other computers, a real virus could potentially infect other biological organisms and we humans are biological organisms!
:confused2:
Science is all about coming up with smart ways to answer hard questions. But sometimes getting those answers requires expensive machines. Physicists looking to understand the universe don’t just set up a pendulum anymore—today they build multibillion-dollar underground particle accelerators. PCR machines, critical to genetics-powered biology, start at around $6,000. And these machines, with their intricately tuned bits and pieces, aren’t friendly to the kind of void-your-warranty hacking at the heart of the maker movement (not to mention creative experimental design). In short, no amateur is going to drop tens of thousands of dollars to get a lab running, and many scientists don’t understand the inner workings of their expensive, grant-funded gadgetry well enough to whimsically crack the machines open and see how they can be modified. But thanks to the DIY revolution and Arduino, the open source circuit board, big thinkers like Cowell and engineers like Perfetto (whose OpenPCR device sells for just $599) are reverse engineering the big-budget tools. And then they’re sharing their methods with the world.

LINK: http://www.wired.com/magazine/2011/08/mf_diylab/all/1
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Re: Leafsnap

Postby pcslim » Fri Sep 23, 2011 10:22 am

cactuspete wrote:Genome at Home: Biohackers Build Their Own Labs
Biohacking might just be the next big tech wave to hit the home market. Few thought there would be any interest in computers back in the 1970s before Apple and Micro$oft came along since it was hard to see how ordinary people would use computers at that point. Hindsight tells us that ordinary people became enthusiastic computer users. The same could be true of home genetics labs. The only problem is that while a computer virus might infect other computers, a real virus could potentially infect other biological organisms and we humans are biological organisms!
:confused2:
Science is all about coming up with smart ways to answer hard questions. But sometimes getting those answers requires expensive machines. Physicists looking to understand the universe don’t just set up a pendulum anymore—today they build multibillion-dollar underground particle accelerators. PCR machines, critical to genetics-powered biology, start at around $6,000. And these machines, with their intricately tuned bits and pieces, aren’t friendly to the kind of void-your-warranty hacking at the heart of the maker movement (not to mention creative experimental design). In short, no amateur is going to drop tens of thousands of dollars to get a lab running, and many scientists don’t understand the inner workings of their expensive, grant-funded gadgetry well enough to whimsically crack the machines open and see how they can be modified. But thanks to the DIY revolution and Arduino, the open source circuit board, big thinkers like Cowell and engineers like Perfetto (whose OpenPCR device sells for just $599) are reverse engineering the big-budget tools. And then they’re sharing their methods with the world.

LINK: http://www.wired.com/magazine/2011/08/mf_diylab/all/1

Interesting article. I just might clear out a room and start my own Genome at Home Biohacking Lab!!! Not sure if I can talk the wife into it though and the garage is so full of junk that we'll never clean up that mess. Oh, well, it's a neat thought anyway!!!
:thumb:
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Re: Leafsnap

Postby wildrose » Sun Sep 25, 2011 8:22 am

Plant hunters' legacy help Japan's threatened species
Interesting article for you plant enthusiasts out there! :sunshine:
The British tradition of collecting plants from all four corners of the world means the UK is now home to many Japanese species which are under threat in their native land, a study reports. Botanic Gardens Conservation International found more than 350 such species in UK gardens and collections. They also counted 106 vascular plant species in UK collections that were not present in Japanese ones.

LINK: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-15019834
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Re: Leafsnap

Postby cactuspete » Mon Sep 26, 2011 8:07 am

How accurate is the new Ion Torrent genome, really?
Apparently we're still a long way from a cheap and reliable sequencer for home use, but maybe in a few years...
:bubble:
It’s also an extremely expensive genome: even at this low coverage the sequencing burned through around 1,000 Ion Torrent chips, and in an NY Times piece yesterday sequencing guru George Church estimated the total cost of this project at around $2 million. That would be substantially lower at today’s prices, but still north of $200,000 for a poor-quality genome compared to less than $5,000 for a high-quality sequence from Complete Genomics. The yield of the Ion platform (in terms of bases per dollar) is of course going up rapidly, but I think it’s important to emphasise that Ion Torrent is not yet a remotely competitive technology for affordable whole human genome sequencing.

LINK: http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2011/07/how-accurate-is-the-new-ion-torrent-genome-really
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