## Pentagrammarspin: why twelve pentagons?

This post has been in my drafts folder for a while. With the World Cup here, it’s time to post it! It’s a rule that a 3D assembly of hexagons must have at least twelve pentagons in order to be a closed polyhedral shape. This post takes a look at why this is true. First, […]

## Esoteric Circle

Many projects in the lab involve quantifying circular objects. Microtubules, vesicles and so on are approximately circular in cross section. This quick post is about how to find the diameter of these objects using a computer. So how do you measure the diameter of an object that is approximately circular? Well, if it was circular […]

## The Second Arrangement

To validate our analyses, I’ve been using randomisation to show that the results we see would not arise due to chance. For example, the location of pixels in an image can be randomised and the analysis rerun to see if – for example – there is still colocalisation. A recent task meant randomising live cell […]

## Realm of Chaos

Caution: this post is for nerds only. I watched this numberphile video last night and was fascinated by the point pattern that was created in it. I thought I would quickly program my own version to recreate it and then look at patterns made by more points. I didn’t realise until afterwards that there is actually […]

## The Digital Cell: Statistical tests

Statistical hypothesis testing, commonly referred to as “statistics”, is a topic of consternation among cell biologists. This is a short practical guide I put together for my lab. Hopefully it will be useful to others. Note that statistical hypothesis testing is a huge topic and one post cannot hope to cover everything that you need to […]

## Division Day: using PCA in cell biology

In this post I’ll describe a computational method for splitting two sides of a cell biological structure. It’s a simple method that relies on principal component analysis, otherwise known as PCA. Like all things mathematical there are some great resources on the web, if you want to understand this operation in more detail (for example, this great […]