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Simon converted to DNA sequence entry device

Dust off that old Simon(TM) game and give it a new lease on life -- as a sleekly functional DNA sequence entry device!
  (+2)
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Hand-entering DNA sequence into a computer -- be it for ordering oligonucleotides, editing sequence reads, &c. -- is an error-prone, tedious and slow fine-motor process. Moreover, standard keyboards irregularly array the relevant characters (A,C,G,T, ambiguity codes, and maybe I/U). The task cries out for a dedicated solution, along the lines of the handy numeric keypad.

Enter Simon. Yes, that classic 1970s piece of bleeping, flashing, colorful button-pushing, memory-wracking electronic fun. Simon came in both big tabletop and little handheld chassis forms; both sported four big, easily distinguished buttons, with informative light and sound feedback -- and both were made specifically for entering and distinguishing strings with a 4-letter, primary-color-mapped alphabet. What a great format for DNA sequence entry!

With one of its mode switches converted to activate intuitive multi-button ambiguity code entry (like the multiple exposure switch/button on some SLR cameras), Simon's fairly simple circuitry can likely be gutted/adapted to route input through a cable to a computer. To that end, please note that this idea is a-half-bakin' as I write: my partly-built prototype (using a handheld Simon) has been lying on an engineer friend's workbench for a few months. Simon says 'finish me'...

n-pearson, Jul 09 2003

For anyone who wants to read the absent anno https://web.archive...ce_20entry_20device
It's worth it! [notexactly, Dec 19 2018]

[link]






       Now there's an idea. What would the Human Genome sound like if played through a Simon Says? I'm having flashbacks to the end sequence of "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" now...
lostdog, Jul 09 2003
  

       Think of the melodies that would be produced on a Simon SMS wristwatch.
FarmerJohn, Jul 09 2003
  

       "We're sorry, you did not get the sequence right. Your child is going to be a chimpanzee..."
RayfordSteele, Jul 10 2003
  

       O.K. given Music, DNA inspired Architecture?
Zimmy, Jul 10 2003
  

       Its makes no anti-sense to me.
riposte, Jul 10 2003
  

       Don't know if I should add my two sense of hearing.
FarmerJohn, Jul 10 2003
  

       Musically coded information... now why didn't I think of that?
RayfordSteele, Jul 10 2003
  

       I'm going to vote for this cos of ravenswoods anno. It really ough to work like that, oughtn't it?
goff, Jul 10 2003
  

       Ahh, the euphony of 1/f noise, wherever it appears in nature... Meanwhile, [riposte], message received -- now code-on, you crazy diamond!...
n-pearson, Jul 10 2003
  

       Superb, ravenswood. Ough-inspiring, even.
lostdog, Jul 10 2003
  

       I'm going to vote for this cos of ravenswoods anno. It really ough to work like that, oughtn't it?
goff, Jul 10 2003
  
      
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