Blog. April 2010

  • A rule for (some) Chinese tones

    I have just come across an interesting rule for the tones of some words on a Popup Chinese podcast. The rule was only mentioned in passing, perhaps because it only applies to a small number of words. The rule is for when a single character can represent a noun or a related verb, which have the same pronunciation, but a different tone:

    The verb is third tone, while the noun is forth tone


  • Solar system simulation

    [UPDATE: I've made a 3D version of this simulation using the Khan Academy programming environment.]

  • Adding ribosomes to my cell simulation

    This is a description of some work I did on an older version of my cell simulation.

    So far, the main adaptation that cells in my simulations have evolved has been an increase in of gene copy number. Such adaptations are unsurprising given that it's the only way cells can alter the relative amounts of each protein. In my final simulation I want to allow cells to alter gene expression using transcription factors to control rates of transcription (and thus translation).

  • Solar system evolution

    After running my solar system simulation several times I was interested to see how robust the system was. By this I mean that despite the fact that the particles start off randomly distributed, the progress of the simulation is quite similar each time. The details weren't exactly the same each times, but in general, a star formed at the centre of the universe at about the same time and ended up with a few satellites, while several particles were sent flying off into space.