The Grand Locus / Life for statistical sciences



If cars were made by bioinformaticians...

1. Cars would have nice names

Here is what an abstract describing a car would look like.

Transporting people to defined locations of interest is a challenge of significant economic importance. To achieve this goal, people usually use cars or public transport. However, these solutions are suboptimal in several conditions. For instance, when people are extremely close to their target location, both cars and public transport are inappropriate, which limits their practical use. Here we present CaЯ (vehiCle for chAnging geo-cooЯdinates), a fast and accurate tool as an alternative to existing vehicles.

2. Cars would be fast and accurate

Bioinformaticians develop fast and accurate software. Their cars would be just the same. Here is what a typical benchmark sections would look like.

To show that CaЯ is faster and more accurate than existing alternatives, we benchmarked CaЯ against Volvo XC90 and Ferrari F430. In the first series of tests, we measured the time to lower the front windows of the vehicles. The average run duration was 2.3 seconds for CaЯ, 3.1 seconds for Volvo XC90 and 3.9 seconds for Ferrari F430, which demonstrates that CaЯ is substantially faster than Volvo XC90 and Ferrari F430.

We next measured the accuracy of the temperature control system of the three vehicles. For target temperatures between 11 and 16 degrees, the steady state temperature of CaЯ was within 0.1 degree of the set temperature, while for Volvo XC90 it was within 0.3 degree and for Ferrari F430 it was within 0.9 degree.

Overall, these results demonstrate that CaЯ outperforms available vehicles in both speed and accuracy.

3. Cars would have many options

Bioinformatics is all about freedom. And as far as software goes, more freedom equals more options.

The user interface of CaЯ is very flexible and offers many options to the user. This is readily apparent from the the control panel of CaЯ (Figure 2). The afflux of the oxygen-nitrogen mix in the first chamber of the engine, which is the critical parameter to bring CaЯ to the correct location at the proper speed, is regulated by the red wheel in front. The second lever from the left is used to adjust the left-right orientation of the exhaust pipe and the red button in the middle allows the user to reduce the rotation speed of the front left wheel by 10%. CaЯ also implements several options that are not present on other vehicles. For instance, the far right end of the control panel allows the user to deactivate the air bag.

4. Cars would support many standards

Why have only one standard when you can have many? Here is what an email exchange between a user and a developer would look like if cars had as many standards as bioinformatics.

Dear Bob,

I have read with interest your article describing CaЯ and I found it very interesting. I am considering using it to go to San Francisco, but the path is of type “asphalt”, which is not supported. It’s a shame because this is the most standard type of road. Will there soon be a version of CaЯ that supports it?


Dear Alice,

tanks very much for your interest in CaЯ. Unfortunately, the development of CaЯ is on a halt since I started another project and I have little free time on my hands. CaЯ supports roads of type “stone”, “gravel”, “dust”, “wood”, “cloth”, “fur”, “plastic”, “metal”, “frog skin”, “peanut”, “garlic bread” and “nail polish”. If you cannot find a road of any of these types to your destination, I suggest you simply remove the asphalt from the road you mention, then it should not be a problem to use CaЯ.



5. Cars would be all about user experience

Bioinformaticians are very accessible, you just have to drop them an email and they almost always respond. Here is what it would look like when someone has a problem with their car.

Dear Bob,

I have started using CaЯ and I am quite happy with the results. However, since yesterday the control panel only says “error of incorrect nature (code 055)” and I cannot use CaЯ to go anywhere. What is the matter and how can I fix it?


Dear Alice,

this is a known bug since version 1.2, which is due to a hardware incompatibility issue. It does not affect the safety belt and the cooling system, so you should still be able to use them.




So what is the difference between bioinformaticians and car engineers? Not much really. Only that an engineer’s job is to make cars, not to write papers about those they design.

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