My personal and professional adventure into Science

5 good reasons to take your MSc degree in China

For the last two years I have been member of a teaching team that went to Beijing, China to teach danish and Chinese students. From my side they were taught in Introduction to Bioinformatics and Next Generation Sequencing.

Now the school is looking for more brave students who wants to pull up their plugs, jump into something new and go to Beijing for their master. If you are interested please take a look at the post below and then I hope to see you in China 🙂

5 good reasons to take your MSc degree in China

  • Get a head start on your future career
  • Study at a top University in China
  • Researched based teaching
  • Professional service and guidance
  • An unique intercultural experience

Dear student,

In this mail you will find some information about SDC, the different programmes and also studying and living in China. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us – there are only good questions! Contact information is below.

SDC (Sino-Danish Center for Education and Research) is a partnership between all eight Danish Universities and University of Chinese Academy of Science (UCAS) in Beijing. The overall aim of SDC is to promote and strengthen cooperation between Danish and Chinese learning environments, and increase the mobility of students and scholars between the two countries. SDC offers seven unique MSc programs in Beijing. All programs are 120 ECTS and when you finish you will obtain a double MSc degree – i.e. a MSc degree from the Danish University and an MSc degree from the Chinese University. All programmes qualify for the Danish state educational support (SU). To read more about the programmes Master Programmes.

All courses are taught in English by Danish and Chinese teachers/researchers. Your classmates will also be a mixture of Danish and Chinese students and in some cases also other nationalities. Professional help and service – SDC helps you both before and during your stay in Beijing with all practical matters. Before departure to Beijing we host an introduction seminar in Denmark and upon arrival in China you will have 2 whole introduction weeks before classes start. First you will have one week just with the other candidates from Denmark and then following that, a week also with all the Chinese students. We also have an office in Beijing with both Danish and Chinese staff that can help and guide you in terms of both academic and practical matters.

Living in Beijing – Beijing offers adventures of all kinds – so pack your bags and get an experience of a lifetime! Although prices in China are rising, it is still very cheap in relation to most countries in the EU. You can easily live and eat for your SU. SDC offers accommodation on campus at a very favorable price, but it is also possible to find a flat if you want. For more information on living in Beijing Living in Beijing.

If you have any questions (academic, practical or other) please send an e-mail to and we will make sure you get a quick response.



ICG10 – The 10th International Conference on Genomics #DTUicg10

On Tuesday I will finally get some air under my wings again (It’s been almost 2 months since my last flight !!), as I will be heading towards Shenzhen, China. The occasion is the 10th International Conference on Genomics held by BGI, GigaScience and China National Genebank. The aim of the conference is to:

… gather leaders, researchers and professionals in ‘omics’ research focusing on human health, animal and plant science, including agriculture and related fields, to share their thoughts and discuss the implications of the latest developments in genomics.


The conference is from October 22-25, 2015. With more than 80 speaker split over 16 sessions I am sure that it will be very interesting. The program can be found here: Sessions and workshops. Note that on Sunday we have a session, S16 AI, Big Data and Health. This session is chaired by Ramneek Gupta from CBS and consist of speakers from CBS, DTU and KU (see below).

If you have not signed up for the conference, I will do my best to Tweet using the hashtag #DTUicg10, and if the internet connection allows it I will also write a few blog posts, so make sure to signup for notifications from my blog as well. You can do that on the right side of this page.

If you are attending the conference, then send me a tweet, Twitter, so we can meet for a beer at the banquet 🙂

Below is the session Chaired by DTU which I can only recommend you to attend!

S16 AI, Big Data and Health (15:45-18:20)

Chair: Ramneek Gupta, Technical University of Denmark, Denmark

Life Sciences today easily fulfils the major tenets of the need for Big Data thinking: Volume of Data, Velocity of data accrual and Variability of data. Indeed, all of these offer opportunities in gathering unprecedented insights into living systems. However, how far up the Hype Curve is current Big Data thinking in Life Sciences? How do we translate insights to value in the life sciences domain ? For example, when big data approaches are mentioned for precision medicine, what kind of approaches will get closer to clinical implementation ? What kind of infrastructural developments are needed in software or hardware or organisationally to accomplish this ? How does artificial intelligence help ? What are some of the basic challenges faced by the hugely increased Volume, Velocity and Variability of data ?

This track aims to present case stories or ideas in this direction.


Ramneek Gupta15:45 – 15:55
Ramneek Gupta
Technical University of Denmark, Denmark
Track Introduction: What is Big Data, and Why is it Relevant to Life Sciences?
Søren Brunak15:55-16:20
Søren Brunak
Technical University of Denmark, Denmark
Topic: Creating Disease Trajectories from Big Biomedical Data Covering Millions of Patients
Laurent Gautier16:20-16:40
Laurent Gautier
Novartis Institute for Biomedical Research, USA
Topic: Handle Big Data in Drug Discovery and Health Care with Software Prototyping
Line Clemmensen16:40-17:00
Line Clemmensen
Technical University of Denmark, Denmark
Topic: Slimming Big Data
Thomas Sicheritz-Ponten17:00-17:20
Thomas Sicheritz-Ponten
Technical University of Denmark, Denmark
Topic: Big Planes, Big Risks and Big Data
Helle Krogh Pedersen17:20-17:40
Helle Krogh Pedersen
Technical University of Denmark, Denmark
Topic: Ranking Factors Involved in Diabetes Resolution after Bariatric Surgery: A Neural Network Approach for Integrating Clinical and Genomic Data
Ole Lund17:40-18:00
Ole Lund
Technical University of Denmark, Denmark
Topic: Genomic Epidemiology
Peter Løngreen18:00-18:20
Peter Løngreen
Technical University of Denmark, Denmark
Topic: Supercomputing and Cloud: Converging Technologies in Life Science


Read the Interview with me in DeIC annual report 2014

The DeIC annual report 2014 is out, including an interview with me about my Computerome HPC usage. You can find the full report DeIC annual report 2014 (DeIC website) or here DeIC_aarsrapport_2014 (PDF). The interview with me is at page 22-23 and can also be found here: DeIC_aarsrapport_2014_Bent (PDF), note that it is only in danish.

DeIC – Danish e-Infrastructure Cooperation was established  on April 19 2012, with the purpose to support Denmark as an e-Science nation through delivery of e-infrastructures (computing, storage and network) to research and researchbased teaching.


VBB Berlin fail – What a way to treat your customers…

Sunday I arrived in Berlin for one last vacation day before I head home. I go to the ticket machine to buy a ticket for the Ubahn, and I’m met with so many options. What I really wanted was a 24 hour ticket… Couldn’t easily find it, and then I was also met with the options to buy for “A”, “AB”, “BC” etc. Having no idea what to buy as the is no explanation next to the machine, I may have spent some time in the queue, when suddenly a friendly looking official VBB guy approaches me. “Can I help you?”. “Yes please” I reply and explain that I would for now just like to buy a ticket to go for Alexanderplatz where my hotel is. He clicks an option, I pay and thank him for the help.

The Ubahn arrived shortly after and very quickly I am greeted by a civil dressed inspector who wants to see my ticket. He tells me right away that I bought a ticket for the wrong zone so now I have to pay a fine of 40€. I try to explain what happened, but he doesn’t care and asks me for the money. I show him the last 5€ I have, he pads me on the jeans and says, “You have a credit card so we will follow you to an ATM.” Then three guys follows me to the machine, takes my suitcase so I can’t run – as I would even try that? – and waits for my money. After that he tells me that it’s my responsibility to check and pay the right ticket, no matter if it’s an official person who helps me …

VBB Fine

My €40 fine after following the advice from a VBB employed person


It’s your own fault you followed another persons advice – even if it was a VBB employee. You have to check yourself. VBB civil ticket inspector

Today I checked out the station on my way to the airport. There is no explanation of zones next to any of the four ticket machines. The machines are placed in the beginning and end of the station and the transportation map is located in the middle. The station is quite big and when you get down to the station, it not at all obvious that the map will be located far away from the ticket machines..

Furthermore, the ticket I bought was actually more expensive than the one I was suppose to buy. The one I bought costed 3€, but the correct one only 2.70€. So in principle I got a fine of 40€, because I bought a ticket that costed 0.30€ too much.

So VBB, how was it I cheated you? Yes, I bought a ticket after the advice from one of your employees for the wrong zone. But, I did not pay less than I was suppose to and cheated you in that sense… I actually paid more and cheated myself. How did this harm your business (or other people) in any way? How can you treat people like this? Is this your way of getting easy money out of stupid tourists, to me it seems like that.

I have never in my entire life cheated on public transportation, not even when I was a poor student, and I don’t plan to. And this, this is simply ridiculous VBB, I want my money back!

Please share this post if you have ever felt cheated by VBB like I do.

DNA Sampling in Mossoro

Tonight the adventure begins, where I will fly with Julliane and Sara to Natal. It will be a late flight as it is leaving 23:45. We then have to pick up all the heavy equipment in the airport, and I guess we will just crash when we reach our hotel. Tomorrow the car is set for MossorĂł, where we will do the actual sampling Wednesday and or Thursday. And, fortunately they now have a heat wave in MossorĂł, not like here in Belo Horizonte where it has rained for almost a week….

37 degrees and trying to sample for the first time, I can’t wait 🙂


MossorĂł weather week 7 2015

First talk at CEBio Metagenomics course 2015

Today I gave my first talk titled “General data production considerations, public tools and computational resources” at the CEBio Metagenomics course 2015. It was a more general talk with introduction to our Metagenomics group at CBS, followed by an introduction to Computerome which I got a really nice response to. Then I followed up by presenting some CBS tools that I thought would be relevant for the students during their studies, and then I gave some guidelines for using online prediction tools generally in a critical way 🙂 Tomorrow I will give a talk in “Preprocessing, quality, error correction, assembly” which I am really looking forward to 🙂

February means Brazil

I’m back ! Back in the beautiful country of Brazil that I already like so much. I actually arrived Wednesday last week, I have just been too busy preparing presentations for the course I am attending (more about that later).

This is the second time, but hopefully not the last, that I am here. My first was last year when I was invited to give a talk. It was super fun, I met so many nice interesting people, and it was so good to see them all again 🙂

This first week will be all about the course, next week I will go sampling with my friend Sara and some colleagues in the salterns around Mossoró in North of Brazil. When we get back the carnival will start and after that I will even have 5 more days to relax and enjoy the sun 🙂 Perfect !

Just a little note on the side, if you haven’t been to Brazil before, I can only say GO GO GO!!! Brazil is really beautiful, people are extremely friendly (at least the people I have met along my way) and the food is amazing. I feel so welcome here, it’s very difficult not to feel like home. Plus, I like the more relaxed approach to everything, which is definitely not in a lazy way like many other “relaxed countries”, It’s just in a more happy way to live life.

2015-01-28 07.44.45 2015-01-29 12.03.35 2015-01-29 17.16.51 2015-01-29 19.41.50 2015-01-30 09.36.59 2015-01-31 10.02.22 2015-02-02 12.17.28 2015-02-02 19.12.58


Ryanair – fail or “okay for the price”?

I recently took a 5 hour RyanAir flight to Fuerteventura and I can only say, never ever RyanAir again. The flight was cheap – as RyanAir is a low-budget airline company – and I really only expected minimum service, as you get what you pay for. I was still surprised on how low budget you can go.

I love flying and I fly a lot. Last year I was on 25 planes, and this year will not be less. I love being in an airplane and I love the whole trip. You can lean back, relax (unless you have screaming kids close to you) and you can be offline for a period of time. Then, for me, there is also the excitement of going somewhere. Could be a vacation, a business meeting, meeting some friends or a combination of it all – I just love it 🙂


But seriously RyanAir… How low can you go?

I have a few questions for you: How can you build an airplane with no seat pockets? Where do you expect your passengers to store their stuff? Are the nets and a few screws, as a seat pocket consist of, really that expensive?? What happens if there is an incident of heavy turbulence, since there are no seat pockets, there are no puke bags either. What are the people getting sick suppose to do with their vomit? And what is going on with the seats that are locked in an upright position – you are not being able to lean back? How f*cked up is that? I don’t even want to mention the so-called food… And ohh yes, on both flights it was not allowed to have carry on luggage in the cabin. The stuff people needed during the 5 hour flight should be taken inside the plane. Then we of course just put it in the seat pocket… The non-existing seat pocket.

I went to the bathroom three times during my flights. One time there was an empty soap dispenser, but no water in the tap. Two times there was no soap dispenser at all. I don’t know your habits are RyanAir, but I wash my hands every time I go to the bathroom. Not providing soap to your passengers is just disgusting RyanAir.

When you at some point hopefully will send your planes for an upgrade to normal standards, maybe you should really consider doing the same with your staff. Many people are afraid of flying ( I am not one of them) and the cabin crew should therefore create a relaxed and safe environment. The staff should NOT scream of passengers and they should NOT show in their faces how annoyed they can become if a passenger don’t know the arm-chair should be down during takeoff. And sweet stewardesses, when you repeatedly smash your wagon into my elbows when I try to sleep in a 90 degrees angle in your stupid seats, an apology would at least be nice. Please also turn down then in-cabin speakers. When you see people around you holding their ears, then it’s probably too high volume. I already know that you don’t want your passengers to sleep as you want to sell lottery tickets all the time, but please, there is no need to give them tinnitus as well.

For my next flights, I will be going to Brazil in two weeks, it could be nice with some cheaper tickets, but I learned from this trip. I can assure you that RyanAir will never come in my consideration again, unless it is a very short flight. The discomfort is simply not worth the money saved.

Are there any others having the same experiences with other low-budget companies?

Bergen bound

In a few hours I will take a plane to Bergen, Norway (My 17th plane so far this year!!!), where I have been invited to a friend’s birthday. “The kid”, as we call him, is turning 30 😉 (So not really a kid anymore). It will be nice to see him and his wife again, plus another friend of mine that I haven’t seen for almost two years. I also have never been in Bergen before, so it will be a nice experience.

The other day I stumbled upon a video showing the beauty of Bergen, I want to share this video with all of you. Take a look at the beautiful tribute video below, it is 4:30 minutes long, but totally worth it 🙂

Click, Click, Click | Bergen from Jørgen Thomsen on Vimeo.

Cebio Metagenomics Workshop 2014

Yesterday the workshop started and so far its really cool, full of amazing people. We started with a talk by David Holmes – Astrobiology: emerging opportunities for environmental microbiologists, followed up by Francisco Rodriguez-Valera – Postgenomic Microbiology and then we had a talk about the Brazilian Microbiome Project.

This morning of the second day we had a fantastic Bacterial Metagenomics mini-course by Carolina Megumi Mizuno, Rohit Ghai and Francisco Rodriguez-Valera.

After the course, it was time for my talk, and I think it went fantastic. I had students approaching me afterwards and there might be a few collaborations on the way. Plus, invitations to come back to Brzail to do some teaching and talk about projects, couldn’t be better 🙂

Last talk was from Ramy Aziz talking about Genes Without Borders: Mobile Genetic Elements in Genomes.

Good links from Ramy: – Home of the SEED – Take a look at the Iris section (IRIS – The web-based terminal to give you access to the full KBase command line.) – Phage annotation tool

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