ComBio 2006 Day 4

It’s the last day of ComBio 2006.

An abbreviated day for me. Four days away from 24/7 internet and Perl have taken their toll. The afternoon sessions are all multiple, short and rather specialist biomedical talks and the last plenary looks like a history of RNA processing, so I decide to take it easy. I’m also suffering the bulging eyes, throbbing head and desire to sleep for a weekend that meetings seem to bring on after a few days.

  • I catch the end of “phenotypic activation to explore biological pathways, gene toxicity and kinase targets” from Brenda Andrews. They do some great stuff at U. Toronto and have good websites too. A lot of people are using this approach – over-express an activator and use a global analysis of e.g. microarrays to identify putative targets. We see potential for collaboration here.
  • “TOR signalling and control of growth in yeast and mammals” from Michael Hall is also good. It falls in my current area and the talk focused on the TOR protein kinase and its mammalian complexes, mTOR1 and mTOR2. I discover that rapamycin was first isolated from a location on Easter Island.
  • Break for toxic coffee before the systems biology session.

  • Transcriptomics and macrophage activation, from IMB’s David Hume. He convinces us that macrophages are a pretty cool experimental system and is yet another speaker to sing the praises of the FANTOM3 RIKEN initiative.
  • Analysis of cellular processes and regulatory systems in yeast, by Ian Dawes from my old workplace. Some interesting data on redox stress and gene networks, finally coming together after all these years.
  • A short talk by Cameron Anderson, a UQ honours student, working on NMR metabonomics. Basically – take control and treated cells, do 1-H NMR, identify abundance of metabolites, a bit of PCA or PLSA statistics and you get some insight into metabolic pathways, especially when integrated with other analyses such as microarrays. Nice talk.

Lunch, an hour or so reading Pandora’s Keepers: Nine Men and the Atomic Bomb (Brian VanDeMark, good read) and I’m done. And a little later on, so is Combio 2006.

All in all, definitely a worthwhile experience. I have some general thoughts on the nature of scientific meetings but they belong in another post. A little relaxation and it’s back to the Perl for me.

2 thoughts on “ComBio 2006 Day 4

  1. Heh, I know why I didn’t bump into you on the last day now … turns out we each attended different sessions. I guess the chances of that happening aren’t that low considering the number of parallel sessions.

  2. Yeah, there were a lot of smaller, specialised parallel sessions the last day. I left early too – pretty buggered by that stage! Hope you enjoyed the day, maybe catch up next time around.

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