ComBio: day 4 and wrap-up

Notes and hyperlinks from day 4, the last day of ComBio 2007.

On the whole, I found ComBio rather disappointing this year. It seemed much smaller than last year with far less of interest to me. There were perhaps four really great plenary talks and many of the sessions bore little relation to their titles. ComBio is supposed to be wide-ranging, but I felt that the balance between range and depth was wrong. Hopefully I can attend a more relevant bioinformatics/computational biology meeting in the near-future.
On the plus side, I got to spend a week in Sydney.

Molecular and cellular dynamics of border cell migration revealed through time-lapse, live cell imaging.
Denise Montell Home page | PubMed search
This was a very nice talk on border cell migration in Drosophila ovaries, with some great videos of cells in motion. Note to self: the substrate of Par-1 is unknown. Keywords: border cell, JAK/STAT pathway, 27C1 mutant, Par-1, apontic, SLBO.

Evolution of gene regulatory networks in ancestral mammals.
Matthew Wakefield Home page | PubMed search
I think I saw this exact same talk last year at ComBio. Not impressed. Keywords: exaptation, MER31, transposable elements, X-chromosome inactivation.

Comparative genomics for unsequenced and/or polyploid species.
Andreas Schreiber Home page | PubMed search
Basically a discussion of reciprocal best match methods when you have a lot of paralogs. Not very informative. Keywords: polyploidy, GrassKin, BranchClust.

New methods of detecting violated phylogenetic assumptions: implications of comparative genomics.
Lars Jermiin Home page | PubMed search
Interesting, but too short a talk to do justice to some complex mathematics and statistics. Keywords: Markov rate model, symmetry tests.

Once again, the state of genomics in Australia as judged by ComBio greatly diminishes my will to live. Anyway, on we go…

The ballad of MAC the knife: a common fold mediates vertebrate defence and bacterial attack.
James Whisstock Home page | PubMed search
Nice talk combining structural biology and bioinformatics to look at membrane attack complex perforin-like proteins (MACPF). Keywords: MACPF, perforin, CD59, cholesterol-dependent cytolysin, Photorhabdus luminescens.

The bold and the beautiful in hydrophobin self-assembly.
Margaret Sunde Home page | PubMed search
Interesting talk on hydrophobins, proteins that form rodlets coating fungal spores. 8 conserved Cys residues but no other sequence similarity. Keywords: Neurospora crassa, rodlet, EAS, amyloid.

Regulation of cell size during division.
Tom Kirchhausen Home page | PubMed search
Another great plenary talk on changes in cell shape and trafficking during mitosis, with very nice video. Keywords: clathrin, trafficking, transferrin, recycling, mitosis.

Molecular mechanisms of self-assembly and structural switching of the bacterial flagellum.
Keiichi Namba Home page | PubMed search
Tour-de-force talk on the complete structural characterisation of the flagellum using crystallography and cryo EM. Keywords: L/R-type flagellin, flagellar hook, basal body, ultra-cryo EM, injectisome, type III secretion, molecular ruler.