who knew flagellar motors could be so cool?

After getting to bed so late last night, things got off to kind of a slow start for me today. The first challenge of the day was finding breakfast. The Starbucks line was ridiculous (although on a side note we discovered tonight that there is real Starbucks two blocks away) so we abandoned that idea relatively quickly. After finding some partially ripe fruit salad for an exorbitant about of money, we settled down to planning out the day.

We decided to head over to the New and Notable Symposium, wanting to hear Karen Flemming’s talk on the novel hydrophobicity scale. I was glad that the first two speakers had swapped presentation times because we ended up first seeing an amazing presentation by Lawrence Lee on the torque ring of the flagellar motor. As Casey pointed out, this concept, which apparently is built on decades of collective research, is much more easily conveyed using animations rather than on paper. This was probably the most unique talk I have ever seen, we were all extremely impressed by how Dr. Lee’s verbal explanations were made fluid by the movie that made up almost the entirety of the presentation. Of course Karen Flemming’s talk did not disappoint either. Although I am not familiar with other hydrophobicity scale work, I was impressed by her study and found her presentation style very easy to follow.

After a quick lunch at Kona Grill (again, but still very good), we high tailed it to get seats for Steven Chu’s address. He presented what could have easily 5 or 6 talks ranging from more traditional biophysical studies to oil prices to the cost of running a refrigerator compared to the cost of running a cable box. I can say that was probably the first and last time I will ever happen upon plots reflecting anything having to do with what keeps my food cold in the kitchen, but of course it was all very interesting. He knew how to keep the crowd entertained during what turned out to be a two and a half hour presentation.

Next was the poster session (props to Alice for presenting Hailiu’s data with flying colors) and a few vendors. The few posters I had a chance to really look at no longer had the presenting author hanging around or were too crowded to get a good look at, so I hope to get more out of this tomorrow after my poster session concludes. We also need to hit the vendors again..I only came back with a measly pen.

Of course Kevin had to suggest that we go to a local Ethiopian restaurant for dinner while we were here..which quite honestly had me thinking I would lose a few extra pounds today from skipping dinner…but peer pressure ensued and I lost the battle. Although I have no idea what most of what I ate was, much to my surprise I liked a lot of what I tried and it was an enjoyable experience.

Looking forward to hearing talks tomorrow on the protein dynamics and IDP platforms and getting to tell people about our work on calmodulin-M13 binding during the poster session.


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