So many great talks yesterday. Two crystal clear talks back to back in the Membrane Biophysics subgroup from Dr. Youxing Jiang and William Catterall. Both of them were so comfortable with their systems it was just a pleasure to here them navigate the complicated “knowledge landscape” with such grace! The former talk was about mutating ion channels and getting a bajillion crystal structures to understand ion selectivity. Dr. Catterall’s talk was about the structure and function of the newly discovered crystal structure of a “minimalist” voltage-gated sodium channel, NaChBac. A highlight today were a few of the talks in the Computational Methods section. Though it’s hard to present a jaw-dropping talk on something as dry as a computational method, the room was still packed. Daniel Zuckerman lead the session with a weighted ensemble method to calculate dynamic properties, followed by a cool computational method to reproduce scattering intensity data by Juergen Koefinger. Shortly after, Ulrich Zachariae presented a method already implemented in GROMACS for balancing charge imbalances in MD simulations called Jarzynski-Monte Carlo ion exchange.
Sunday has been a bit light for me so I hung out in the Biodiscovery Dome for a while. The semi-spherical projection was very impressive, but it could have been a bit higher definition for a more immersive experience. I can’t wait for next year when they setup a fully spherical biomolecular experience WITH 3D glasses (fingers crossed).
It’s been lots of fun photographing stylish scientists. Here are today’s photographs. I was super lucky to find Iva Tolic-Norrelykke (Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics) catching some rays on the conference balcony outlooking the water. You know you’re a stylish scientist when the logo of your lab has high-heels on it! Thanks to Ryo Kitahara (Ritsumeikan University), Celia Santi (Washington University), Cecila Bouzat (INIBIBB), Tamara Rosenbaum (National Autonomous University of Mexico), Erik T. Jansson (Chalmers University), and Reza Vafabakhsh (University of Illinois).