Small Scientist, Big Conference: Sunday Morning at the BPS Conference

It’s 10:30 a.m.. The first official coffee break between scientific sessions, and I’m camped out on a bench between Room 33 and Ballroom 20.

Following the wise advice of @straddlingworlds I made an itinerary for my first day at my first conference. It was incredibly helpful to arrive this morning with a detailed list of all the talks I wanted to see and where they were.

However, I think I was a little ambitious.

I started off my morning bright and early with a cappuccino and a bowl of oatmeal from LION Coffee. From there I headed straight to the convention center. My first two talks to the day were in the Platform on Muscle. The first talk was from Stefan Rauser on the “Subnanometer Structure of the Actin/Myosin/Tropomyosin Complex.” This briefly covered the determination of an 8 Å structure of the complex using electron microscopy. An interesting question was posed about the kinetic feasibility of the model proposed for the power stroke. If anyone else was there I’d love to hear their thoughts on his talk. He’s also speaking again this at 11:45 in the New and Notable Symposium. Let me know what you think.

The second talk I attended was on the “Structural Model of the Pre-Powerstroke State of the Actomyosin Complex,” presented by Andras Malnasi-Csizmadia. I have to admit this was way over my head. Can anyone recommend some basic background papers on the material that might help me?

At 8:45 a.m. I attended  great talk by Nevan Krogan from UCSF on “Functional Insights from Protein-Protein and Genetic Interaction Maps.” This was one of those talks that reminds you why you want to be a scientist, and how incredibly powerful and innovative the field of biophysics is. The creation of an unbiased network of Human-HIV interactions and its application to the VIF interaction network was a great example of how a combination of biophysical techniques can be used to revolutionize the way we look at systems. If you missed it you can check out their paper here.

I finished up the first morning session with two more talks: the first by Justin Taraska on “Imaging the nanometer-scale architecture of microvesicle release and recapture;” the second on “Steps toward a Modular Theory of Disease” by Edward M. Marcotte. The images and videos from Taraska’s talk were fascinating, and the novel creation of a large network of protein complexes using correlated elution profiles was something I can’t wait to read more about.

What have people seen this morning?

What are you excited to see this afternoon?


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